Jungle Safari Dos and Don’ts: Your Ultimate Guide to an Unforgettable Adventure
I had been watching pictures of wild animals posted by my friends from different parts of the world and always wondered if I would enjoy watching the animal kingdom in its natural habitat. When I went on a week-long wildlife trip to Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, I was a bit apprehensive.
I was pushed by my friends, both offline & online, to look for the most ‘wanted’ animal on such Safaris, a tiger; to go for bird watching or to do this activity or that.
I tried to explain to them. It’s not in my hand to control the movements of inhabitants of the forest. It is a whole different world out there. This was almost my first trip to the wildlife and though I knew how to deal with it, I had no idea what to expect there in the jungle.
Can you really isolate one and just look for a particular other? Can you ask a monkey not to jump from one tree to another while you aim to shoot a Black Drongo half hidden in the same branch? Can you request a leopard to come closer so that you can have a better look at his spots? How can you ignore a Sambhar deer looking at you curiously when your eyes search for a tiger?
These things are not in our hands.
But there are certain other things which we can and should control.
Jungle Safari Dos and Don’ts: Game of Patience
Game of patience- It’s a game of patience out there in jungle. It tests your limits. You have to wait for hours to get a glimpse of a particular animal. If you do not have it, you’d probably be spending your valuable time elsewhere. We waited for more than two hours in our jeep before we could spot a tiger. Let me claim here … I was extremely fortunate to see it on my first day itself. I know of people who have done 6-7 safaris without any success.
Jungle Safari Dos and Don’ts: Not a Zoo
Not a Zoo- Wildlife reserve is not a zoo where you can find all animals and birds lined together waiting for you for a photo shoot. It is open and it is their natural habitat. Do not, in any way, get disappointed or curse your guide, naturalist for not showing a tiger to you. Don’t force them; it’s not in their hands too. If you are lucky, you’ll definitely spot one. If that is all you want to see, you are not made for the wildlife.
Jungle Safari Dos and Don’ts: Dress Code
Dress code- In order to not to disturb the animals, you should try to blend with your surroundings in the wild. It is always suggested to wear dark earthen colors like brown, green, beige, black etc. Refrain from wearing red, pink and whites. Also, avoid using perfumes. You are going into a jungle, not to a party! Animals do not appreciate brands like Chanel, Armani etc & may get agitated. 😛
Also Read: Reasons to Fall in Love with Kuno National Park
Jungle Safari Dos and Don’ts: Not a picnic place
Not a picnic place – Jungle is not a picnic place. I saw our naturalist stopping the vehicle the moment he noticed a small shining candy wrapper, chips bag or a plastic bottle anywhere. The people out there (staff of forest dept, guides & naturalists), are really taking care of the wildlife. Do not make life difficult for them. There are specific meal zones marked for eating purpose and your driver will definitely take you there during breaks. You can eat & refreshen yourself then.
Much more than a tiger- Wildlife is not only about a tiger. Enjoy the forest and its sounds, feel the ambience rather than chasing that elusive wild cat. We saw two tigers on the first day itself, we could have moved on to next destination. But we continued to go to the same jungle for next few days to see & enjoy the other species of fauna. We saw Sambhar deer, barking deer, Indian Gaur or the Indian Bison, wild boars, elephant, monkeys, snakes, spotted deer and so many varieties of birds.
Jungle Safari Dos and Don’ts: Silence is the Key
Keep silence- In the silence, we can hear the whispers of our soul. I saw people coming in large groups with infants, toddlers and young children who were still asleep in their parents’ laps. How on earth can you, as a parent, torture your kid to wake up at 4:30 AM in winters to visit a jungle ? Of course, there are exceptions, but the majority of them will not like sitting in one place without any interesting thing happening.
On one occasion, when occupants of a jeep were waiting patiently, a child got off the vehicle & started walking in the jungle (Getting off the vehicle is strictly prohibited). The driver got down hurriedly to bring him back, by then another child honked the horn !! And then the youngest one, who was fast asleep, started crying in full volume. 🙂
While we are talking of silence, switch off the mobile phones please.
Do you have any other points to take care of?
Please write in comments and I’ll add to the post.
FAQs on Jungle Safari
What clothing should I wear on a jungle safari?
You should wear dark earthen colors like brown, green, beige, black etc. Avoid wearing red, pink, white etc. You can also wear camouflaged clothes. This is the first point to take care about, for dos and don’ts of jungle safari.
Are night safaris safe for tourists?
Night safaris are very safe. Your guide will not take you anywhere where there is a chance of danger, irrespective of day or night.
What photography gear is recommended for jungle safaris?
Serious photographers will take extra lenses with their cameras with multiple setting options to get the perfect safari photo on any wildlife tour. Mirror-less cameras are the best at present. The novice people need not buy an expensive camera just for one trip, they can carry whatever they have.
What is the best time to do jungle safari?
Different national parks have different time zones. For example, from October through June, is the best climate for tiger safari at Kanha National park while October to February is considered the ideal time for Bandipur National Park for animal sighting. Before booking your wildlife trip, kindly find out the best and ideal time to visit it. Similarly, Kenya, Tanzania and other places will have different ideal times for animal sightings.
How can I ensure wildlife safety during a jungle expedition?
Keep calm and slowly move away from the animal, but do not turn your back on it. If the animal charges upon you, stand your ground and make loud noises to intimidate it. Avoid sudden movements and maintain a safe distance from the animals. This is one of the rules of jungle.
Are there budget-friendly jungle safari options?
Yes. In India and abroad there are plenty of budget friendly options for wildlife safaris. You may also want to book your stay separately from the safaris to suit your budget.
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You can see more photos of this trip on my Facebook page.