Safety during a safari is of extreme importance. A safari can be very exciting but coming in close contact with animals in the African bush can be dangerous. Some animals like giraffes and elephants may look cute but beware. You must watch out especially for elephants, lions, buffalos, hippos and crocodiles. Here are some general rules to follow on an African safari:
- Stay in your car all the time. Follow the rules that will be posted.
- Don’t stand up or stick anything out of the car. Many safari vehicles are open-topped. If you stand up or wave something around on the side, some animals will get annoyed.
- Don’t watch an animal at close range. If do, you should be careful of its behavior and move away as soon as it starts appearing agitated. It’s not possible to tell when an animal will decide to step into the middle of the road. Remember, you have to stop if this happens.
- Keep your windows up. If you are in a car with windows, it’s better to keep them closed.
- If you are on a walking safari stay downwind from the animals to keep them from catching your scent. When the animals you are approaching look hostile, create an escape route without making any noise. You could also walk away slowly to avoid aggravating the situation.
- Walk away slowly. If you encounter an animal that doesn’t like your presence move back slowly and quietly.
- Avoid swimming in rivers or lakes unless you are absolutely sure there are no hippos or crocodiles.
- Always wear boots and socks when walking around the bush. There are plenty of venomous snakes and scorpions around that could bite you.
- Don’t walk around at night in areas where you know there is wildlife present that can be potentially harmful to you.
- Don’t leave your tent at night. If you need to, call the security to help you.
Photo: Yanai Bonneh, National Geographic