An African safari is one of the best travel experiences you will ever have. No matter your destination, African safaris will always involve majestic scenery, incredible wildlife and other a rare opportunity to reconnect with nature. Just like in any vacation, the people that you share your vacation with can make or break your experience. To ensure that you are not the one who is spoiling the fun for your group, here a few things you should not do when on an African safari.
The cardinal rule on any African safari is to listen carefully to your guide and driver. Besides being highly qualified, the guides have years of training and in-the-field experience. If they tell you to be quiet, it is because they might have spotted something that you have not seen and they do not want to scare it away. In case you are on a walking safari, the guides will provide you with essential precautions in case you come across potential danger. It is best you follow this advice for your safety. Your guide is an expert out there in the bush. It is his/her job to keep you safe. This can only happen with your cooperation.
Most flights into and out of safari camps come with rigorous weight limits. As such, you might need to use discernment when packing. In addition, you should consider packing soft duffel bags as opposed to hard shell luggage. In addition, ensure that you pack casual, neutral-colored clothing that won’t wrinkle. It is likely that temperatures will fluctuate. Therefore, opt for a mix and match wardrobe that won’t be layered. Safari clothes should fit loosely. Besides, include both long and short sleeved shirts and shorts and pants.
When you meet locals, greet them in their language. You do not have to go beyond basic greetings, though. However, making the effort portrays a good gesture towards acknowledging local cultures. Nevertheless, you do not have to go overboard either. For instance, do not give gifts such as money or candy to children. Always be sensitive to the customs and cultures of the locals.
Besides, avoid infringing on the privacy of others. Therefore, always consult your guide before doing something that would be deemed invasive of other’s privacy. In addition, you should observe manners. Avoid asking too many questions or requests. Act authentic and focus on building relationships with the locals as opposed to building walls.
Whether you are on a self-drive of a guided game drive, you should never get out of the vehicle for a bathroom break or a better photo. This is for your safety. The fact that you cannot see a wild animal in the vicinity does not mean it is not there. Animals often feel threatened when you try to approach them and they may, in turn, cause serious injuries. However, there are some cases where this rule does not apply such as game viewing hides, designated viewpoints, walking trails among others. However, these areas will always be signposted.
When you come across a picture perfect view of animals on the African savannah, do not call them to get their attention. Do not do anything that will disturb their peace. This means there is no whistling, shouting, or banging the side of the expeditionary vehicle.
When there is a lot of noise, two things could happen. One you could scare away the very animals you are trying to bring loser. In the case of big animals, you might trigger them to charge. Either way, you will never get the intended outcome.
Avoid keeping other safari-goers and your guide at risk by maintaining silence.
You will never see all the animals that you would like to see on your first game drive. This is a game park, not a zoo. Parks and reserves are vast. The animals there are unpredictable and wear camouflage. Although the guides will try as much to spot the animals in your wish list, there is no guarantee that you will see everything. Be sure to let your guides know what you are interested in and what you have seen in your previous safaris. This will increase the chances of seeing these animals. You should also take an interest in smaller animals to avoid disappointments. Becoming a birder also opens a new world of potential experiences.
Previously, etiquette dictated that you leave your phone at home. However, nowadays many people use their phones as their primary camera. As such, they might have to carry it when on a safari. When on a safari, avoid living on your cell phone. Wean yourself off distractions such as text messages and social media platforms. Otherwise, you will miss some important moments.
Besides distracting your safari, mobile phones will also distract others. Mobile phones also appear rude to others. Try to unplug so that you can enjoy your African safari. After all, a safari is supposed to help you immerse yourself to the natural world. This cannot happen when you are buried in your iPhone.
According to the World Health Organization, malaria is a leading killing disease. Most of these deaths occur in Africa. It is important to take some precautions to avoid getting into the danger of contracting the disease. Besides Malaria, you will also be exposed to many other diseases that can be prevented easily by taking precautionary measures. Before embarking on your African safari, visit your doctor so that you can get advice on the necessary vaccinations when traveling to Africa.
Tipping local staff and your guide is always an important aspect of a safari. Whichever country you are in, find out the expected tip rate and give it. Such tips may be crucial to your guide’s basic income. Therefore, avoid being stingy. Rates vary from one country to another. Therefore, sometimes it is difficult to determine how much to give. Just avoid asking the people you are intending to tip about the appropriate rate. In case you have to inquire, ask your tour operator, a camp manager or another employee who does not receive tips. Be sure to have a supply of small bills since you cannot rely on ATMs or banks when you are in the bush.
Typical to any visit to a new place, an African safari comes with a lot of expectations. Now that you understand some of the things that you should not do when on an African safari, you will be prepared for a breathtaking experience. These tips will help to give you a memorable experience.
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