Safari Safety and Etiquette

Tony Sparkes Wildlife & Photographic Safaris practice these general guidelines of Safari safety and etiquette, where your safety and particularly that of the wildlife we encounter on each tour/safari are paramount. We strive to enforce these guidelines on all our tours and safaris and request guests to adhere to these simple guidelines.

It is up to each guest to make sure they understand the environment they are in. Be aware of any potential dangers or risks associated with their current environment. Behave accordingly while on safari/tour and in the environment they find themselves in. Adhere to any or all tour regulations and local lodge guidelines. Thus ensuring to minimise any potential risks and ensuring a memorable safari/tour. If guests are not unsure about anything, please ask the ranger or guide.

As there is always a certain degree of danger when you are with wild animals whether, on a vehicle or a bush walk, common sense must prevail, below are a few points that will keep us all safe.

  • Always listen to and follow the advice from the guide/driver or management and staff of the lodge. The guides, in particular, are experienced and have a vast knowledge of the local environment and are happy to share it with you.
  • When we approach wild animals, the guides are trained to understand and interpret an animal’s behaviour and will assess every situation. We will not put guests in any threatening or dangerous situations, nor will we disturb or stress the animals under any circumstances and if necessary we will back away and leave the sighting.
  • After dark, we personally try to refrain from taking photographs of wild animals with the use of excessive flash or a spotlight.  We believe that using a flash or spotlight may interfere with an animal’s night vision and can cause it stress and/or change its behaviour, so we try to minimise our use of flash and spotlight in any situation.  However, there are some places where some animals may only be viewed or photographed with a spotlight, which we understand and accept.
  • When working in private concession or conservancy areas, we strictly adhere to the safari operator’s policy regarding the maximum number of vehicles permitted at a sighting. This policy is meant to reduce the impact our presence may have on the animals.  
    Lion sat in grass with safari vehicle
  • Guests should refrain from hanging their arms out of the vehicle and when at a sighting from making any sudden movements, standing up in a vehicle or talking loudly, whispers only, (courteous behaviour is contagious).
  • We would never antagonise, tease or corner wild animals. We practice a great deal of patience when waiting for animal behaviour to occur and never “push” an animal into doing anything.
  • Guests should never attempt to feed wild animals.
  • Guests are advised not to try to attract animals attention (no clapping, making animal sounds or throwing objects from the vehicle).
  • Only get out of the safari vehicle when the guide advises that it is safe to do so.
  • Do not go wandering off on your own when the safari stops for a break.
  • Do not go wandering off on your own whilst on a bush walk.
  • Do not walk outside the confines of the camp after dark.
  • No smoking is allowed while on a game drive.  Smoking is restricted to designated areas of the respective lodges only.
  • Please switch your mobile phone to silent and only use it as a camera or recording device, while on any game drive or whilst in hides.
  • Please try to wear comfortable clothes in bland colours (khaki, beige, olive greens). It is thought bright colours may alarm animals.
  • Do not litter.
  • If you choose a bush walk as an activity, it’s advisable to wear suitably comfortable footwear, socks and long trousers.
  • For further information please read our Terms & Conditions.

© Tony Sparkes

Tony Sparkes
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