The Safari Code
East Africa is the uncontested ‘Safari Capital of the World', and has been since the 1900's when royalty, aristocracy, politicians and movie stars flocked here to hunt the ‘Big Five' (lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant and leopard). The word ‘Safari' actually means ‘to travel' and can refer to any journey or trip. When in either a park or a reserve, visitors should observe the following code:
- Respect the privacy of the wildlife, this is their habitat.
- Beware of the animals - they are wild and can be unpredictable.
- Don't crowd the animals or make sudden noises or movements.
- Don't feed the animals - it upsets their diet and leads to human dependence.
- Keep quiet - noise disturbs the wildlife and may antagonize your fellow visitors.
- Stay in your vehicle at all times, except at designated picnic or walking areas.
- Keep below the maximum speed limit (40 kph/25mph).
- Never drive off-road -this severely damages the habitat.
- When viewing wildlife keep to a minimum distance of 20m and pull to the side of the road so as to allow others to pass.
- Leave no litter and never light fires or discard burning objects.
- Respect the cultural heritage of Tanzania - never take pictures of the local people or their habitat without asking their permission, respect the cultural traditions of Tanzania and always dress with decorum.
- Observe the rules: leave the park by dusk; never drive at night in a national park.
- An informed safari is an enhanced safari; carry guidebooks (about the park, wildlife, birds and flora) and binoculars.
- Always travel with plenty of water, wear sensible shoes in case you have to walk, carry a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
- The best time for wildlife viewing is 6.30am- 9.30 am and 3.30pm-6.30pm; this is due to the fact that most of the animals retire to the shade to rest during the middle (hottest) part of the day.
- For best viewing, the trick is not to look AT the bush but THROUGH it. Focus your eyes at mid-range distance, look under bushes and into the shadows, and watch out for those subtle changes in colour and continuity that may indicate the presence of wildlife.