KhakiF

Safari Tourist Code of Behavior

16 posts in this topic

Inspired by Sniktawk’s posting entitled Safari Operators/ Lodge Owners and Accountability, I would like to ask… What if anything do you really know about safari tourism responsibility and one’s own accountability?

 

For some, a safari is merely another vacation; others want to be socially, economically and environmentally sensitive. We may not have control over the behavior of safari operators, lodge owners and political forces, but individually we can make some impact. Maybe we could influence some travelers by highlighting some key issues. So what would you add to the list entitled: “Safari Tourist Code of Behavior”?

 

Here are a few thoughts to get us started:

Maximize the wellfare of the animals you come to see

-Never feed wildlife as you will be signing their death warrant.

Learn about appropriate guide conduct and ask your driver guide to comply

Use water sparingly and prudently, it is a precious commodity in much of Africa

If you plan a cultural experience, become informed and prepared to interact in a culturally sensitive and respectful way.

 

Looking forward to everyone's coments.

-KhakiF

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say that's a very good start.

Thanks for posting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good hints. Lightening the collective load on the plane and using less fuel by making a pre-boarding stop in the loo is something I never thought of. But then there's the extra flush and TP use that might not have been needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn Posted Today, 08:58 PM

But then there's the extra flush and TP use that might not have been needed.

If you get to flush (rather than a simple squat hole) and TP, you're doing well, and I would not begrudge anyone those two amentities!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose we can generalise and a generalised list may have some benefit. But I think we really need to tailor our 'responsible tourist' list to the location of the safari. That will mean different things to different people depending on where they are going.

 

For example this item:

Use water sparingly and prudently, it is a precious commodity in much of Africa

probably has little relevance in some very well watered areas eg: Lower Zambezi, Bangwelu/Kasanka or Sumbu in Zambia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ZaminOz, I totally agree. It is near impossible to give pertinent advice unless you know someone’s specific itinerary; just too many variables (location, season, activities planned, type of accommodations, etc.). That said, I think the statement -Use water sparingly and prudently, it is a precious commodity in MUCH of Africa is a still true statement. Maybe I am misinformed, but I believe about 60% of Africa is either desert or dry plains areas. Even when water is readily available, it must be transported to camps, or heated for consumer use or laundry facilities - that all takes energy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember it's not your country!

It's their country!

Your only a visitor!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Treat everyone with respect (that goes for non-safari travels too) -- and chill out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inspired by Sniktawk’s posting entitled Safari Operators/ Lodge Owners and Accountability, I would like to ask… What if anything do you really know about safari tourism responsibility and one’s own accountability?

 

For some, a safari is merely another vacation; others want to be socially, economically and environmentally sensitive. We may not have control over the behavior of safari operators, lodge owners and political forces, but individually we can make some impact. Maybe we could influence some travelers by highlighting some key issues. So what would you add to the list entitled: “Safari Tourist Code of Behavior”?

 

Here are a few thoughts to get us started:

Maximize the wellfare of the animals you come to see

-Never feed wildlife as you will be signing their death warrant.

Learn about appropriate guide conduct and ask your driver guide to comply

Use water sparingly and prudently, it is a precious commodity in much of Africa

If you plan a cultural experience, become informed and prepared to interact in a culturally sensitive and respectful way.

 

Looking forward to everyone's coments.

-KhakiF

 

~ @@KhakiF

 

Smile often...from the heart!

Tom K.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a set of guidelines I wrote for a camp I used to work at in a private conservancy in Kenya:

