Kenya Safari Etiquette : The Dos And Don’ts Of An African Safari : One of the best vacation travel activities in the wild is a safari in Kenya. A trip to Kenya is typically the stuff of dreams for most people. It’s a trip to the safari capital of the world, the setting for that special family vacation, the ideal honeymoon location, and much more.
If properly planned, a safari in Kenya can be an authentic adventure and an unforgettable experience, especially when you are aware of Kenyan travel customs. However, arranging a Kenya safari is a time-consuming and perplexing process no matter how you look at it!
Which tourist destinations ought you to visit? Which airline should you choose to fly with? What is their price range? Which hotels welcome families? What should I do and not do while touring Kenya? Focus East Africa Tours can be helpful in this situation.
We’ll talk about dos and don’ts for your Kenya vacation later, but first, let’s talk about how to avoid offending Kenyans while you enjoy their culture, wildlife safaris, and beautiful country.
THE WILDLIFE CODE
- Respect the wildlife’s privacy; this is their natural habitat.
- Be cautious of the animals; they are wild and unpredictable.
- Avoid crowding the animals and making sudden noises or movements.
- Feeding the animals disrupts their diet and leads to human dependency.
- Keep quiet – noise disturbs wildlife and may annoy other visitors.
- Except in designated picnic or walking areas, stay in your vehicle at all times.
- Keep your speed below the speed limit (40 kph/25 mph).
- Keep at least 20m away from wildlife and pull to the side of the road to allow others to pass.
- Never leave litter and never discard burning objects or light fires.
- Respect East Africa’s cultural heritage by never photographing local people or their habitat without their permission, adhering to cultural traditions, and dressing appropriately.
- Follow the rules: leave by dusk and never drive at night in a national park.
- Do not feed the animals.
Animal feeding was once encouraged, but it has since been discovered that doing so has detrimental effects on the environment. Feeding both zoo and wild animals can interfere with how they normally hunt for food or gather it. It does not improve their health and could endanger them over time. Additionally, some animals are frightened of humans and may harm them if they are fed.
- Do not sleep in; you’ll regret it!
Your body may be aching for rest after a long, exciting day on safari, and it may be tempting to decide to skip the game drive the following day in favor of a lie-in. If you are on a lengthy safari, this might not be a big deal, but if you are only on a 3–4 day safari tour package, it is well worth making the most of every opportunity. Even though getting up early for a game activity can be challenging at first, it’s the best time to go in search of wildlife. And when you return from the activity later in the day, you have a chance to relax.
If you choose to sleep in, you risk missing the game drive and the subsequent opportunity to see wildlife, as well as another exhilarating safari activity like a balloon safari, canoe safari, walking safari, or biking safari. The types of activities vary depending on the safari location and the camp. So, before turning off the alarm and going back to sleep, give it some thought to prevent having any regrets about your safari experience.
- At night, do not step outside your lodge, camp, or hotel.
Animals are most active at night, especially predators, which are not always visible during the day. You shouldn’t be walking around outside at night unless you are on a night game drive in a game vehicle with a spotlight or safely inside the camp’s perimeter. Although the area is typically secure, there is no point in taking unnecessary risks when the majority of safari camps or lodges have been strategically placed in the middle of national parks or game reserves so that you can enjoy the wildlife experience.
You should always carry a torch and take an escort when you need to walk between your room and the main areas of some safari camps because they are unfenced and animals may wander through. There is no need to run away if you do come across an animal because it’s likely they haven’t noticed you. Instead, slowly make your way to the nearest safe haven or return to your room. Do not attempt to throw anything at it to try to scare it away, and do not scream or shout in fear. All you have to do is remain still and make your way back to your room or another safe place as slowly as you can.
- Kenya Safari Etiquette : Do not disrespect the local people or their culture.
It’s difficult to resist becoming a shutterbug when such stunning aesthetics are all around you and you want to take pictures of everything. While you may be visiting Africa for the first time, the locals are accustomed to tourists, and the colorful locals and fascinating lifestyle can be very alluring to a keen photographer. They frequently extend a warm welcome to you, but remember to respect their right to privacy as well. Its one thing to snap a few photos of them (with their consent), but stalking them with your camera while attempting to document every facet of their life can be intrusive and disrespectful.
Whenever you travel to a new location, try to blend in by picking up a few basic phrases in the language of the area. Learn about the culture as part of your research. Listen to your tour guide’s account of events to learn more about African culture and history. Tour guides frequently share stories about the people and locations you are visiting, which can be really interesting and give you an insight into the local way of life.
- Kenya Safari Etiquette : Do not purchase illegal or wildlife-crime products.
The biggest direct threat to the survival of many of the most endangered species in the world is poaching and other wildlife crime, which has a significant and severe impact on wildlife species. Never purchase items made from animal skin or ivory, some of which are prohibited, as doing so can encourage wildlife crime and poaching. In general, know what tourist purchases you should and shouldn’t make.
- Kenya Safari Etiquette : Do not ignore your guide’s advice.
You should never stray from this unbreakable law. Your safari guide’s responsibility is to lead you and keep you safe. Don’t be reluctant to follow your guide’s instructions when they are given. They may ask you to speak more quietly while watching the game because they may have heard or seen something you haven’t, and they don’t want to scare the animal. While on a walking safari, where you may come across predators or wary animals, your guide will probably advise you to stop moving or avoid eye contact with them, and you must obey their instructions. They will also advise you to remain inside the vehicle for safety reasons.
- Kenya Safari Etiquette : Do not use your electronic devices on game activities.
The entire purpose of a safari is to disconnect from the outside world and spend time in nature. You have the option of turning off or silencing your phone, though it must remain on if you are using the camera. Consider a scenario in which you haven’t seen any wildlife, but when your guide alerts you to an animal on foot, your phone starts to ring. This sound can be quite loud in an open area, which is very annoying because it scatters the animals. Remember to silence the beeping sound if you are carrying a professional camera.
- Do not dehydrate, and make sure you are vaccinated.
Africa occasionally experiences very high temperatures, especially during the summer. You run the risk of becoming dehydrated if you don’t consume enough water. Drink plenty of water, keep a flask of it with you when you’re out doing something, and sip from it occasionally. Additionally, be certain you have all the required shots before traveling, and don’t forget to pack a basic first-aid kit.
- Do not pack too much.
The less you pack for a safari, the better. Keep in mind that you must carry your luggage through vehicles and airports before arriving at your hotel, lodge, or camp. Use the list of essentials to help you pack for your first safari. Remember that many lodging facilities offer a laundry service, often with same-day service, so you don’t need a ton of different clothes and stick to easy-to-wear, lightweight clothing that you can layer up.
When you book your safari, your safari operator will give you more information about the baggage restrictions that apply to the majority of charter flights in Africa, particularly those that concern weight and squashy bags that can fit in small planes.
- Don’t forget to tip.
Don’t forget to give tips to all the staff members who contributed to your memorable kenya safari. Tipping them will show them that you appreciate what they have done for you and will also show the guides, camp staff, and drivers that you appreciate what they have done for you during your safari days. Safari guides frequently provide tipping guidelines so that you know how much to tip and can make advance plans.
Even the best of us forget to drink the recommended amount of water each day, despite the fact that some of these dos and don’ts may seem quite obvious. Reminders are a good idea, and it’s always better to be ready so you can fully enjoy your safari.