By Jesse 29 May 2019

Safety Tips for you and your family while on safari

For any family going on safari, the issue of safety is always important. Here we offer some advice on the main concerns, and you should also be aware that a safari takes you into the habitat of wild animals, where there is always a degree of risk.

The first thing to mention is that we would not send you to any destination where we thought you might be exposed to any type of unnecessary danger. We always stay on top of the regular updates we receive from the UK Foreign Office, which provide information on all the countries where we operate safaris. If any major issues were to arise, due to political unrest, terrorist activity, natural disaster, or anything else, we would take steps to make you aware of them.

Our safaris do venture into the domain of large and potentially dangerous animals such as elephant, buffalo, rhino, and lion. Although accidents involving tourists are incredibly rare, they do occasionally happen. So all our travellers should remain vigilant, both within their safari camp and out on an activity.

Before you travel – vaccinations and sun protection

There are precautions you can take before travelling to Africa. For example, you can make sure you and your children’s vaccinations are up to date. If you prefer that your children don’t take malaria tablets, there are a few game reserves in South Africa that are malaria free. 

The sun is strong, and your family will be spending a lot of time outdoors. Pack high-factor sun cream and remember to re-apply when necessary. Pack hats with a wide brim and chin tie so you don’t lose them while on board a safari vehicle. Good-quality sunglasses are also essential. And make sure everyone knows that they must drink plenty of water!

Staying safe when out in Africa

When in Africa, always remember that you are stepping into the animals’ home and you are in their environment. The resident game has the right of way in every occasion regardless of the situation, which means you must always listen to your guide and camp manager/s – they’re familiar with all aspects of animal behaviour and they know what to do in the event of a close encounter.

Here are our top tips for when you’re in an environment with wild game:

  1. Always listen to the camp staff and follow their instructions on how to behave. After dinner, and sometimes in the early morning, you will be escorted to/from your tent or room by somebody who knows what to do if you encounter a wild animal. At night you should remain in your tent/room, with the doors closed.
  2. Listen to the guides at all times; do not ignore them. They are the professionals and they know what they are doing!
  3. Do not get out of the vehicle at any point without your guide’s consent.
  4. Don’t stand in the vehicle while it’s moving, or you could get seriously hurt!
  5. Do not try to feed the animals, as you will attract unwanted attention that may cause you to get injured or bitten!
  6. Keep your voice down, talk calmly and quietly, and don’t shout! If you make any loud noise, you might startle an animal and aggravate it.
  7. Never leave your kids unattended. Animals are known to take unattended children, so keep everyone close by.
  8. Take plenty of drinking water with you, as the African sun is deceptively strong! Take sun cream with you and protect your skin.
  9. Carry a small first aid kit with you. This item can come in very handy when you are out in the field and it’s a good back-up to have!
  10. Do not drink the tap water. Only drink fresh water that is bottled and supplied for you. Tap water is generally not filtered, so it’s safe to wash in but not to drink.
  11. Make sure you take anti-malaria pills before going on safari, as most safari destinations are malaria hotspots.
  12. Remember to put your phones onto silent at all times on safari. A digital sound can trigger an animal response.
  13. Be careful near water. There are many places where you can swim, but only allow your children to enter the water in areas given the all-clear from your guides or hosts. Crocodiles, hippos… need we say more?!
  14. Wear mosquito protection. The accommodation we use will always include mosquito nets over the beds and/or be mosquito proof. In the evenings and early mornings, make sure your kids wear clothing that protects their ankles, calves, wrists, and necks.

If you have any questions about a safari to Africa, don’t hesitate to contact our experts here! Alternatively, please take a look at our family-friendly inspiration and adventures below: