5 safety tips when planning an African safari
By Aimee Heckel
Whether you’re an animal-lover, adventure-seeker or just a curious world traveler, an African safari is probably on your travel bucket list.
But it can be dangerous. In a way, that’s part of the appeal. You’re face to face with wild nature.
Here are five tips to consider before planning an African safari, to make sure you get the most out of it, and stay safe in the meanwhile.
1. Stay in the car and only get out at specific, designated locations.
2. Follow the rules. Listen to your tour guide, follow posted recommendations and don’t do anything sudden, surprising or gutsy. Don’t stick things out the car window, including your camera. Don’t creep closer to an animal to try to get a better picture. That shot is not worth your life or a limb, and it is selfish to put the other tourists in danger.
3. Pick the right country to tour, depending on the animals you hope to see. Pick a country in the woods if you want to see elephants. You will probably need to head to the forest to see mountain gorillas. Hippos hang out in the wetlands. Lion lovers will enjoy the Serengeti.
4. Pick the right kind of safari. A vehicle is not the only way to animal-watch. You can also take walking safaris, or a safari on mountain bike, in a canoe, on a camel, on horseback or even in a hot air balloon.
5. If you are on a walking tour, be quiet, respectful and try to stay downwind of the animal, so it does not smell you. Don’t make sudden movements or loud noises. If you encounter an animal that doesn’t look too happy, slowly and quietly move away, and follow the guidance of your tour guide.
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