For most travellers, especially international tourists to Africa, safaris are a once in a lifetime opportunity. For those who are embarking on their first safari trip, Diana Smullen, Director of Hospitality Afrika Safaris, shares six things you should not do on your next safari.
Do not get out of the vehicle
Sounds like a no brainer, right? Not really. Many travellers, keen to capture that instaworthy image tend to do all sorts of crazy things for a good picture. Some even stick their legs and hands out of the vehicle.
“Many people ignore this rule. They get out of the vehicle, or in some cases, they will have their limbs outside the car to take pictures of the wildlife. Doing this is highly dangerous and could put everyone's life in danger.
“The animals have become accustomed to game viewing vehicles, and they do not see them as a threat. Therefore, as long as you stay in the car, you are safe. Unless your guide tells you that you can get out of the vehicle, please stay inside,” she said.
Do not be a “know it all”
We get it, you are a seasoned safari traveller and know every last detail about the animals, but not many others know about it. Many travellers tend to blurt out facts before the game ranger gets to it, and this ruins the experience for newbie safari travellers. Smullen said travellers should avoid being obnoxious.
“Try to share your knowledge, when appropriate, in a humble manner. Don’t interrupt the guide while he is giving information or facts about the wildlife. It could get very annoying,” she said.
Do not make enemies
You are probably reading this with a smile on your face. You are probably thinking: “Just how can I make an enemy in a three-hour game drive?” Well, it happens, and here’s why. Some travellers face off over the “best seats” and do not like sitting in the middle seat. Smullen said travellers need to compromise to keep the peace.
“Try to not snatch the best place all the time on all the game drives. Don’t be selfish. Try to sit in all spots of the vehicle (back, front, left or right side), you will be able to view and capture with your camera the wildlife from another angle,” she said.
Do not use social media
Some travellers love social media so much that they prefer posting on social media than enjoying the live experience. Unless you are using your phone to capture images, leave it back at camp.
“You can chat, text or tweet after the game drive. If you do carry your cellphone, switch it on silent mode and don’t edit and delete photos while on a game drive. The last thing you want to do is upset your fellow travellers or agitate the animals,” she said.
Do not wear bright colours
Wearing bright colours could potentially attract the animals' attention. Opt for neutral colours like khaki, brown and olive to help blend in with your surroundings.
“Bright colours and colours such as red and white does attract the animals' attention,” she added.
Do not wear strong perfume
Strong perfumes could also attract animals attention. Smullen said travellers should avoid strong perfumes and fragrant insect repellent as animals have an excellent sense of smell.