15 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid On Safari In Africa

15 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid On Safari In Africa

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Is that a lion in your tent? The odds are probably no, but safaris have a way of becoming more exciting than you ever imagined. Avoiding these common mistakes can give your safari just the right amount of adventure. Of course, that actually could be a lion in your tent…

Here are 15 common mistakes you should avoid on safari in Africa.

This article first appeared on AFKTravel.

Fish pie
Wikimedia Commons

1. Leaving Food Unattended

Nobody wants an animal to enter the camp. It’s certainly a safety issue, so remember to put those scraps away. Guides can help you properly dispose of meals and uneaten food should always be protected in approved containers.

walking safari luangwa

2. Avoiding Instructions From The Guide

Your guide is there to make sure the safari goes perfectly. Instructions are meant to help you and the group stay safe. If you did not hear or understand something, just ask. The guide will be happy to help.

VIDEO: Tanzania Safari
Vimeo / Luciano Bosticco

3. Trying To Approach Animals

Wild animals in their element are beautiful. Take time to watch them from a safe distance. They do not like to be approached and could react negatively due to a variety of issues including fright. Remember, if you are close enough to see them, chances are they are close enough to see you.

Travel Tip Of The Day: How To Take Good Safari Photos

4. Making Loud Noises

Any loud noises can attract the attention of animals and are probably a nuisance for your group. Watch the volume of your voice and keep any electronic sounds at an extremely low level. This includes cameras, which may make loud sounds when in use.

Travel Tip Of The Day: Packing Electronics For Travel
Courtesy of pixabay.com

5. Focusing On Electronics

Speaking of electronics, that smartphone is not really a necessary part of a safari — so put it away. Some camps may have the capability for TV, DVD and computer use, but they should only occur at the site. Never bring those items while surveying area wildlife.

Video: White Winter In South Africa
Photo courtesy of eNCA/YouTube

6. Confusing Seasons

Visitors often forget the season at their destination may not be like home while on a safari. If it’s winter where you are, it may be summer in Africa or vice versa. Knowing these details can help you pack accordingly — so ask your travel agent or planner at the time of booking.


7. Getting Out Of Vehicles

This should be easy to understand, yet so many visitors make this mistake. Stay inside the vehicle. Its safer for you, your guide, the group, and all the animals that call this area home. If you need to leave for an emergency or bathroom break, just talk to your guide.

Packed suitcase (Hans/pixabay)
Courtesy of (Hans/pixabay.com)

8. Packing Too Much

You know the trip will be long, but try to avoid the temptation to pack everything you own. Its not necessary, and you will be left with an unwanted hassle that could have been easily avoided. Make sure to pack only what you plan to wear each day.

Medicine In Blister Pack (Sprinno/Wikimedia Commons)
(Sprinno/Wikimedia Commons)

9. Forgetting Medications

Vaccines should be up to date, but remember all of your prescription medications. Pharmacies are not on this journey, so plan for the entire trip with additional supplies that include malaria medications.

Courtesy suerego.com
Courtesy suerego.com

10. Ignoring Local Customs And Traditions

You are a guest, so treat everyone during the encounter with respect. The African continent is full of fascinating and wonderful traditions. Understand that these customs or traditions may be different than your own, while others may be very familiar. It is recommended that travelers read up on the culture of their specific destination before they visit. This is a great starting point in creating a rapport with residents.

water bottle
Wikimedia Commons

11. Not Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration can cause a myriad of problems. Passing out and spending time in a local hospital is not what you had in mind, so keep bottled water on hand at all times. Make sure water has been filtered or comes from prepacked bottles distributed by a reputable source.

Crab Plover, Kenya (courtesy Kenya Birding Safari & Wildlife Photography Vacations/Facebook)
courtesy Kenya Birding Safari & Wildlife Photography Vacations/Facebook

12. Being Rude If You Do Not See Animals

Your guide wants you to view the best wildlife in Africa, but sometimes it’s just not possible. There will probably be other opportunities to see these beautiful creatures. Avoid being rude to your guide. It’s bad manners and shows a disrespect for everyone in the group.


13. Wearing Uncomfortable Clothing

Leave those high heels at home. Rely on comfortable walking shoes and clothing that is breathable. Look for pants and shirts that are easy to clean with fabric that resists stains. Colors should be basic with no bright or neon patterns.

Travel Tip Of The Day: Leave No Trace

14. Littering

It goes without saying, but don’t litter. Trash should be disposed of in designated bins or similar containers. Guides can also help you dispose of anything.

 (2bgr8/Wikimedia Commons)
(2bgr8/Wikimedia Commons)

15. Trying To Save Money By Cutting Corners

Resist the temptation to book an extremely cheap African safari. Most reputable travel agents will also steer you away from these deals. The reason is they may not include everything you need such as air fare. You may also encounter dangerous situations once at the destination.