Most people love the idea of going on a safari, it is often listed as one of the top most popular excursions on an African travel bucket list. The idea of seeing wildlife in their natural habitats and getting up close and personal with them is a heartwarming experience. However, one should not forget that these species are by no means gentle.
They’re wild beasts that should be respected, especially when we’re entering into their territory. Safety is of utmost importance on a safari trip, and it’s imperative you listen and take note of the guidelines given to you by your tour guide.
Here are some of the important safety tips you should adhere to while going on safari. Be assured that safari’s are incredibly safe – provided you stick to the rules!
Stay in your vehicle
At all the times, do not venture out unless instructed to do so. Check if the rules and safety precautions have been posted onto the vehicle, otherwise ask your guide if you are unsure of what you can and can’t do.
Don’t stick anything out of the vehicle or stand up
If you suddenly stand up or stick something out of the vehicle, you may startle an animal and they can become aggressive or inquisitive and suddenly react without warning. They can be unpredictable. Often the vehicles used on safaris are open on top so precautionary measures should be adhered to.
Do not try and touch the wildlife
No matter how close they come, or how gentle they look, do not touch the wildlife. Most of the wildlife are used to visitors passing through the parks, and are fairly relaxed about safari vans and humans. Even though this may come across like you could interact with them without being harmed, you’ll be sorely mistaken.
Shouting or startling animals
Never shout at an animal or startle them with loud noises. This will unsettle them, and they’ll likely retreat or move to a secluded area where you’ll no longer be able to see them. Animals are also unpredictable, and loud, unfamiliar noises could mean danger.
Don’t get too close
Some wildlife species allow safari vans to come close to them. Lions for example are relaxed about safari vans and sometimes won’t even move an inch, no matter how close you go. However, other animals such as elephants don’t like their space invaded, and can often charge if they feel threatened in this way. Your guide will be able to tell if the wildlife are feeling uncertain, and will make an escape before the situation turns dangerous.
Should you have chosen to do a walking safari
This should be done strictly with a guide. Walking safaris are safe, as the guide will know the way to go, and will be able to decipher a plan of action should there be a dangerous encounter. Should an animal approach, look hostile but at the same time look for an escape route, once you have one, walk away with slow movements and don’t make any noise, you don’t want to create an aggravated situation.
Stay away from walking or swimming in lakes or rivers
Unless you are given the clear from your guide that there are no hippopotamus or crocodiles in that area, don’t go swimming in unfamiliar waters.
There can sometimes be conflicting information given around what colour or type of clothing one should wear on a safari. The best colour does seem to be natural sand or beige colours. White is visible to wildlife and should not be worn; nor should bold colours such as red, yellow, blue, orange etc. It doesn’t really matter what type of clothing you wear, so long as it protects you from the sun as well as insects or sharp branches. This means you should wear clothing that covers your legs and arms.
Always wear boots and socks when walking around the bush
The bush is known for its many poisonous snakes and scorpions and you would not like to be bitten or stung by one of those! Over and above that, if you are going on walking safaris, you’ll need comfortable shoes that offer ankle support, do not slip or slide on loose terrain, and which are fairly waterproof.
If you are staying out in the bush in a tent
Do not leave your tent unless you are with your guide. Always keep your tent locked, and keep a torch on hand!
Enjoy a great budget safari tour with us on one of our exceptional African overland tours!