Let’s talk about safari rules.
‘Do they really exist?’ you might ask? Although safaris are pretty accessible these days – and nowhere near as stuffy as they once were – there are still a number of unwritten (and written) rules you should observe whilst on safari to ensure you’re preserving safari etiquette.
These safari rules all relate to human behaviour whilst in the vicinity of African wildlife, whether on a game drive, walking safari, or any other type of safari experience. They’re in place to ensure the safety of both humans and animals, so please ensure you’re up to speed on them!
General safari rules:
- Never feed the animals. If animals learn to associate food with humans they can become aggressive, food could make them ill and it disrupts their natural habits.
- Never chase the animals in your vehicle (or on foot!), and remember that animals always have the right of way.
- Don’t harass the animals. Make little noise, don’t use torches or make sudden movements, and don’t try to attract their attention.
- Don’t throw any litter at all, even biodegradable stuff. Aside from degrading the environment, some animals eat whatever they come across.
- Remember that wild animals are unpredictable and dangerous. Don’t take any risks.
- Don’t pick any flowers or vegetation.
- Don’t disturb other park visitors – they all have the same rights as you.
- Stick to the correct opening hours unless you have special dispensation – it’s normal for parks to enforce a dusk to dawn ban.
Safari rules for game drives:
If you have a driver for your game drive they will be well aware of these safari rules, but if you’re planning to do any self-drive safariYour d
- Don’t pull up in front of another vehicle, hindering their view. Wait for your turn to view if it’s one car at a time.
- Stay in your vehicle at all times, unless with a guide or at a designated area. Vehicles act as hides, as animals don’t usually associate them with humans.
- Keep on marked roads and tracks, unless it’s explicitly stated that driving off-road is allowed. Off-road driving can cause soil-erosion through exhaust fumes, oil, and killing the grass.
- Don’t drive through closed roads or park areas.
- Always turn your engine off when pausing to view wildlife at close range.
- Stick to the park speed limits – usually between 30km/h and 50km/h. Speeding damages road surfaces, increases noise and dust levels, and you stand a greater chance of hitting an animal.
What’s your take on the rules of safari etiquette listed above? Have any other points you think we should add to the list? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
Top countries for safaris
Most read articles
- All about the ‘big five’ animals
- When, where & how to see the great migration
- Collective nouns for animals
- Safari movies to watch before you go
- The ultimate safari reading list
- What are Africa’s most dangerous animals?
- The 6 greatest animal migrations in Africa
- The 20 best malaria-free safari destinations
- The world’s fastest land animals