Check that your chosen project has appropriate health and safety procedures
in place for both care and rehabilitative and research-driven trips.
It's not just you that needs protecting from the elements - your camera does too
. Pack plastic bags to wrap it in when in your bag, and use a protective filter and a lens hood to avoid it getting mucky. Keep the lens cap on when not in use.
Do what your guide says
– it goes without saying really, as these are wild animals, and not to be cuddled or cooed over. And you may be desperate to get a photo, but trust us. Or, more importantly, trust your guide. Watching animals in the wild is one place where the customer is NOT always right.
Do not touch the wild animals unless instructed
. Ever. A responsible tour operator will never allow this anyway, and so if you are ever invited to ‘pet’ or ‘walk with’ a wild animal, you must report it. It is not safe, and nor is it good for the wild animal. We carry diseases and bacteria that are very harmful to them.
Don’t use flash photography with wildlife
as it can disturb the animals, frighten them and make them react aggressively sometimes.
If you are lucky enough to combine your wildlife conservation vacation with a trip to the beach, some countries, such as Madagascar, rarely have lifeguards. So, take care and always seek out local information about rip tides and so on.
Always keep noise to a minimum when working with wildlife
. It can be difficult, as everyone gets excited when they spot something, but do try and stick to this important rule. Disturbed wildlife may attack your vehicle if unduly startled.
Check the FCO website
for the latest safety advice for your destination.