Safaris are quickly becoming the holiday of choice for travelers from all over the world – locations such as Tanzania and India are popular for excursions through the plains and jungles. But if it’s your first time heading out upon the plains, here are four safety tips to bear in mind.
Don’t ever leave the car – unless you’re told you can
It’s perhaps the most obvious and important tip of all, but when on safari it’s crucial you don’t get out of the car. Even if the animals look far away enough for it to be a safe distance, they’re often unpredictable – and almost always a lot faster than you are.
When with a guide, make sure you listen closely and carefully for his instructions. If he says it’s safe to get out of the car, only then can you do so – but don’t stray too far away. Many safari spots play host to a range of unpredictable and potentially dangerous animals that you need to protect yourself from. If you’re on a walking safari, popular in Africa, be sure to stick to the route given to you by your guide.
Stay at a sensible distance
Whether you’re driving or on foot as previously mentioned, it’s important to stay far away from the animals. Get too close to them and they may feel threatened, effectively becoming defensive and putting you in danger.
Make sure you remain as far away as possible, and don’t feel tempted to edge closer for the sake of a picture or a better look at the animals. You’ve been told not to go near them for a reason, and nobody can predict what they could do if they feel you’re encroaching on their territory. Stay at a safe distance that the guide will define.
As an aside – if you feel the guide is taking you out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to speak up and stay back. Don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with, especially with so much at risk.
Don’t venture out alone
Whenever you head out and explore the plains, hills and jungles of your destination, be sure you’re doing it with company – and preferably somebody who knows what they’re doing. A guide is obviously the best person to follow, as they’ll know the area like the back of their hand and can effectively keep you safe whilst showing you all of the things you need to see.
But if a guide isn’t available and you’re itching to get out and explore, be sure you’re going with people who are experienced. Your first safari should never see you trying to traverse your surroundings solo, as you likely have no idea what lies ahead. Tanzania is often said to be a great place for a solo safari, but don’t try it on your first trip.
Reconsider going for a swim
Even though you may not see any threats around bodies of water, you should reconsider going for a swim. Underneath the surface there may be animals such as hippos and crocodiles lurking and waiting for prey – and there’s no telling whether they’ll go for you.
If a guide says it’s safe, it likely is. But if you stumble upon water of your own accord, steer clear. As mentioned, animals in populated safari areas are unpredictable and, although they’re beautiful to look at, they can turn on you at any moment.
Guest Post written by Lauren Summers
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
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