What precautions should be taken with wildlife while travelling South Africa?


By reading the points below you may get the impression that wildlife viewing is a dangerous activity. That is not the case. Wildlife viewing can be considered very safe as long as you treat the animals with care and use common sense. Your professional guide is there to ensure your safety. The advice below is solely intended to further decrease the risks which are already small.

Always follow your guide’s guidelines and instructions.

Stay in the car during game drives except the areas where you are allowed to get out of the car.

Never walk off far to pee behind a bush – ask your guide about where to go.

Don’t stand up in the car, sit on the roof or hang out of the window.

Don’t go too close to animals if you are on a self-drive safari. Back off if the animal seems disturbed.

Don’t drive between elephants, especially females and their babies. Never get too close to elephants.

Don’t talk or laugh too loud while traveling in the wildlife area.

Stay close to your guide and group while you are on a walking safari and always walk in single file.

Watch your feet, where to put while walking in the bush.

Never run or jog in a wildlife area because it entices predators to attack, never run away from a predator when confronted. Ask your guide for help and instructions or slowly walk backwards while facing the predator.

Stay in the car during game drives while travelling

Avoid walking between a hippo and water. It may panic and charge because its safety route to the water is blocked.

While on a canoe safari, stay in the shallows, to get away from hippos. Keep enough distance from animals on river banks.

While camping, or in a tented camp, keep your food hidden; it will attract wildlife.

Keep your arms and legs covered in the evening and use insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes.

Wear a hat, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water to take care yourself from heat.

Don’t wear bright and colorful clothes. Big no for too much perfume. This is especially true for walking safaris and, to a lesser extent, for other wildlife viewing activities. In tsetse-fly areas it is recommended not to wear dark-colored clothes such as black or dark blue since it attracts these stinging flies.


Kritika Sharma

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