Kenya, a world-renowned destination, provides one of the best safari experiences in Africa. Safari is a Swahili word meaning a long journey and in this context it means a vacation. With a wide array of biodiversity and captivating landscapes, Kenya offers a great holiday experience. Generally speaking, holidays in Kenya are memorable, but you might not be aware of the mistakes you can easily commit during a safari. These mistakes can affect the sustainability of local tourism by adversely altering the natural environment. The 8 mistakes that you could be making while on safari are:
1. Feeding Wildlife
Feeding the wildlife, especially in parks and sanctuaries, can interfere with natural feeding habits and often leads to dependence on human beings for food.
2. Driving off-road
This implies driving outside designated tracks for vehicles. Driving off-road damages vegetation and, by extension, the natural habitat animals need to survive. It also leads to soil erosion and land degradation.
3. Disturbing Animals
While on safari, you should try as much as you can to not disturb the animals. Some animals, like Rhinos, can be easily provoked by disturbances such as hooting and shouting. You should also maintain a safe distance from wild animals as getting too close might cause them stress. Remember, you are a visitor in their home.
4. Leaving your vehicle
Exiting your vehicle can be lethal. Remember, while it is not natural for an animal to want to hurt you, they are dangerous and they will do whatever it takes to feel safe. It is highly advisable to stay in your vehicle when inside national parks and reserves. You can however leave your vehicle at designated areas and upon the advice of your tour guide.
5. Speeding in parks
Inside National Parks and reserves animals usually have the right-of-way. In Kenya, the speed limit inside parks is 40 kilometers per hour. It is necessary to adhere to this speed limit so as to avoid accidents and harming the environment.
6. Not Supporting Eco-friendly Facilities
If not well managed, some tourist facilities can cause the degradation of natural resources. It is important to support ecofriendly facilities since you will also be supporting environmental conservation efforts not only for yourself but for generations to come.
7. Disturbing Ecological Balance
Ecological Balance refers to a state of dynamic equilibrium within an ecosystem. The Earth’s components are interdependent on each other and thus disturbing one component can easily affect another component of the ecosystem. For example: damaging coral when snorkeling or scuba diving can alter entire ecosystems because fish and other creatures rely on healthy coral for protection and shelter.
Just like us, animals and plants need an environment void of harmful materials to live in. Some types of litter such as polythene paper, used for packaging food items, are harmful to wildlife when ingested.
If you didn’t know… well, now you know.