9 Important Rules to Remember on Zimbabwe Safari
Hands down, a Zimbabwe safari is probably one of the best trips anyone can take. There is so much to do, so much to see and a lot to learn.
Undeniably, a safari is as exciting as it is educational. ONLY IF, you remember to adhere by certain rules.
RULE 1: When on safari, your safety matters. ALWAYS.
“No-matter how glorious the sight of animals may be, NEVER forget that they are wild animals.”
They may be quietly going about their business but they are still wild.
If these animals feel threatened in any way, they will not shy away from reacting. While their reaction may be not be very aggressive, a push out of the way by a huge animal like an elephant is likely to hurt you.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of oneness with nature and its inhabitants.
RULE 2: NEVER walk around camp at night on your own.
You never know who is watching.
“That walk under the stars might be the next best thing after a hearty meal but don’t do it. Especially if your safari camp is not fenced.”
Animals have better eyesight than you do. Thus, they’ll spot you a lot sooner than you will spot them.
RULE 3: Sometimes, you just need to turn that cellphone off.
Or your iPod.
It might not even be a good idea to bring it on a game drive. Imagine others wanting to enjoy the experience of being in the wild only to be distracted by ringing phones and you chattering away over them?
Luckily, network reception is often bad in the camps. So, there’s less chance of this happening.
Besides, you’re in the bush.
“Why would you want to ruin your safari experience with music and phone calls?”
RULE 4: There are other guests on safari. Respect them.
Respect their need to enjoy, safely explore and learn.
You’re going to see animals you’ve only ever seen on the television. Naturally, excitement is going to kick in and you may want to make sure everyone else in the vehicle has seen the animals.
Still, try to rein in the adrenaline rush and be as quiet as you ought to be. Yelling or making any loud noises may scare the animals away. If they leave the area, that only ruins the game viewing experience.
Mind you, scaring the animals away is only the least dangerous thing that can happen when you startle them with your noise.
If another person may be taking a video, do not make noise. You don’t want to stop them from getting good footage without any interference from human noises.
“Noise may distract your safari guide, who needs to be mindful of the surroundings and the animals.”
RULE 5: When on safari, leave no trace of your presence
Seriously, no littering or leaving any marks on historical monuments. Nobody needs to know “you were here”. Even Beyonce would not get away with leaving her mark.
Remember, when you’re on safari, you’re in a delicate environment which is easily damaged.
“Respect the environment; respect its inhabitants. Be a responsible tourist.”
You should take all of your garbage with you when you leave and never leave any (non biodegradable) plastic on the ground; an animal may eat it and choke.
If you bring something in, make sure you bring it out with you. Your guide is not your trash collector. Carelessness of off-roading can lead to erosion and destruction of the habitat.
RULE 6: If you’re thinking of wearing your animal print, PLEASE DON’T.
Leave those cheetah prints at home, Jo.
Let’s just leave the animal print to the animals, shall we?
Instead, how about you bring comfortable clothes made out of natural fibers? You’ll be grateful for this in the hot temperatures.
You might also want to avoid any brightly coloured or white clothing which will make it easy fr animals to spot you with their keen sense of sight.
Opt for khaki, green or brown coloured clothing which will help you blend in with the environment.
RULE 7: Your guide is there to protect you. Listen to them.
It doesn’t matter how much more knowledgeable you may be.
“Your guide is there to ensure that you and others have a safe and memorable safari experience.”
Never ask your tour guide to go off the pathway. They know the routes which they are allowed to access and will always aim to get the best sighting for you.
Your guide is likely to be from the local community. Thus, it is important that you respect their culture and beliefs. Be aware of derogatory statements and do not act condescendingly towards your guide.
The guide is highly trained and very passionate. They are there to share their love for the bush with you.
RULE 8: Turn your camera shutter off.
Don’t work with your camera or do such things as editing photos while on a game drive.
The constant digital beeping will most probably irritate others. It also disturbs the natural sounds of the environment. Just leave the editing and fidgeting with your gadget when you’re back at camp where any camera sounds will not be much of a distraction.
If you’re running out of room and you have to get rid of some shots, mute your camera. In fact, always ensure that your camera shutter is off.
RULE 9: DO NOT get out of the car unless told to do so by the guide.
Do that and you run the risk of satisfying a hungry animal’s appetite.
After all, you are on their turf.
“Never get out of your car without asking your safari guide/driver if it is safe to do so.”
No matter how tempting it may be to get that perfect photo of you with that wide lipped rhino … don’t do it.
This is what happens when people fail to understand that the wildlife is wild. If you’re dying to take a leak, let your driver know. He’ll find a SAFE spot so you can run behind and “check the tire pressure” *wink wink*
If you would like any information about booking your safari with us, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org