Always check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website
for updated, regional issues regarding safety.
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
. 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.
If you are driving in Arctic
or bear watching regions, Look out for wildlife – in Finland, for example, collisions with deer are common
, and accidents caused by moose can result in serious injury, and even death.
In India, driving is terrifying. Get a driver
. Life’s too short.
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 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
Sometimes wildlife watching vacations have an adventure element thrown in. For adventure activities, make sure providers are experienced
, first aid experts, and that there are helmets and buoyancy aids available for water activities. Ask your tour operator is there is a national organisation supervising safety standards on the water. A responsible one will be switched on to this.
If you are gorilla watching, there is a specific set of rules laid down by the Ugandan and Rwandan governments which must be adhered to. Such as staying down low and acting submissive.
See our Gorilla Safari guide for more details >
Always keep noise to a minimum when wildlife watching
, including traditional safaris. 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.