Planning a self-drive Safari? Remember to Arrive Alive


Videos of people enjoying a safari drive are usually intriguing to watch, but these safari rides are not always as peaceful as nature, much like accidents are unpredictable.

Arrive Alive has gathered a few interesting points to take note of if you are planning on spending some time in the wild.

“It should be kept in mind that there is always a certain degree of danger when you are in the bush with wild animals. Game safaris are, however, overall exceptionally safe. Accidents are infrequent and most game reserves and ranches have excellent safety records. Practical thinking, common sense, and preparation will offer a risk-free and memorable journey. We are aware that a safari in Southern Africa would be that much more enjoyable if you have peace of mind regarding the safety of you, your family, and loved ones,” Arrive Alive said.

It is important to prioritise your safety at all times when you are on a safari.

Safe driving recommendations according to Arrive Alive: 

  • You should only travel in a vehicle that is well-serviced and roadworthy.
  • Prepare carefully – enquire from game rangers and management at the reserve about the roads and whether your vehicle will be capable of travelling on these roads.
  • Do not “test” the capabilities of your vehicle and avoid driving where you cannot see the surface of the road.
  • Before you embark on your safari, inform others where you will be travelling and when you could be expected to return. [It is best to drive in a convoy!]
  • Remain on the paths at all times and do not leave them – you will not be aware of nasty surprises next to the roads. Be alert to varying road conditions, changes in a road surface, sharp corners, or crests that reduce visibility – adjust your speed accordingly.
  • Visibility is often reduced by the presence of encroaching roadside vegetation and sharp corners.
  • Patience needs to be demonstrated when sharing the road with other visitors and wildlife.
  • Speed needs to be reduced to the advised limits – remember this is a game drive – slow down and enjoy the view!
  • Drivers need to be aware of the impact of the changing weather on the road surface and surrounding environment and drive accordingly by reducing speed and using lights appropriately.
  • During winter, fog is a regular occurrence at dawn and at dusk which can obscure driver vision and will require even slower speeds.
  • On a self-drive – stay in your vehicle at all times – you will put yourself in danger if you get out of your car anywhere unless at a designated safe place.
  • Remember that even though you may have carefully scanned the area, animals are masters at remaining concealed – predators do it daily when stalking prey – do not risk becoming prey.
  • If you are close to an animal and observing it, take note of its behaviour – if it looks agitated in any way, makes mock runs at you, or stares and paces up and down, then move slowly off.
  • You should be safe within your vehicle as vehicle/animal incidents are very rare.
  • The only animal that can take you on in a vehicle is an elephant and they could be dealt with mostly by just holding your ground with the engine of the vehicle turned off.
  • Revving the engine or hooting is not a good idea as this might be seen as a challenge – a contest where the odds are not on your side!

Lastly, Arrive Alive advises travellers to listen and obey management and staff at the game reserve.

“You are not their first visitor – you are the person least aware of the dangers at the game reserve. They only wish to make your stay safe and enjoyable! You could enquire beforehand whether your guide is a professional and is properly qualified.”

Compiled by Gypseenia Lion