Kruger National Park Safari

Important Dos and Don’ts During Your Kruger National Park Safari

The Kruger National Park is the home of prime safaris, and many people from all over the world visit this very special place every year. The point of going here is to enjoy the fauna and flora from the different regions of the park in a way that does not negatively affect the nature or the enjoyment of other people also visiting the park at the same time. All prime game reserves have rules and regulations, but sometimes there are some unwritten rules – let’s call it park etiquette – that allow people to enjoy the experience much more, and that prevent the natural order of the wild from being disturbed.

Adverse behaviour can cause all kinds of problems – from endangering personal safety to causing damage to the surrounding nature, so it is essential that everybody planning a safari in the Kruger National Park is aware of how to behave when visiting a nature reserve. While it may be extremely exciting to spot a leopard or rare animal on a game drive, screaming with enjoyment can disturb the animal and send it fleeing back into the bush, and then the experience is spoilt for everyone. Phones ringing loudly can have the same effect. Basic good behaviour is expected from everyone to maximise the enjoyment of the experience for everyone, so here we provide you with some of the basic rules to stick to when you go on a safari in the Kruger National Park.

  • Prepare before you go: If you are going in your own vehicle, ensure that you have all the basics in the vehicle, such as water, snacks, and clothing, in case the weather gets cool. When you are on a safari in the Kruger National Park, wear clothing that is comfortable – you don’t need to dress up (unless you are having a romantic dinner in one of the luxury lodges!). If you are going on game drives in open vehicles or on guided bush walks, stick to neutral colours and avoid bright colours. The point is to blend in, so that you are less likely to be spotted by animals. Remember to wear a hat and take a camera, binoculars, and of course, water. If you are planning to take pictures with your cellphone, ensure that the sound is switched off or you may miss some great sightings.
  • Know the rules: When entering the gate to start your safari, you will be given a set of rules that are specifically designed to prevent damage or injury to people, the environment, and the animals. One of the best things to keep in mind (if you are not residing at one of the rest camps or luxury lodges inside the park) is the closing and opening times of the gates. The opening times are set and cannot be changed, so those arriving late will incur fines. Also note that all the rest camps also have their own opening and closing times. This is to protect both people and animals.
  • Driving in game reserves: If you are doing a self-drive, there are strict rules. Firstly, be acutely aware of the speed limit and stick to it. When you see animals, don’t make a noise or block the road so that that others cannot pass. Do not stray off the park roads or follow obscure dirt tracks. You may get stuck or lost. Keep your windows closed as much as possible, especially when there are animals about. Keep your car doors locked. Avoid driving over any dung on the road – you may end up killing a whole group of dung beetles or other important insects! Keep your music in the vehicle on low volume, and never hoot your horn, except in an emergency. Never, ever leave your vehicle – even if it seems that there are no animals about!
  • Interactions with fauna and flora: During your safari in the Kruger National Park, you cannot, under any circumstances, interact or interfere with the animals. Don’t antagonise them by driving up too close, and be especially weary of getting too close to the bigger game species, like elephants. If you encounter these crossing the road, stop some distance away, and leave them to cross the road. If you are too close, you may even back away quietly to give them more space. Being too close may lead to them getting aggressive and storming your vehicle, and this is the last thing you want! Under no circumstances should you ever feed any animals, even if you are in a rest camp.
  • Extraordinary animal sightings: If you spot something well worth watching, like a lion kill, keep some distance away, and turn off your engine (especially if you have a diesel vehicle). When there are a few vehicles watching the same thing, ensure that there is a lot of space for the animals to leave. Never leave your vehicle or hang out of your window. Stay a while, enjoy the sighting, and then move on for others to also get a turn. Be polite – if you see other people on the road, flash your headlights for them to stop, move close to their vehicle, and very quietly tell them (through your window) where they can encounter this particular sighting.

If you choose a Kruger National Park safari, you have to stick to the rules! And if you need to find a wonderful place to stay during your safari experience, contact Lukimbi Safari Lodge for the experience of a lifetime.