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Top 5 Things Not To Do While Traveling to African Safari
Beyond the myriad exciting animal sightings, the miracles of nature unfold, the new experiences and the inspiring people you will meet along the way, you’ll rediscover African safari.
There is nothing quite like an African safaris adventure. One thing is for sure, a trip into the wilderness will be life-changing. It is exciting, educational, adventurous, and unique, except when it’s not. There are few ways to ruin the best vacation you’ll ever have. Here is a list of top five things not to do while traveling on safari.
1. Don’t be rude – a safari is social activity, you’ll likely be sharing a vehicle (there will be typically four to six spots) and camps with others. If you’re loud and obnoxious, you’ll probably scare the animals and bother tour members and your guide. There’s plenty time to talk, but on a game drive or nature walk you should try to remain quiet. Also, If you’ve been on safari before, don’t keep barging about what you have seen before and about your experience. It can get really annoying. Remaining quiet also means muting your camera and cellphone. The constant digital beeping will ruin natural noises and detracts people around you. Cellphone is the least important thing on safari even if you can get service. Don’t keep editing and deleting photos, texting your friends or checking news feed on your facebook while others are trying to immerse themselves in the African safari experience. They might find it offensive. “They” aren’t just the people you are traveling with, “they” are also local people. Be sensitive to the local customs and beliefs. Don’t give money, sweets or gifts to the children. There are other ways of giving and a cash donation to the right places will help a lot more. The polite greeting is really important especially if you learn how to do it in local language.
2. You are not in the zoo – there is a possibility that you are not going to see all the animals from your wishlist. You should respect the drivers and guides effort to make the safari as much interesting as they can. Also, you shouldn’t make the driver stop every time you see something you want to take picture of. No matter how tempting it may be to step outside of the vehicle without a permission and get that perfect photo of you with a rhino, don’t do it. You shouldn’t feed animals or make animal noises. They are unpredictable, wild, they have better night-vision than you and if you fail to understand it you might end up injured, or, well, dead.
3. No you should not bring a knife or a gun with you – safari traditionally meant hunting, but now it’s all about tourism and there are other ways to protect yourself. Whistle or a flashlight are used for those situations. You need them to send signal for help to the guides who usually have weapons on them and are trained to protect you. Also you might need binocular, but don’t go crazy buying expensive safari gear, safari clothes, safari sunglasses and books. All you need is comfortable cotton clothes, which are not too bright or zebra printed. Also, don’t wear skirts or shorts while traveling in Islamic counties.
4. Don’t forget tipping – guides, drivers, and lodging staff salary depends on it. Find out what reasonable tip is from camp manager (usually they don’t receive tips) and don’t go over or less then that. It’s reasonable to give your guide $10 per person per day and a similar amount to the lodging for their staff.
5. Don’t think if you forget about malaria it will forget about you – malaria kills millions of people in tropical and sub-tropical Africa every year. As a visitor to these areas you are also at risk of getting this disease. Don’t forget to take malaria prophylactics. And have a safe trip.