Best Practices to Stay Safe When Traveling to an African Safari

two zebras running

Africa, no doubt, holds the keys to the history of man. The evolution of man from its apelike ancestors millions of years is buried all over Africa, showing us traces in the bones left behind. To note, Africa is the continent where the first man appeared on the planet, evolved over millions of years.

Bipedalism, or the ability to stand up and walk on two legs, is a defining human trait that appeared on the continent about four million years ago. It clearly shows Africa is the place of origin of man.

Today Africa beacons as a tourist destination. For a man wanting to satisfy his wanderlust, there may not be a more timely tourist destination. As historic as Africa in the history of man, the continent holds some of the most diverse ecosystems. For one, a slew of large animals such as lions and rhinoceros are found only within the vast swaths of wildlands and unrivaled African safaris.

All this travel should come together if you’re already vaccinated against the virus. Africa should be music to your ears now knowing most African nations are open to American tourists. Getting your passports and COVID-19 documents all set up should be the order of the day.

There’s just one final advisory though. Before you ever set afoot on the continent, know that an army of wild animals is waiting for you. While that may be alright in a zoo, Africa is a different story altogether.

In this regard, keeping safety measures in mind should save the day for you — not to mention save your behind from the tusks of a rampaging rhino or an angry lion.

Don’t Go Out of Your Vehicle

To a lion, there are only two kinds of animals in Africa. One is prey and the other is competition. If you doubt the lion will have the courage to pounce on you, think again. Legend has it that one ferocious lion devoured a total of 50 humans in the span of its life before eventually meeting its end. While that story may be doubtful, there’s no doubt lions have killed humans before.

It’s for this reason that you should stay inside your vehicle. Even if you have the boxing skills of a Mike Tyson and the grappling ability of a Hulk Hogan, to a hungry lion you’re still food.

This should be true even when you run into a wildland that has no active predators. You’ll never know what you’ll run into if you get out of your vehicle.

A good example here is when you take on an Uganda Safari tour package. When you do you’ll treat yourself to an unimaginable variety of primates and beautiful sceneries to take your breath away. While you may be enchanted by all sorts of monkeys running up and down, never get out of your vehicle. Alpha males could run after you, thinking you’re competition.

startled cheetah

Don’t Startle the Animals

Animals in the wild are accustomed to the wild. Even if you wear a headdress and cover yourself with paint to look like another tribesman, you’re still foreign in the eye of the wild animals. So a good rule for your safety is never to startle anyone, the animals most especially.

If you get too close to a wild animal, say an elephant, you can’t really predict what happens next if you startle it and destroy its peace. It might run away from you or attack you. Elephants are vegetarians but all their weight can certainly cause you big problems if they come your way.

By the same token, you should never use flash if you decide to capture them on camera. Surprised animals are unpredictable and can act strange. It’s sad but the trampling death of Dr Thomas McAfee in one safari walking tour should be a lesson learned for us all.

Go Together with Your Guide

Think of your guides as your guardian angel on Earth. As they know the place like the palm of their hand, they don’t need Google Maps to guide you. That also means they know which part of the terrain is dangerous and where dangerous animals are at.

Plus, guides know which views are most exhilarating. Best of all, they can protect you. Animals need not be hit by a bullet of a gun to run away, a loud bang from the firing of a gun is enough to stop their predatory ways.

So if you’re wanting to stray ask the guide first if it’s safe. You don’t want to be running for your life in record time.

Wear Ample Protection

A safari tour is no tour to a skyscraper in New York. You would be under the extreme heat of the sun, not to mention exposed to all sorts of insects. So wear sunscreen as steadfastly as you would bring insect repellent.

Also, wearing protective clothing such as long pants, socks, a pair of shoes, and a hat is wise. At the end of the day, you should be happy you’re home in one piece complete with all the wonderful memories of marvelous Africa.

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