Going on a Safari
Although there are positive aspects to safari tourism, namely economic impulse, as well as increasing awareness of the importance of preserving flora and fauna, there are certainly negative impacts present as well. First of all, safari jeeps do not always stay on the trails, which creates erosion and disturbs animals. What often happens is that many tourists go to the same areas, therefore the so-called game parks are increasingly becoming something like a zoo or theme park. Spreading out tourism, in order to reduce the burden on nature is therefore essential. By encouraging tourists to come in the off-season and also to visit the lesser-known, but no less special, parks, dispersion can be achieved. As a result, other areas can also benefit economically from tourism and the pressure on the popular game parks becomes less severe.
Too little local tour operators and suppliers are aware that, in order to sell a ‘nature based’ or ‘wildlife’ product, they benefit from conservation and management. But there are still tour operators who use the natural environment to make a profit in the short term. On the other hand, fortunately, there are also local tour operators and suppliers who do contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and the natural environment in which they carry out their activities.
Not only the involvement of tourists in the conservation of nature is important, but so is the role of the local population. Locals should be able to earn from nature conservation. Otherwise, there is no strong motive to protect nature and animals. Involvement of the local population in planning and developing tourism in their region is vital in order to be able to protect nature reserves. In the wild, animals should be able to behave naturally, without disturbance or intervention. If they cannot exhibit this natural behavior, it can have severe consequences.
When planning on doing a safari, please take the following aspects into consideration:
- Keep your distance, by staying at least 20 metres away from the animals.
- Never feed the animals (they live in the wild and should not become dependent on humans) and do not take anything from the parks or throw anything away.
- Staying on the paths with the safari jeep is also essential, otherwise small animals can be killed and habitat destruction occurs.
- When it comes to organising approach, you might want to consider staying at ecolodges that take care of the environment and give their guests the opportunity to visit community projects, as well as visiting projects set up by locals.