Besides the unspoken ‘neutrals’ dress code, a safari also has its very own etiquette to guarantee an enjoyable and safe experience. When it comes to an African safari, here are our top tips to keep in mind while out in the game reserve:
Keep talking and loud noises to a minimum. Especially don’t try to get animals’ attention by clapping or whistling. This will not only spook wildlife, but could trigger a charge in larger animals such as elephants, putting yourself, and others in danger.
An African safari takes you into the very heart of the remote wilderness, so act with respect towards the environment to avoid damaging this delicate ecosystem. Take your litter with you and never feed the animals. Do not remove any natural material or plant life from the reserves or parks.
If you are careless, not only will you disrupt the ecology of the area, but you may even spread diseases.
Never get out of your guides vehicle without asking if it is safe to do so. No matter how tempting it may be to get that perfect photo of you with one of the big five in the background, it is the last thing you should do. There may be a crouching lion nearby in the tall grass which is hard to spot until it’s too late.
While you can take photos of your incredible experience, be sure to turn off GPS when taking pictures of the animals, as poachers can use this information. If you want to take photos of local people, then it is polite to always ask before doing so or check with your guide first.
Meeting the local communities is an important part of going on safari, and the best way to greet the locals is in their language. A simple, ‘Hello, how are you?’ represents an important step in acknowledging local cultures.
Do not wear skimpy outfits unless appropriate by a pool. Many African rural communities tend to be somewhat conservative in their dress, regardless of their religious backgrounds.
If you are on safari with young children, it is advisable to have an exclusive vehicle for your family when going out on game drives. They are long and children can easily get bored. Private rides for families are shorter and more suitable game drives.
Don’t forget to tip your guides, drivers and camp staff while on safari. Tips make up a big percentage of the staff’s salary.