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Etiquette in the Wild
Safari Etiquette
Respect Wildlife
Marine Life Viewing Guidelines
Etiquette in the Wild

Child with Magnifying Lens


Photo by CCAfrica

Viewing wildlife in its natural habitat is a rewarding experience for both adults and kids. Yet curiosity and the quest for an exhilarating experience can easily lead to a situation in which the viewers or the wildlife are at risk. So whether you plan to spot bison in a North American national park, lions on an African safari, whales in a distant ocean or turtles on a sandy shore, brush up on your wildlife viewing etiquette and enhance your wildlife watching holidays.

Show Revere for Wildlife
The best way to prolong a wildlife watching experience is to avoid disturbing the birds and animals you are watching.
  • Approach wildlife slowly and maintain an appropriate distance.
  • Use binoculars and telephoto lenses to get a closer view.
  • Avoid flash photography.
  • Turn off headlights, car engines and alarms and cell phones.
  • Don't chase or corner wildlife whether on foot or in a motorized vehicle.
  • Don't touch, swim or feed wild animals and never goad them food.
  • Talk quietly; don't make loud noises or imitate animal sounds.
  • Sit still and move slowly; don't move your arms and legs about wildly or make sudden moves.
  • Leave your pets home.
Help Protect its Habitat
  • Keep to existing roads, trails, and footpaths.
  • Leave no trace; remove litter and waste.
  • Don't smoke; dry grass can easily ignite.
  • Take only photographs and memories with you; refrain from collecting or purchasing natural souvenirs, such as rocks, flowers and shells.
Respect the Rights of Others
In addition to understanding and following the rules set by your guide, a bit of common sense will ensure the wildlife tour is fun for everyone.
  • Ask before using someone else's equipment be it binoculars or a field guide.
  • Consideration works both ways; show consideration for members of your group that linger to take the perfect photograph and be thoughtful of your companions that wish to keep moving.
  • Be conscious of where you sit, stand and walk. Avoid blocking your neighbors picture or view and don't assume that you are the only person who likes to sit in the front seat; ask before getting in.
  • Don't block traffic, use pull-outs but avoid making new ones.
  • Respect boundaries even if the wildlife you are watching doesn't.

If you hire a guide or adventure travel company, be sure that they possess the requisite permits.

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