Safety. It’s one of the first things on everyone’s minds when travelling internationally, and particularly when going on safari in Africa and being surrounded by wilderness and wildlife. Thankfully, the Africa we know is considerably safer and more hospitable to visitors than the rest of the world might realise – as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. To help keep you safe and at ease on your trip, here is a brief list of our top Africa travel safety tips: Game Drive Safety Staying safe on your African safari is easy enough if you obey the following: Follow all instructions given by your guide or game ranger. (This is a MUST at all times on your trip.) Don’t stand up in open 4WD game drive vehicles – not only could this attract unwanted attention from wildlife, your vehicle might move off without warning! Avoid making loud noises when at a sighting, as animals may react defensively – and a defensive elephant is better avoided. Abstain from trying to attract the attention of the wildlife. (They should have your attention, but it is preferable to avoid theirs.) Keep your hands inside the vehicle (as some of the vegetation that you will pass on game drives has very unforgiving thorns). The best way to react to encounters with wildlife is to stay still, quiet and calm. (As our friend, Peter Allison, advises, “Whatever you do, don’t run. Food runs!”) Avoid meeting an animal’s gaze directly – this is generally thought to be a combative threat. Clothing and Cash Depending on your destination, we always provide advice on what to wear and what to carry on your person. Take this advice seriously as local cultural and social sensitivities can affect your safety. Do not visibly show expensive watches or jewellery, as these can make you a target to prospective thieves. Never carry large amounts of cash on your person when shopping or walking in public areas. Leave valuables in the hotel or lodge safe. Travel Insurance Despite all of our preparations, sometimes things can happen on safari that are beyond anyone’s control. Accidents sometimes happen, and illness can befall us anywhere. Additionally, the remoteness of some of our safari locations can make it hard to access medical assistance without the proper protections. We therefore thoroughly recommend comprehensive travel insurance (including medical evacuations) as an essential requirement for all of our travellers. Self-Driving Should you self-drive on your African holiday? The answer is, it depends on where you are, and we will make recommendations based on your location. For instance, we do not recommend self-driving in cities such as Johannesburg or Nairobi. Doing so can be intimidating, and it’s easy to get lost or end up in dangerous places. However, Cape Town, for example, is a little different, as it is an easy city to navigate. The Garden Route is also a great self-drive destination. If you opt for self-driving, always have satellite navigation. Keep within the law and road rules and you will have no problems. You’re Never On Your Own Of course, wherever you go on safari with us, you are always assured of safe transfers with our VIP transit. We know that Africa can be a confronting place for the inexperienced visitor – that’s why we take your safety personally in hand by meeting you at every stage and connection of your journey, whether at a busy airport or in remote wilderness, ensuring you are never “on your own”. As a final word, always stay aware of the recommendations on the Australian Smart Traveller website when it comes to international travel. Also, take a look at our more detailed guide to Africa travel safety for more information and tips. Are you looking for a safe, enjoyable safari tour that’s suitable for families, including children and/or seniors? Contact us to discuss one of our personalised safari itineraries. We’ll take you to a destination that’s perfect for you and your group, with an experience you’ll be sure to remember for a lifetime.