When going on an African safari you are embarking on the trip of a lifetime. This is sure to be a trip you will remember, looking back fondly, for years to come. But it is important to know that this is not a trip to the grocery store. There are dangers involved in visiting the wilds of Africa, but the risks can be minimized with proper planning and respect for Mother Nature.
Game Drive Safety
When on the actual game drive the most important thing you can do is LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE. Your guide is a trained, experienced professional. Following their directions immediately and completely will be the number one thing you can do to ensure your safety on safari.
In addition to listening to your guide, it is important that you stay in the vehicle when stopped, not disembarking until, and unless, you are told you can do so. Other important safety tips when dealing with the animals is to keep your distance, never feed or pet any wild animals, don’t make any sudden movements and try not to make any loud or startling noises — this includes the noises your electronics can make, so please do silence your cell phone.
When people conjure up images of animals to fear while on safari, roaring lions, crocodiles lying in wait and rampaging hippos come to mind, but the biggest threat to humans while on safari is smaller… a lot smaller. When you go on safari it is imperative that you protect yourself from mosquitos and the malaria virus that they can carry.
Malaria is a disease that can be fatal, so it should not be taken lightly. Talk with your primary care physician before you leave on your journey to determine what preventative medicines you should take, but know that none of the known medications are 100% effective and preventing the disease, so as a secondary measure, preventing bites is a must. You can do this by always wearing long sleeves and pants in light weight fabrics and using chemical repellents, both on your body and clothes. Many people have reservations about using repellents with DEET in them, but at this time, it is known to be the most effective repellant for mosquitos. You may not choose to use it every day at home, but it is well advised during your time in Africa.
General Travel Safety
As with travel to any location, keeping copies of your passport and travel documents handy is always recommended. It is also a great idea to make sure someone back home has access to copies as well, in case yours are lost or stolen. Make sure someone back home has a reliable way to get in touch with you, or your itinerary with hotel and other contact information at the least.
When traveling, always keep your luggage with you in your line of sight, and don’t openly display valuables. Try keeping important documents, money or travelers checks, and other valuables spread out across several bags, that way if one bag is stolen or lost, all is not lost. On that note, you should avoid carrying large sums of cash.
Again, as with travelling to any location, do your homework: look up local news to see if there is anything you need to be made aware of. There may be weather patterns threatening flooding or civil conflicts indicating cities to avoid. You should also make sure you know of any local customs or dress code concerns to keep you from standing out as a potential target.
Your best bet to maximize your enjoyment on your safari and to ensure your safety is to schedule your trip with a reputable guide or tour company. These are professionals who not only know the area, they are trained to keep you as safe as possible, and know what to do in the event that something goes wrong. Let Roho Ya Chui take you on the journey of a lifetime. Contact Roho Ya Chui to book today. Bon Voyage!
Jill LIphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa