For first-time safari travellers, there’s always the added pressure of knowing what to do when you at your destination.
For those who are embarking on their first safari trip, Diana Smullen, the director of Hospitality Afrika Safaris, shares four things to do on your next safari:
Respect your guide
Your guide is someone who has the knowledge and skills to make your trip worthwhile. Smullen said travellers should always listen and follow all the instructions given by their guide during safari excursions.
To get the most out of your safari experience, talk to your tour guide and let him know in advance which animals you want to see during your safari. Before taking pictures, ask for permission as the click of the camera might startle the animals or prompt a charge.
“He/she knows a great deal about wildlife. Don’t be shy to ask questions as this will enhance your safari experience tremendously. Don’t put your guide in an uncomfortable position by asking him to do something illegal like driving offroad or chasing the animals. Their primary goal is to keep you safe at all times,” she said.
Be alert at unfenced camps
Some camps are located in unfenced areas, meaning that animals can walk around the camp. Camps warn guests not to walk alone around the camp as it could be dangerous.
“If you are staying in an unfenced camp, don’t walk without a guide or an armed ranger. Animals have much better eyesight than you and will see you before you see them,” she said.
Tip the staff
Smullen believes that tipping is a good gesture and something all travellers should do, either to their guide, driver or staff at the lodge.
“Many rely on tips since an enormous percentage of their wages come from the gratuities. If you are unsure of how much to give them, ask your safari expert or the camp manager,” she said.
Respect the wilderness
Be mindful and respectful of the plants and wildlife around you. Smullen said the wilderness is not a trash site and should be appreciated.