Forgetting where you are.
You might have read stories in newspapers or on the Internet about people getting eaten by a lion during their safari. Every now and then these things happen and immediately a fearful idea of the bush evolves. But its not the bush, that causes these terrible incidents, it’s the people.
When people go on safari they either drive by themselves for example in the Kruger National Park or they visit Private Game Reserves. In both cases they are informed about the rules for their stay in the bush which include staying in the vehicle when being on game drives and especially when being at a sighting, staying in the camp, not wandering out of the camp into the bush and not walking unescorted at night. People hear all these instructions and sign for it and yet they forget. It proves to be hard to remember where they are when they stroll through the bush camp, forgetting that its not the park at home or seeing a lion and forgetting its not the zoo and not TV. It might sound very silly when reading this, but it happens and the reason is the emotional experience of being in the bush that makes people forgetting where they are and how to behave. The bush is real and the lion is a real wild animal and not a part of an attraction park. This gets confused and then it goes wrong.
There were cases that a tourist went jogging in Kruger National Park and got eaten by lion. Pray runs and a running person triggers the predators hunting instinct. A woman was sitting at dinner in a lodge and remembered that she forgot her sweater at the pool earlier that day. She got up and walked over to the pool, that was about a hundred meters away in a separate part of the camp in the bush. Lion were there when she got there and she was killed. She had forgotten where she was and that she could not walk by herself at night, only with a guard. Only recently a tourist stepped out of the vehicle and walked towards the lion at a sighting in the Kruger National Park to get a better photo. He was killed. He also didn’t realized that this is real and no TV or zoo. One needs to know the bush to walk around there and the bush is not Central Park.
Remember, its real and where you are.
Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com