A safari in South Africa is without doubt a dream holiday come true for many. Sadly, this dream is occasionally ruined by events that lead to personal injuries. Here are a few tips on how to avoid sustaining accidental injuries on safari in South Africa.
Lions and elephants, hippos, buffalo and many other animals you are likely to come across on South African safaris can be extremely dangerous. Poisonous snakes may also be encountered, although this tends to be rare. Various insects, scorpions and spiders can also be dangerous, but as a rule, bites and stings are comparatively rare. In some areas, even other humans are likely to cause injuries. Then, of course, there is the ever-present risk of sustaining injuries by slips, trips and falls.
All wildlife reserves have specific sets of rules visitors must follow in order to avoid accidents on holiday. Tour operators will minimise the risk to visitors by only operating in safe areas, informing visitors of reserve rules and giving safety talks before taking groups or individuals out to have the experience of a lifetime. It is imperative to follow instructions and heed the advice of guides in order to prevent being hurt on safari.
For those travelling independently, here are a few basic rules you should know before embarking on your South African adventure:
- Keep informed about local news
- Enquire about unsafe areas, behaviour and dress codes – your hotel will be happy to provide relevant information
- Never carry valuables openly, but keep them close, in buttoned-down pockets, where possible
- Never leave hand luggage or cameras unattended
- Keep photocopies of traveller’s cheques and your passport in a safe place away from the originals and never carry large amounts of cash
In terms of wildlife encounters, make sure you:
- Stay inside your vehicle
- Maintain a safe distance between you and wild animals (in particular with elephants)
- When walking in the bush, wear trousers, socks and boots to prevent injuries by snakes, ticks, scorpions, etc.
- Always watch your step, this not only helps to prevent unfortunate encounters with animals, but will also prevent injuries by tripping or slipping
- Never swim in rivers populated by crocodiles and hippos
- Never tease, corner or attempt to feed wild animals
Dealing with mishaps
Should you be injured on a safari in South Africa by slipping, falling or tripping or because someone else made a mistake leading to an accident, you could be entitled to travel injury compensation.
Call Accident Advice Helpline’s Freephone number, 0800 689 0500, for more information on claiming for compensation.
Date Published: July 22, 2015
Author: Accident Advice