A Kenyan safari is a bucket-list experience, but it’s a serious undertaking that should be approached with care and caution. If you are planning to visit Kenya and its untamed landscapes, be sure to keep the following safari tips in mind.
1. Don’t Leave the Vehicle
While that sleeping lion might seem yards and yards away, don’t attempt to get a good close-up by leaving the safety of your vehicle. You would be risking your life. Maintaining a healthy respect for these beasts may be the only thing that prevents you from becoming a snack on the savanna.
2. Don’t Shoot Unless it’s with a Camera
No magnificent creature should be fodder for trophy hunters. Sport hunting was banned in Kenya back in 1977, but wealthy tourists sometimes get around the red tape. Don’t be that douchebag. Photo safaris are the way to go.
3. Don’t Forget the Meds
All Kenyan game parks are in the malaria zone. Medications are not 100% effective, so you should use insect repellent and sleep under nets for a mosquito-free setting. Don’t take chances with mosquitoes. No animal kills more humans than this tiny buzzing beast.
4. Don’t Visit Garissa County
Kenya has gotten ugly recently. Atrocities aren’t necessarily directed at safari tourists, but nobody wants to get caught in the crossfire. Do your research before booking a trip to the hot zones.
5. Don’t Facebook
Selfies and wild animals do not mix. You don’t really want to spend your safari adventure staring at a cell phone screen, do you? Be present for every wondrous moment.
6. Don’t Smoke in Public
Since 2008, you’re not legally permitted to smoke in restaurants, shopping malls,theaters, hotel lobbies and grounds, even in rural lodges. You can be fined 50,000 to three million Kenya shillings or face six months to three years imprisonment.
7. Don’t Offend the Locals
You can expect to encounter customs and practices that are completely foreign to you. Do your best not to grimace or complain to the locals about their customs, lifestyle or the foods they eat. Embrace the opportunity to open your mind to cultural differences.
8. Don’t Litter
Don’t toss your used Kleenex out the car window. The wilderness tends to be a sacred place for your guides so don’t offend them. Be respectful and always bring your litter back to camp with you to dispose of it appropriately.
9. Don’t Throw Food to the Animals
You should not offer food to any animals. It’s not good for any of the animals on the safari to learn to equate food with humans. Even though you just want to be friendly and connect with them, keep your food to yourself.
10. Don’t Take the Experience for Granted
By maintaining your sense of awe, you’ll get more out of your vacation, becoming one of the most amazing travel experiences of your lifetime. While you might be sweaty and miss the comforts of home, don’t lose your sense of wonder while traveling in Kenya.
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