Safari Etiquette: Five Top Tips from our African Wildlife Vets 

Going on safari is like stepping into a real-life episode of “Planet Earth.” The vast expanse of open land, majestic wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes all make for an unforgettable experience. Amidst the excitement of planning for such an experience, it’s crucial to remember that we share the bush with others, and, most importantly, that we are guests in the animals’ home. So, here are five top tips for responsible game viewing that will keep you safe and ensure an enjoyable experience for all. 

  1. Observe from a Distance:

No peeking under the lion’s tail! While it may be tempting to get up close and personal with the wildlife, it’s important to maintain a safe distance at all times. Respect the animals’ space and avoid approaching them too closely, especially if they show signs of discomfort or agitation. Use binoculars or a zoom lens to observe them from afar, allowing them to carry on with their natural behaviours undisturbed.

  1. Stay on Designated Trails and Roads: 

No off-road adventuring, or what we, in South Africa, like to call ‘Bundu Bashing’. When exploring game reserves or national parks, stick to designated trails and roads to minimise your impact on the environment. Venturing off the marked roads can damage delicate ecosystems, disrupt animal habitats, and even pose personal safety risks. Follow the rules and regulations set by park authorities to ensure a sustainable and enjoyable experience for both you and the wildlife.

  1. Keep Noise to A Minimum:

Loud noises, such as shouting, hooting, or playing loud music, can cause stress to wildlife and interfere with their natural behaviours. Maintain a quiet and tranquil presence during game drives, refraining from unnecessary noise that could disturb the animals or disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the bush. This also enhances your chances of spotting elusive species that may otherwise be scared off by your latest Taylor Swift soundtrack. 

  1. Say Cheese…But Respectfully: 

Capture those Instagram-worthy moments without blinding the animals. Avoid using flash photography, especially when photographing nocturnal animals or nesting birds, as it can startle or disorient them. Be patient, wait for the perfect shot, and remember, the best wildlife photos are the ones where the animals aren’t giving you the side-eye.

  1. Leave No Trace

As you bid farewell to the bush and head back to civilization, remember to clean up after yourself. Dispose of all trash and recyclables in designated dustbins, leaving the park just as you found it. After all, nothing ruins a scenic landscape like a discarded Simba (no, not the one you’re thinking of) chip packet or an abandoned banana peel. 

By following these responsible game viewing tips, you’ll not only have a wild (and safe) adventure, but also do your part to preserve the beauty and tranquillity of our natural world. So, grab your binoculars and don your khaki number because you’re all set for your next safari adventure! Know someone planning a trip to the bush? Share this post with them – a good friend wouldn’t let another friend get eaten by a lion. 

Ready to make a difference beyond your safari experience? Consider donating to African Wildlife Vets today. Your contribution will support the vital work of veterinarians dedicated to saving and protecting Africa’s precious wildlife. Visit our website to learn more about what we do and how you can help.