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Zambian Baobab Tree

12 Rules When Visiting a National Park in Zambia

1. Do not get out of the vehicle

Wild animals can be dangerous, especially predators. You’re better off and safer staying in the vehicle and just viewing the animals through a pair of binoculars or using your camera. If you are on a game drive with a guide, they are likely to let you get out of the vehicle for a tea/drinks break, but these guides know the correct and safest spots to do so, so make sure to always listen to them and take their advice.

2. Do not litter

We try to keep the national parks in Zambia as clean and as natural as possible. You wouldn’t like someone leaving rubbish in your home, so treat the animals the same in their home. Keep your trash inside the vehicle until you return to your camp or lodge where you will find allocated bins to dispose of it.

3. Stay on the roads

There are reasons that there are specific roads to use in national parks. We are trying to conserve the natural bush as much as possible and creating new roads destroys the land and can also be hazardous if you’re unsure where you are going.

4. No loud noises

The wild animals in Zambia’s national park are in their natural habitats. Screaming, yelling and talking loudly can scare the animals away or it can cause danger to yourself if the animals feel threatened by the noise. The only noises that should be made by humans in the national parks are the game drive vehicle, the quiet voices of the guides and the clicking of cameras.

5. Lower your expectations

Coming to a Zambian national park, or any other wild place in Africa, creates some extremely high expectations to see copious amounts of game in a short period of time. However, this is not realistic because national parks are not zoos; the animals aren’t in the same place all the time. Therefore, it is important to lower your expectations in terms of game viewing and rather be patient and optimistic.

6. Tipping

Your guides that take you on game drives work really hard in order to give you the best game viewing experience. The lodge staff also do everything that they can to ensure your entire safari adventure in Zambia is one you will never forget. Therefore, it is advised to tip them each day. As a guideline, we recommend tipping your guide $25 per couple per day and another $25 to be shared amongst the lodge staff; so $50 per day.

7. Dress the part

What you wear on safari can really make a difference in your experience. You want to wear earth-toned colours so that you blend in with nature, as opposed to wearing bright colours that make you stand out. On the one hand, standing out can chase away the animals but on the other hand, it can be a danger hazard and the animals might see you as a threat.

8. Wake up early

One of the best times to view game, when either going on a game drive or a walking safari, is early in the morning. This is the perfect time of day to see animals still being active; when the sun comes up and the temperature is extremely hot, you’re less likely to see a lot of game because they’re resting in the shade to cool off.

9. Never feed the animals

We believe in nature running its course; feeding animal is prohibited in all national parks in Zambia. Feeding animals could be of huge danger to both you and the animals. Animals could get too close and therefore become a threat to you or the animals could eat something that isn’t part of their natural diet which could in turn harm them.

10. Don’t run

If for some unlikely reason you come face to face with a wild animal, be it a predator or a seemingly harmless animal, do not run. This could trigger the animal to chase you and you are not likely to get away unscathed. Rather stay still and then slowly move backwards. Never walk alone in the bush, even during the day; always have a guide with you for protection.

11. Don’t wash your hands in the water when on a boat

When you are out on the boat for a day trip or for fishing, it may seem tempting to wash your hands in the river water or to wet your shirt to cool off. However, this is a terrible and very dangerous idea. There are crocodiles everywhere and they can sneak up on you and attack. There is a general rule in Zambia: if there is water, there are crocodiles. So be careful.

12. Use a guide for a walking safari

Guides are there to provide you with information about the national parks and all their flora and fauna. They are also there to protect you from becoming a threat to wild animals and from wild animals becoming a threat to you. These guides have been through intensive training in order to know what to do in every situation in the bush so therefore it is important to listen to what they say; it could save your life.

If you have any questions or concerns about the rules to follow in a Zambian national park, do not hesitate to contact us on DMC@voyagerszambia.com

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