Visiting the Safari in Africa should be in everyone’s bucket list. The sight of the wildlife, the freedom of riding in an open-topped jeep at sunrise, unforgettable wildlife encounters around every bend. All of these sounds amazing.
Are the animals dangerous? Yes. There are many species in the safari that can kill you. But there are ways to have a good experience out of this if you follow the warning and safety features.
This is why there are clear signs all over the park, warning visitors not to alight from their vehicle or even to open their windows. If you heed these rules, you will be perfectly safe.
The Safari is NOT a Theme Park
When you are in a safari, you are not in theme parks like Disney World or Universal Studios. The animals in the Safari are not tame and do not socialise. They are wild animals and they act like wild animals.
When you are on a game drive, your guide is your best friend. Be nice to him and always do what he says. Also, be respectful of the animals. Don’t encourage your guide to do things that aren’t ethical or which may place the animals in danger. Do not do unethical acts such as offering a tip to your guide just so you can get a slightly better photo.
Keep Your Arms and Legs Inside the Vehicle
Basically, DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR. If it doesn’t specifically say “you may alight from your vehicle here”, don’t do it! If you don’t want to look like a stupid tourist and pay a big fine and get thrown out of the park, these FIVE rules are worth remembering during a game drive;
• Never leave the vehicle while on a game drive
• Do not make sudden movements or loud noises.
• Do not lean out of your vehicle.
• Do not climb the roof of your car.
• Never stand up in the vehicle or wave your arms about, this can make the animals curious enough to investigate your vehicle.
Don’t Self-Drive (and If You Do, Keep The Windows Up)
There are certain safari parks that will let you self-drive and there are other safari parks where self-driving is not an option. If you do decide to self-drive, follow the rules, take a guide with you, keep the windows closed and give the animals their space.
Do Not Feed The Animals
Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, feed the animals. From the biggest elephant to the tiniest bird. A fed animal loses its fear of people, making it a “problem animal”, and then the animal has to be killed by park rangers.
You are not helping an animal by feeding it. You are killing it. The case is because human food is not good for animals. If an animal starts to become dependent on human food, it can no longer feed itself.
Keep the Noise Down on Game Drives
Keeping quiet during the drive will increase the number of sighting animals as you do not startle the animals before you are able to approach them. You can actually improve your animal sightings by keeping your excitement down because you would not be disturbing the animals in their terrain.
Let Go Of Expectations
Just relax and enjoy! Letting go of your high expectations and simply living in the moment is the number one way to increase your enjoyment of the whole experience. Some people will forget that they are out in the open to take in the fresh air and the warmth of the sun because they are too busy scanning the horizon for the elusive animals.
The best pants to wear on game drive is khakis because you are less likely to be seen by the animals because you are not wearing bright colours. Khakis also keep you cool in the hot African weather. Click HERE for a guide to tracking down THE BIG FIVE wildlife animals!
Being quiet and patient will help loads during game drives. The animals might be habituated to the sound and the vehicles coming in their territory, but they can still be disturbed. In any case, you’ll have a more authentic encounter if the animals are doing what comes naturally instead of reacting to you.
Be respectful to the animals you encounter, they’re not cartoon characters. Try to resist the temptation to infantilise or anthropomorphise the animals you see.
Put Down Your Camera
Nothing beats watching the wildlife in real time. So don’t forget to stop snapping the camera and take in the view with your own eyes. It’s nice to take photos and videos to show your relatives and friends back home but remember that you’re there in the moment so stay in the moment.
Image Source: miraimages
There’s so much to look foward to when you're in the African bush, that it’s likely that you’ll tune out your other senses. Opening your ears will heighten your experience of hearing the zebras barking or the calls of the elephants that you haven’t had the chance to experience before.
Do Not Be Late Returning to Camp
Each camp closes around sunset and you must be inside a camp before the gates close. If you care about conserving the animals that you came all the way to see, plan ahead and don’t speed.
Do remember that these warnings and safety features are designed to keep you safe.
Want the best out of your wildlife safari experience? Find fun and knowledgeable locals on the mobile app www.nuflit.com/app. The Nuflit app offers a selection of locals who know their way around South Africa.
Below are some locals who can bring you around South Africa. Tap the image below or www.nuflit.com/d/south-africa to find out more!BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS