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Self-Drive Kruger Park Safari Etiquette

While there are loads of Kruger Park safari options available, sometimes, what you really want, is a self-drive experience.

The Kruger National Park remains one of those wild destinations that people from around the world hope to experience for themselves. Just about everything about the park is exciting for the first time visitor as well as those who are returning. But while on the road, there is one thing that can completely destroy a great trip, and that is a lack of road etiquette.

Leopard Sighting in the Kruger National Park

Notes on approaching a sighting

Animal sightings are something to see around every corner, because you are, after all, in the midst of the Kruger National Park. When you get to a sighting, keep these notes in mind:

  • Approach at the right speed limit, which is 50 km/h on a tarred road and 40 km/h on a gravel road. Ideally, you should go even slower.
  • When you reach the sighting, you should pull to the side of the road, but do so carefully. If you are to approach the sighting quickly, you run the risk of scaring off the animal.
  • You should leave enough space for a car to pass you should they wish to. Never stop in the middle of the road.
  • Don’t spend hours at the sighting. You want to give others time to look at the animal as well, so take a few minutes to enjoy the moment and then move on.
  • Avoid noise! No loud music and no shouting, you are visiting the home of wildlife who are not used to noise, so not only will you annoy other park guests but you will also, in all likelihood, chase any nearby wildlife away.
  • You should not try to get the attention of the animal, in order to take that perfect shot. Doing this will either cause the wildlife to run in the opposite direction or you could aggravate it.
  • Don’t leave your vehicle at any time, unless you are in a camp where it is safe to do so. If you leave your vehicle, you run the risk of being attacked by the animal or scaring it off.

Other considerations to make while you are on safari include just being kind to those you are sharing the park with. There was a time when park guests used to stop while on a drive to discuss sightings or to just say hello, and unless we keep this culture alive, it will disappear and part of what makes the Kruger experience so special will be lost with it.

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