It is easy to get drawn into the safari scene -the mixture of open spaces, the excitement and the element of danger when viewing wildlife in their natural habitat. However, when we go on safari, we must shape our behavior around the fact that we are visiting animals on their home turf. Amidst all the excitement that comes with a holiday safari, it is important to remember that the animals are not in any way gentle. Be sure to respect the wildlife especially when you are entering their territory. Safety is of ultimate importance on a safari trip. It is imperative you listen and follow the safety tips given to you by your tour guide. This is one of the ways of guaranteeing your safety when on a safari.
Below are some essential safety tips that you should adhere to when on a safari.
The vehicle is your safety zone. You should never venture out unless instructed to. Even in the quietest areas where you may feel the urge for a quick escape from the vehicle, never step out of this safety zone. Safari visitors like following and sometimes stalking wildlife. However, they lack the trained eye and ear to know when danger is lurking in the bushes. This is why it is very important to stay in the vehicle. Whether you are on a self-drive or a game viewing vehicle, the cardinal rule is that staying in the vehicle keeps you out of harm’s way.
The sight of wildlife may raise some anxiety when in an open-topped vehicle. This, however, should never be a cause of alarm. Safari wildlife is used to open-topped vehicles and its typical soothing dark green and brown colors. Besides, the experienced safari vehicle driver can maneuver through the wildlife without exposing you to danger.
Besides the safety assured by the open-topped vehicle, you need to behave responsibly as a visitor. Avoid waving, making loud noises, throwing of stuff or sudden standing up. These actions are foreign to wildlife and they are inclined to react to them as a perceived danger. The actions are also annoying to anyone else annoying to other people in the vehicle. Following the instructions of the guard will help you to enjoy the magnificent benefits that come with open-topped vehicles.
Safari clothing has been a controversial subject for long. People always disagree on the color and type of clothing one should wear on a safari. There is no written rule about clothing and you have the freedom to choose what kind of clothing to wear. Nevertheless, you should remember that clothing is part of your safety when on safari. The best color does seem to be natural sand and beige colors. Avoid wearing bright colors since they attract animals. The type of clothing does not matter, so long as it protects you from the sun and bugs. Therefore, try wearing clothes that cover your legs and arms.
Never give in to the temptation of touching the wildlife. No matter how close they come or how gentle they look, remember to always keep your hands to yourself. Most wildlife is used to human beings passing through the park in trucks. As such, they are fairly relaxed around trucks and humans. This may come across like you could interact with them without being harmed. However, their behavior can be very unpredictable and you might end up getting harmed. Besides, it is possible to contract diseases by touching wildlife.
When going for a safari drive, the most important thing you can wear is insect repellent. The mosquito is the most dangerous insect in Africa. It has killed more people than any other by spreading malaria and dengue. Ensure that you see a doctor about whether you should take anti-malaria medication and vaccinations before leaving for the trip.
In case you are going on game drives in an open-air jeep, you should have a good sunscreen and a hat. Although the weather is relatively warm, it is advisable to wear long pants, socks and closed shoe especially if you are going for a walking safari. it is best to avoid exposing your feet and ankle to critters such as spider, ticks, and scorpions.
Most safari drives take place in the morning or in the evening when the animals are most active. When you are hanging out in the camp during the heat of the day, do not be tempted to take a swim in any nearby waterways. Besides the danger posed by parasites, you may never know what is lurking below the surface. Hippos are known to become extremely dangerous if they perceive a potential threat to either their territory or babies. Crocodiles are also found in most rivers throughout the continent and they are also very dangerous.
Some wildlife species allow safari trucks to come close to them. For instance, lions are very relaxed when around safari vans and sometimes they won’t even miss an inch no matter how close you get. However, other animals do not like close contact. Elephants, for instance, do not like their space invaded. They can even charge if they feel threatened in this way. Your guide will let you know when the animal feels threatened and will help you get out of the animal’s way before the situation turns dangerous.
Safety when on a safari is key to the success of your safari. If you are staying in a tent in the bush, do not leave your tent unless you are with a guide. Always keep your tent locked and have a torch in hand. Observing these safety tips will help you to enjoy your safari.