Game drive etiquette: Rules you need to know before going to the Kruger

When doing a self-drive safari in the Kruger National Park, there’s nothing worse than being stuck behind cars insisting on stopping diagonally on the road to get their perfect picture, or waiting to get a glimpse of the sighting because others have been parked in the front-row seats for hours.

That’s why there are certain rules in the park and if everyone abides by them, game drives should be a terrific experience. Before you go, familiarise yourself with these to make sure you’re not one of the culprits.

Remember, everyone wants to see the amazing sightings and enjoy their drives, so heading out with a patient and accommodating mindset from the get-go will go a long way.

Take note of these general sighting rules:

– Always keep to the speed limit: 50 km/h on tarred roads and 40 km/h on gravel roads, but slower is better

– When you come across a sighting, slowly pull over on the side of the road closest to the animal, but keep a safe distance

– If there are animals in the road, immediately stop at least 20 m from them

– The lane furthest from the sighting should never be blocked, so that others can pass if they want to

– Don’t linger longer than a few minutes at a sighting, so that others can view it too

– Never go off the designated roads

– Never climb out of your vehicle during a drive, or hang out of your car windows or sunroof

– Don’t hoot or blare loud music

– Avoid driving into vegetation, as this could damage the environment or kill small animals

– During night drives, never shine a spotlight directly in animals’ eyes

– Never make noise to get animals to move, stand up or otherwise react for pictures

– Respect the rangers, and always comply with their requests or instructions

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