Camp Client Safety and Experience
While you are on safari with us, we aim to maintain a high standard of safety while still providing lifelong memories of
great experiences and wildlife encounters.
- If you have any special medical conditions or needs, please make sure your guide is well-informed of this before you
set out on your first game-drive with him. Please also make sure you carry any special medication you may require
(inhalers, anti-histamines, etc).
- Please make sure you have appropriate clothing/equipment: warm clothing for early mornings/evenings, hats, sunscreen,
drinking water, binoculars, camera, etc.
- Please do not smoke in the vehicle – only at appropriate rest stops. Please dispose of cigarette butts in appropriate
receptacles rather than on the ground.
- Please be aware of low branches and do not extend your limbs out of the vehicle while it is in motion.
- Please let your guide know if you have any special interests. Are you a keen birder? Do you want to learn more
about local plants and their medicinal uses? Let your guide know so he knows what to focus on.
Conservancy Game Drive Guidelines.
- Please do not discard litter outside of the vehicle. Please either keep your litter with you until you return to
camp, or give it to your guide to dispose of when he gets a chance. Litter poses health problems to both humans
and wildlife. It has no place in a natural wildlife area.
- Please do not give sweets/candy to children you may encounter. Most rural children do not have any access to
dental services, and handing out sweets will only cause their teeth to rot. In high-density tourism areas like Masai
Mara, many of the children have developed irreversible tooth decay, and a generation is growing up with an increased
risk of developing diabetes.
- Keep a respectable distance from wildlife. All animals, like humans, have a comfort zone and different levels of
alertness relative to proximity. Ideally, wildlife should be aware of our presence, but not alarmed, afraid or aggressive
because of it. Please do not purposely try to alter the animal’s behaviour by throwing things or making
loud noises. Resting animals NEED their rest and recuperation. Alert, hunting animals NEED their full concentration.
- Care should be taken when viewing cubs. Hyena, leopard, lion, cheetah, and other predator cubs are all vulnerable,
especially when their mothers are not around. The presence of a vehicle may attract the attention of another
predator, putting the cubs at risk. Cubs should really only be viewed while their mother is present.
- Please be quiet and sensitive to wildlife and other guests. Please lower your voices when in the presence of wildlife.
Please feel free to ask your guide questions and discuss the sighting, but at a reasonable volume. This allows
the animal to continue its natural behavior as normal and also ensures that other guests in other vehicles can also
enjoy the sighting in peace. Please also make sure that mobile phones and other electronic devices are on
‘silent’ mode while on game drives.
- Avoid off-road driving. Although off-road driving is permitted in some areas, it should not be encouraged without
cause. During the wet season, it can cause permanent ruts in the soil and lead to major soil erosion. However, if
a good sighting presents itself far from the road, it is sometimes advantageous to be able to diverge away from
the road.
- Red Filters on Spotlights. This Conservancy requires that all night drives are conducted with red filters
covering spotlights so as not to cause temporary light-blindness in the wildlife.
- Please do not feed wildlife. This not only upsets their natural diet (and can harm them), it creates an unnatural
dependency on humans. In the specific case of monkeys/baboons, it also turns them into a real, sometimes dangerous,
nuisance to all other visitors to the area
- Please do not collect any flora, fauna, bones, or shells from the natural environment without a permit. Each
organism has its part to play in the ecosystem, and even abiotic factors like bones and rocks support more life and
ecosystem processes than we can quantify. Trafficking wildlife products without an appropriate license in Kenya
is also illegal.
- Please do not leave your vehicle. Please do not leave the vehicle at any time while on game-drives except with
the guide’s approval.
- Please do not ask your guide to break any conservancy rules or to push the bounds of what is ethical.
- Please report bad/unethical/dangerous behaviour to camp management. If you see another vehicle doing something
very dangerous or unethical, please let the camp management know.
13 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who'd have associated the Maasai and diabetes - Wow!!! didn't know that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@madaboutcheetah

The "sweets problem" at Sekenani is a real one. A dentist, Dr. Ray Damazo, set up a Maasai Dental Clinic years ago partially because he saw that so many young children and morans were losing their teeth to decay from eating so many sweets handed out by tourists along that very busy tourist section of road that leads into the park.

https://whdo-public.sharepoint.com

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent guidelines @@armchair bushman

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's an additional one that I might add:
- Tell your guide that you're not comfortable allowing cheetahs to climb onto your vehicle. Cheetahs can be injured if they fall off, they can fall into the vehicle causing a situation that is neither good for the cheetah, nor for you, the guest, and it breeds habituation to humans, which is never a good situation with predators.

9 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-49296-0-36775000-1439976654_thumb.png



~ This sign is one of several positioned around the Hong Kong Wetland Park.



It's a timely reminder to guests that birds are often keenly sensitive to what might seem like minor noises.



During game drives the chatter, squealing, yelling between vehicles and general hubbub detracts from an otherwise natural atmosphere.



An addition to a Safari Tourist Code of Behavior might be a reminder to keep conversation volume as low as possible.



The sounds of the savanna, whether breezes blowing through grass, bird songs, or the occasional sounds of mammals, are best appreciated if all visitors reduce their volume.



What was said in ‘Peter Pan’? “A little less noise, please.”



Birds, mammals and reptiles do have ears, which they use with remarkable skill.



Tom K.


3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.