Africa’s Big Five: Staying safe on safari

Africa is a vast and diverse continent and it is rather appropriate that the famous ‘Big Five’ animals that inhabit the lands are themselves a real mix of size, colour and personality.

All five also pose significant safety risks and can turn an unforgettable adventure into a living nightmare through an accident on holiday or a travelling injury in the blink of an eye. Therefore you should be knowledgeable in staying safe.

What are Africa’s Big Five?

  1. African elephant: these generally peaceful animals are the largest land mammal in the world and can cause untold damage when threatened or startled.
  2. African lion: the king of them all. Though you are more likely to see one sleeping as opposed to hunting.
  3. African leopard: usually found overlooking their terrain from a tree. Thanks to excellent camouflage, they are rarely spotted until it is too late.
  4. African rhino: both black and white rhinos are native to Africa. Confusingly, both animals are actually grey in colour and, similar to the elephant, are relatively docile until threatened.
  5. Cape buffalo: animals of astonishing raw power, even the lions hunt in packs when dealing with buffalo.

It’s clear then, that as a general rule of thumb, to avoid making a travel accident compensation claim, it is best not to disturb or startle these magnificent animals. Instead, view them from a good distance in the interest of staying safe.

Of course, safari can be a thrilling adventure but is also risky, simply by its very nature. These animals are not pets, they are neither trained nor domesticated and will act on instinct rather than command.

How can I stay safe on safari?

There are numerous things you can do whilst on safari to minimise the chance of needing to claim for holiday accident compensation. For example, when on a game drive:

–  Always stay in the car. There will normally be designated ‘hides’ and these are the only places where you should even think about leaving your vehicle. It may sound obvious, but all too often injuries on holiday are caused by people wanting to get a closer look.

–  Don’t break the shape. Animals are normally used to the sight of a jeep but protruding arms and legs can lead to distress and a charge.

–  Drive slowly and drive carefully.

Avoid injuries while travelling by paying close attention to the instructions and advice of the guides. Should the worst happen and you suffer a holiday injury, Accident Advice Helpline can help with your holiday accident claim. Give us a call on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.

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