Game Drive Etiquette
Know what to do (and what not) when out spotting game. Follow these guidelines and you’ll have a magical experience
All too often, accidents occur in game reserves that could have been easily avoided if visitors followed simple rules and etiquette. Drivers have to be extra vigilant and cautious in these areas, as animals can run across the roads or behave erratically. Drivers are often too distracted searching the horizon for a sign of movement to notice creatures popping out in front of the bonnet.
›› The number-one rule: stay in your vehicle at all times, unless you’re at designated picnic spots, viewing sites or rest camps.
›› Stick to the speed limit. You’re far more likely to spot animals when you take it slowly.
›› Look out for animals on, or crossing, roads. Reptiles often seek warmth on the tar and are well camouflaged, making them easy targets. There are no fences surrounding the road, so animals are free to walk in and across. And they always have right of way.
›› Never attempt to attract an animal’s attention. Don’t imitate animal sounds, clap your hands or loudly pound the vehicle.
›› Don’t litter. Aside from looking unsightly, it can choke or poison animals.
›› Never stray from roads or demarcated paths.
›› Never feed wild animals. Be especially cautious around monkeys and baboons; keep your windows closed and doors locked when viewing them, as they have been known to rush at cars and jump inside.
›› Enter bird hides quietly to avoid disturbing animals others may be watching. The same applies at watering holes. The animals are at their most vulnerable and therefore alert when drinking, so even slight movement or sounds could scare them off.
At a sighting
When you spot wildlife, pull your car over to the side of the road closest to