Wildlife viewing in the African bush is the best family holiday of a lifetime. We have collected some great tips on how to get the best wildlife viewing in the African bush. We hope that the following tips will help you on your next wildlife viewing experience.
Gather local information hand-outs and maps
Pick up local guides & maps, available mainly at the national park entrances- they often contain a wealth of information and can give you a feel for the environment and what you can expect to observe in that particular wildlife reserve.
Follow the rules of the Reserve
Make sure that you familiarize yourself with rules of whichever reserve you’re visiting. Those rules have been placed in order to protect you and the animals in the reserve. In order to have the best memorable experience in Southern Africa safaris, you must obey the rules.Here are some the rules that you may come across in many reserves in:
- Do not feed the animals. It only makes them dependent on humans for food. They often become aggressive and may need to be euthanized
- Stay in your vehicle. Only get out at designated spots (e.g. picnic sites) or when your guide says it’s safe to do so
- Keep your distance. Wild animals are unpredictable
- Do not litter. Our wildlife reserves are pristine wilderness areas- a priceless heritage. Leave only footprints (where you’re permitted to) and take only memories
- Obey the speed limit: driving at the recommended speed limit prevents needless road kills and vastly improves your chances of spotting wildlife and interesting birds, vegetation, insects and the myriad bush creatures
Be quiet and listen carefully
A safari is often a life-changing experience. At one with nature, away from stresses and strains of city life and work concerns, you’ll be rewarded with a new perspective. Take time to enjoy the quietness, the sounds, the sights and smells of the wild. Most animals will see, hear or smell you long before you are aware of their presence. They observe you and, depending on how far away you are and how you act, they decide to stay, protect themselves or run away- so keep talking to a minimum and use hand signals whenever you can. Step lightly and turn off your cell phone.
Listen to the guides and rangers
The guides and rangers have more knowledge about wildlife and nature. They are more experienced in the local surroundings and understand the behaviour of the animals. If they advise you to be quite or stand still- please make sure you obey them because they know that your safety is important and they want to keep you from harm at all times. With an experienced local guide you can see more wildlife and at the same time learn more about the lives of the creatures you perceive.
Keep your distance
Find a good spot and be prepared to wait. Sometimes you will see more by sitting quietly for a while and just wait for an animal to come in front of you. Waiting sometimes may sound like a boring thing to do, but waiting in nature is often both relaxing and rewarding than you expect.
Timing is very important- be there at the right time of the day
Pay special attention to information about the right seasons to visit the wildlife and the bush. Each season offers unique and special. For example, the dry season is better for game viewing generally as the bush is dry and animals are more likely to stay close to shrinking water sources but after the first rains when the bush once again wears its bright greens and many animals are giving birth, it’s a time of renewal and excitement.