Dos and Don’ts for a Wildlife Tour
A trip to wildlife or a national park is always exhilarating. It would be one of the most exciting adventures, unique experiences and unforgettable memories. However, it is always important to know about the place you are visiting and things you should and shouldn’t do while on a wildlife safari. It is very important to know, understand and follow the rules and regulations strictly on any wildlife tour.
Here are a few dos and don’ts you might want to go through before you go on your wildlife adventure.
Things you should not do - Don’ts:
1. Don’t get out of the vehicle:
You are driving into the woods. It is generally a safari or an open jeep. Getting out of the vehicle can be a great threat.
2. Don’t be over smart:
Don’t be over smart while in the wildlife. How much ever the safaris you have done, share the knowledge when appreciated. Listen to the guide carefully while he is giving information. Some people might feel you over talkativeness irritating.
3. Switch off your mobile phones:
Switch off your mobile phones or put it on silent mode. Your loud ringtones of your phone would disturb the wildlife. If you want to capture pictures on your phone, then better enjoy the nature and click pictures with your phone on airplane mode or silent mode.
4. Don’t talk loudly:
You can get a lot more time to talk while you are outside the jungle. While on a safari, stay quite because
Wild animals especially tigers would run away without giving you a sight.
The animals may get distracted
Someone would be taking a video, as the footage would be interesting without interfering sounds
Stay quiet and enjoy the peace in the natural tranquil.
5. Don’t wear bright cloths:
Don’t wear bright cloths as your cloths would attract the wild animals and you may get into trouble. Don’t wear white or red, they are most attractive to wild animals.
6. Avoid wearing strong perfumes:
Avoid wearing strong perfumes as wild animals have a very strong sense of smell.
7. Do not litter:
Do not litter in the wildlife and spoil the beauty of the nature. It may be very harmful to the wild animals too. Carry a bag or a box to collect the thrash while on a safari and throw it away later after reaching your hotel.
8. Do not move:
When the animal is close to you or your vehicle, stay calm and still as movement may provoke then to attack on you.
9. Do not feed wild animals:
Do not feed wild animals, it may be dangerous to you.
10. Do not violate any rule:
Do not violate any rule while in the woods. You may have to pay a handsome punishment for violation of any rule or registration
11. Do not enter ant\y restricted area:
There would be some reasons why the forest department would have restricted the entry of tourists in a particular area and hence, it is very important to follow the instructions. Also, the guides are quite aware of the area, so, listen and respect what they say and instruct.
12. Don’t point or call out for animals:
Don’t point or call out for animals, it may scare the animals or might provoke then. The animals may either run away or attack you.
13. Do not smoke:
Smoking is strictly prohibited in the wildlife reserves
14. Don’t play loud music:
Don’t play loud music in or around the wildlife reserve. You are visiting their home and hence, be their good guests. Loud noise may disturb them. Also, you can listen to music anywhere but you would never get a chance to listen to the sweet singing of a variety of birds.
15. Don’t drive in the wilds post sunset:
It is very unsafe for the animals as well as for you to drive in the woods post sunset. There are specific timings to enter and exit the national park or a wildlife reserve. Be on time at both times, when you enter or exit the wildlife reserve’s gate
16. Firearms are not allowed:
You are visiting the national park to see the animals as well as observe the wildlife and nature around you and not for hunting. So, do not carry firearms inside the wildlife reserve.
17. Don’t lure the animals:
Don’t lure the animals by throwing stones or other things. Wild animals are shy and always hide when they see human beings.
18. Do not speed your vehicle in the woods:
Do not speed your vehicle in the woods or ask your driver too as there are strict instructions to drive the vehicle at a particular speed as per the guidelines.
19. Do not collect objects:
Do not collect objects like stones, plants, feathers, etc. from the wild. Let them be at the place where they belong.
20. Don’t carry pets in the wild:
Don’t carry pets in the wild. They may turn into a prey for the wild animals.
Things you should do - Dos:
1. Respect the wildlife:
Nature is the biggest gift we have got. So, respect the nature and its wildlife and take steps to preserve it.
2. Respect your safari driver and guide:
They know the rules and they are trained to drive in a particular way in the woods. Respect them and respect what they say. Don’t ask your guide or driver to do something that’s illegal and put them in an uncomfortable position.
3. Follow safari etiquettes:
Follow safari etiquettes and follow the rules ad instructions that your safari would brief you in the beginning of the safari or during the safari.
4. Wear clothes that blend with the nature:
Wear clothes that blend with the nature like green, blown, olive green, brown, ark green, khaki etc. while going on the wildlife safari. This would not frighten or attract wild animals.
5. Carry and apply mesquite repellent:
This will help keeping mosquito and other insects away from biting you.
6. Stay hydrated:
Drink a lot of water and carry some energy drinks while you drift in the wildlife under the hot sun. you may not realise but the sun dehydrates a lot. The hotel you are staying at can also arrange water bottles to take along on your safari.
7. Wake up early:
Wake up early and be on time for your morning safari. Early morning is the best time for maximum as well as it is less hot during the morning hours.
8. Carry enough cash:
Carry enough cash to buy souvenirs and other objects from the shops near the entry gates. Those shops might not have card swiping machines and no ATM nearby, so, carrying extra cash would help.
9. Carry sunscreen:
Carry sunscreen as the sun would be shining bright and hot over your head and might not want to burn your beautiful skin.
10. Take permission:
Take permissions and all other required formalities to enter the reserve quite well in advance. Sometimes, it is also important to book the safari in advance to avoid the last-minute hassle and miss the most memorable sightings.
11. Get an authorised guide and safari driver:
Get an authorised guide and safari driver to take you around the woods and help you spot some unique and rare species of the wild.
12. Drive Slow:
Drive slow and at the permitted speed while in the wood. You never know who would cross your way.
13. Maintain silence:
Maintain silence, don’t talk loudly or make loud noises. You are someone else’s home and let’s not disturb their peace.
14. Give way to the wild animals:
Give way to the wild animals while you are driving. You are at their home and they don’t really understand the difference between the roads made for the vehicles and the other rough terrains. Sometimes you may get the best sighting of the lion or the tiger or any rare species walking on the road.
15. Entry and exit timings of the national park:
Enter and exit the national park at the allowable time. The Forest Department is quite strict about these timings.
16. Gear up your gadgets:
Gear up your gadgets and be prepared to capture some best memories for a lifetime. Get your batteries charged, make enough space in your memory card, get your camera well protected and gear yourself too. Whether it is a photograph or a video, be prepared to shoot anytime anywhere while you are on the safari.
One important thing, don’t forget to permission to take cameras inside the National Park. Permit is important. If the any specific area restricts the use of camera, do not click pictures. Take permission of the safari guide before you click whenever required. Otherwise, you are free to capture the amazing sights with your camera to make memories for a lifetime.
17. Take steps to educate others:
Take steps to educate other travellers and wildlife enthusiasts about the dos and don’ts while you are in the wildlife reserve or a national park. This would help you as well as others to become a responsible traveller.
18. Help the Forest Department:
Help the Forest Department and the NGOs working for the conservation of the National Parks and the wildlife in any manner possible. You may work as a volunteer in some or the other way as well as participate in activities which are conducted to raise funds. Appreciate ad respect the hard work these people are doing to preserve the nature in their smallest possible way.
May be there would be more ‘don’ts’ than ‘dos’ for a wildlife safari. But these ‘don’ts’ are very important to follow and so are the ‘dos’.
Be a responsible traveller, appreciate and respect nature, follow rules and instructions, explore, spend some peaceful time in the nature’s lap, take steps to preserve nature in any way you can and come back home with the best and everlasting memories for a lifetime.