Getting Close to Animals on Safari: How Close is Safe


You probably have seen wild animals in a film. But going on a safari will give you a closer view of the wildlife. A safari gives you an amazing and unique experience. The issue is about getting close to animals on safari: how close is safe? This post addresses this concern.

Getting close to animals on safari: how close is safe?

What can happen if we get too close to wild animals? There are three main risks of getting too close to them.

  • Physical injuries

Wild animals are wild. They live in a natural setting. They are not domesticated. This means that they can exhibit behaviors that are not controlled. They are not predictable. Anything unusual can scare them. Your smell or unusual sound is going to scare them. What happens when you scare them? They can run away. They can also charge. For example, elephants may run at you and trample you using their tusks. You end up with physical injuries.

  • Death

Wild animals can attack you to death. They get angry just like humans. For example, an elephant may be mad for various reasons. He may have had a bad interaction with a human. He could be hungry. He could be just stressed. What would happen if you get too close to such a male elephant? He will be very aggressive. He can easily kill you. He will use his tusks to ensure that you are not breathing.

  • Diseases

A wild animal can have a deadly disease to humans. On several occasions, humans have acquired diseases such as rabies. You can get such diseases by touching a sick animal.

Our main concern is; Getting close to animals on safari: how close is safe? Based on the risks identified above, how close is safe? Well, one thing is for sure, too close is not safe. It is important to give wild animals space. Some people recommend staying about 20 meters away or 90 meters from predators. But there is no clear rule. Just ensure that you are always not too close.

Is it safe to travel to Africa for a safari?

You may ask, is it safe to travel to Africa for a safari? This is a genuine question. Looking at the risks involved, one may be afraid to go on a safari. But you don’t have to worry about your safari safety. Various measures are taken to ensure that you are safe.

There are trained rangers whose job is to protect the animals and you. They always patrol tourist destinations. For example, they patrol national reserves and parks. You are also accompanied by trained guides.

Do safari guides carry guns? This is a common question among tourists. Some of the guides are armed. But the gun is to be used as a last resort. They are rarely used. Safari guides know how to ensure safety without putting you and the animals at any risk.

So, can we say that it is safe to travel to Africa for a safari? Well, yes, we can. But there are some things that you must do to ensure that you are safe.

How to stay safe on safari

Let’s look at how to stay safe on safari.

  • Stay far from the animals

We go on a safari to spot the Big 5 and other wild animals. When we spot them, we want to get closer! We want to touch them if possible. But this is a dangerous wish. As we have seen, it puts our lives at risk. It can also be harmful to animals. To reduce these risks, ensure that you are not too close to the animals. Most importantly, avoid the following animals;

  • Bulls such as male elephants during the musth period. This time the level of testosterone is high. They tend to be very aggressive. They are almost ready to attack.
  • Females protecting their babies. They tend to be very protective. They can easily attack.
  • Lone wild animals. They are easily provoked.
  • Hungry animals. Just watch them from a distance.

Getting close to animals on safari: how close is safe? We have said, too close is not safe. If you see animals reacting, you are too close. If you can take a selfie, you may be too close. Give them some more space. Move back and watch them from afar. This is the only way to ensure your safari safety.

  • Do not disturb wildlife

Not getting close to animals on a safari is not enough. You should not disturb them. Just leave wildlife alone. Don’t sneak up on them. You don’t want to scare them. They may charge at you.

  • Stay in your vehicle

Always ensure that you are in your vehicle. You can only go out in designated areas. Safari guides know where you are safe. Always follow their instructions.

  • Don’t feed wild animals

We would love to feed wildlife. But it is dangerous. More wild animals may come looking for more food. They can become aggressive toward you. This puts you at risk of injuries.

  • Keep your voice down

When close to animals, ensure that your voice is down. Loud voices may scare them. You don’t want them to become aggressive in defense.

Getting close to animals on safari: how close is safe? This is a common question for tourists. We say, don’t get too close to animals on safari. It puts you and the animals at risk. Feel free to reach out for more about African safari safety.