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Africa is home to a vast array of animals including big cats, elephants, birds, crocodiles and the list goes on. Taking a safari or game drive to see the creatures in their natural habitat is a ‘must do’ when visiting Africa, so what can you expect? We chat to one of the local guides to give us the ins and outs of game driving in Africa and some tips before you set off on your amazing adventure.
1. Listen to all instructions that your guide gives so you don’t endanger yourself or your fellow Explorers.
2. Stay seated at all times and keep talking volumes low when close to animals. Don’t call them or try to get theirattention. Be respectful of the bush and the inhabitants and please don’t ask your guide to do things which may place the animals and yourselves in danger.
3. Don’t feed the animals as it could cause them to lose their hunting instincts and become dangerous to people.
4. Always feel free to ask your guide questions or quietly point out anything that might be enjoyed by your fellow safari-goers.
5. Do not lean over the sides of the vehicle or leave the vehicle.
6. Don’t smoke on safari as fire ignites easily in the dry African bush.
7. When you want to take a photograph, simply inform your guide.
He will then move the vehicle into the most favourable position and let you know if using a flash is safe.
8. A backpack is useful on a game drive so that everything you need is together. Take sunscreen to protect against the African sun, lip balm, a pair of good sunglasses to protect from the sun and wind and mosquito repellent. Bring a flash drive or extra memory cards for your camera, a pen and a small note pad, a wide rim hat and a small packet of wet towels, as these might come in handy. Remember to take your rubbish with you when you leave.
9. Don’t just focus on the Big 5: elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. They are exciting to watch, however some animals like the leopard will be difficult to spot. Enjoy the smaller animals in your search for the Big 5 too. It makes animal viewing much more rewarding if you do manage to find the big ones in the end!
10. Be prepared! Mornings and evenings are chilly so bundle up; layers are best in case you need to put on or remove, and closed shoes are recommended. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and bring bottled water.
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