If you go on a safari you want to see as much wildlife as possible. That is the whole purpose of going. In Africa you want to see the Big Five. I did have the luch to see them once in South Africa when I visited the NP Kruger for 3 days. Now I went on a safari again in Kenya and did see a lot of wildlife, it was just the best trip again! I unfortunately didn’t see the rhino but the rest was all there!
Well it is not all about lists…and so the big five is not the only thing to go for!! When I think back of the time that I went for the tiger and did not see it but did see the dancing cobras!! It made me so happy…and does that again when I think of it!
So when I visited Kenya last month I went on a safari again. It is great for safaris and I had the best time! I even went working in a National Park!! Have only shared the Dutch version untill now.. aan het werk…
I saw a lot of wildlife and loved every day I spend there!!
Safe on Safari – What are the Rules?
But if you want to go on a safari, what are the rules that count?
How do you make sure to be safe in the park, don’t disturb the animals in their habitat… that they will do their own thing and don’t go towards us or the car.
You want to see them in their own habitat and most of all, you want to see them doing what they would do if we wouldn’t be there.
Sometimes you go for a safari walk, I did that in Kruger, Africa and India when I saw the cobras. But mot of the time you will be sitting in a jeep and driving around the park on roads that are meant for that use.
What rules are there on a safari?
– Leave only Footprints
For me this is one of the most important ones. Don’t leave anything!! You want to enjoy your surroudings, you want to see it as it is. You don’t want to see it how the previous traveler left it for you… When I was working in Tsavo NP we did stop a lot in the park to get all the garbage, an empty bottle or other plastics.
If you carry something with you make sure not to loose it! Everything that you carry with you will come out of the park with you too!!
And eh… you also don’t take anything with you out of the park that you didn’t brought into it for that matter!!
– Try not to spread you scent/odor
You don’t want to stand out during your safari. You want to blend in… You don’t want the animals to smell you before you even got to see them. And take it from me… they are trained on this!!
Make sure to realise from which side the wind is blowing. Even though we are not wearing a deodorant or parfum.. Our clothes has a scent too, there are all kinds of nice scents in our laundry detergent. Animals will smell that miles away!
It is also good to realise it is also not good to surprise the animals with our presence. They can be scared by that and act differently towards us. But most of the time, how quiet and scentless we try to be… The wildlife will spot us long before we spotted them!
– Dress in safari colours
You don’t want to be seen… So if our scent hasn’t been noticed try not to dress in a bright colour that is not preset in nature. You will standout and the animals will spot that in a second.
– Walk in one line
Make the path of our footprints as small as possible. By walking in line, stepping in eachothers footprints we make our footprints as small as possible. It is good for the flora not to walk wide and step on as little as possible but also the line will seem small and narrow. The image an animal will see looks smaller and less intimidating. They see one line instead of a group. And seeing from the front it is just one person, so we will not be noticed that quickly.
– Don’t stick your arm or other part of the body out of the jeep
The wildlife is used to jeeps driving the park. They only see square things coming by. After so many years most of them do see the harm in that anymore, they are used to that. But if arms or leggs are sticking out they can get anxious and act differently. Maybe they will think of you as prey.
Take it from me… You don’t want that 🙂
There are some clips of these kinds of encounters. Would you be as calm as this man?
Standing near this great sighting and you want that perfect picture.. But they animal needs to look at you…Do’nt get its attention by yelling. You never know how an wild animal react whenyou do get the attention where you were asking for. Stay calm and take your time. Maybe it will look anyway and if not…
Let them enjoy their rest and enjoy your sighting!
– Stay for at least 10 metres away from the river
If you go on a safari hike, walk in line ofcourse, make sure not to get to close to the river. Hippo’s can seen like big and slow animals.. But they can be really quick. And if they attack it can be deadly.
And how about a crocodile that is waiting for prey just below the water surface?
– Don’t run!!
Imagine you are taking this great hike in the national park and you do encounter a lion… And it is close?? NEVER RUN!! A lion can see you as prey and just because of that will catch you.
Most attacks from wildlife is out of selfdefence. They will protect their little ons of fear for their own life and attack out of defence. And think about it… if I was an animal…I wouldn’t trust humans! keep this in mind at all times!
An animal never attacks without a reason!
What if you do get attacked?
What should you do…or shouldn’t you do? Do you know that it is sometmes good to make yourself as small as possible? Or act like your dead this will most probably make an polar bear loos interest. And when encountering an elephant.. don’t look into their eyes but walk away.
And did you know that a rhino attacks in a straight line? make sure to walk to the left or right when running for your liffe.. If you find a tree…climb it!!
Well…ofcourse we don’t hope to ever get in such a situation!!
Safe on Safari – What are the Rules?
And some other tips to make your safari the best one ever!!
You do have your binocular with you? 🙂
Take time to also look at all the great wildlife without looking through the camera. Take time to enjoy the moment and experiencing seeing that lion or leopard!
Take a had / cap with you against the sun. Also a scarf, jacket or something to keep you warm. In the park in can get cold because of the wind going through your jeep when you have your windows or rooftop open to see asmuch as possible.
Do you have enough space on your SD card or your smartphone to take as much pictures as you want?
Do you have some DEET with you? It would be very unpleasant if that mosquito destracts you constantly when you want to see that sighting. Especially during the sunrise and sunset the mosquitos are active.. So if you want to enjoy that sunset…
I would love to hear if you have other tips that I didn’t shared yet!!