10 Things You Should Never Do On a Wildlife Safari Kenya

Kenya is the number one safari destination and is the best place to get a comprehensive African safari experience. You will experience Africa’s wild and untamed side deep in the Savannah Grasslands and interact with Africa’s Big Five.

During your visit to Kenya, there are do’s and don’ts. You should avoid several things if you want a peaceful stay in the heart of Africa. As you travel around Kenya, here are the ten things you should never do while on a wildlife safari in Kenya.

1. Do Not Feed Animals

Feeding wild animals is prohibited in all wildlife centers unless asked to. It was okay to feed wild animals a while ago; however, the Kenya Wildlife Service prohibits this act. This is a move to maintain the ecological state and ensure a balance in the food chain.

If you feed any animal, you will be affecting its hunting or food-gathering habits. This is also a move to ensure your safety since some animals tend to get aggressive. Animals such as giraffes and elephants are unpredictable and can turn violent when you approach. For instance, you might want to feed a baby elephant innocently, only for its mother to interpret that as an aggressive move.

2. Stay In-Doors Always

A safari takes place deep in the Savannah Grassland, an area known to be wild and untamed. Therefore, staying in your truck for your safety is best. Your truck is the safest place in Savannah; if something drastic happens, it is easier to get away.

Watch everything from the 4X4 trucks and get contented with the visible action. Do not be fooled to approach the sleeping pride of animals. These cats have sharp instincts and can detect the slightest movements.

Also, do not leave your camp or lodge at night, especially for those in the parks and reserves. At night is when most animals are active, and you might fall victim to their attacks. If by any chance you unexpectedly encounter one, slowly walk away to a safe destination and avoid triggering any reaction from the animal.

3. Avoid Purchasing Wildlife Ivory or Products

Kenya has strict laws protecting wildlife from poaching. Poaching is not allowed in any circumstance. Therefore, avoiding purchasing goods made from wild animal skin or ivory is best. These items might be illegal, which could trigger an investigation and affect your stay in the country.

Another important tip is to avoid wearing camouflage. This is because the Kenya Wildlife Service officers are on the ground and might confuse you for a poacher. Always wear the right clothing that suits the Savannah Grassland. Also, avoid wearing bright-colored clothes since they might intimidate some animals, forcing them to react.

4. Don’t Ignore Your Tour Guide

Your tour guide is the secret to staying safe and alive in Savannah. These professionals are adequately trained to ensure they give you comprehensive services in the wild. They are responsible for your safety and play a huge role in determining your wildlife safari in Kenya.

wildlife safari kenya

If the guide asks you to stop doing something, don’t be a know-it-all and listen to them. These professionals know the animals and parks in and out. Also, do not ask to be taken to a particular animal or spot. Your tour guide knows when and where to take you to ensure you get the best out of your time in Kenya. 

5. Do Not Litter

The game parks, reserves, and conservancies are home to many wild animals. This is a space where they call home, and littering the area directly affects them. For instance, one might throw a plastic container which may cause discomfort or trigger a reaction. We have seen incidents of small animals, such as rabbits, having their head stuck in the neck of plastic containers or tins.

Littering also negatively affects the environment. Litter such as plastic bags and containers do not decompose, affecting the ecosystem and harming the animals.

The tour guides also consider the parks and reserves as their second home. Therefore, throwing litter around will offend them. If you wish to have the best time in Kenya, avoid littering. It is advisable to collect the trash together and dispose of them when you get back to your camp.

6. Do Not Smoke in Public

Smoking in public is not permitted in Kenya unless it is at the smoking zones. There are also strict rules to effect this policy. As much as smoking in public might be acceptable back home, in Kenya, it is not. This is the case in all public spaces, not just game parks, reserves, and conservancies.

Some tourists ignored this and had a tough time in the country. The penalty for breaking this rule is a fine ranging from 50,000 to three million Kenya shillings. It is unreasonable to visit a country for an adventure only to pay these huge fines.

There are designated spots for smoking if you feel like you have to smoke. You can ask your tour guide to take you to these spots for a puff. Note that only tobacco is acceptable. Other drugs, such as marijuana, are illegal in Kenya, and you cannot smoke even in designated smoking spots.

7. Do Not Disrespect the Locals

A wildlife safari in Kenya is complete once you visit the local communities and learn their way of living. Ask your tour guides to take you to the Masai or Samburu villages to get the ultimate African experience. These communities still preserve their cultural beliefs and practices.

They are very hospitable but can get offended by various acts. For instance, it is not acceptable to sarcastically try to imitate them rudely. Also, avoid throwing money or offering their kids candy carelessly.

It is best to take time and study their way of life. See how they interact with one another and don’t hesitate to take part in some of their cultural practices. A good tour guide will tell you the dos and don’ts as you visit these cultural centers.

8. Avoid The North-Eastern Counties

Kenya is a safe safari destination; however, not all areas are well guarded. Your embassy back home might have warned you from visiting places such as Garissa for your safety. This is because these areas border Somalia and have a relatively higher insecurity rate.

These areas have previously been under attack from the Al Shabaab. There have also been numerous terrorist activities in the area. Your tour guide will also advise against going to these dangerous areas.

9. Do Not Pet the Animals Unless Asked To

Kenya has numerous animals, ranging from huge beasts to small adorable creatures. If you wish to be safe, it is best not to pet any animal. For instance, any close contact with a baby elephant will offend the mother, who will charge and become aggressive.

Some tourists who failed to observe this rule suffered the consequences. Remember that these animals are unpredictable, and they might not respond in the way you anticipated. An ostrich could peck your head, or a monkey pulling your hair strands, causing excruciating pain.

10. Do Not Carry Your Valuables

A wildlife safari in Kenya is not a fashion show and is not the place to flaunt expensive jewelry or clothes. It is best to keep accessories to a minimum and only carry what you need. Leave your valuables in safe areas, such as your hotel room.

Do this to reduce the chances of losing them in the wild or because of any other inconveniences. This will also help you avoid the eyes of thieves. Wearing expensive and flashy accessories can make you a theft target.

This also applies to the expensive camera you brought to capture the magical moments. It is best to keep it in its bag when it is not in use. Carry your belongings discreetly, and avoid boasting or showing off what you own. If you have to, you can wait till you return to your country, where you know you are safe.

The Bottom Line

Kenya promises you a time of your life deep in Savannah, provided that you live by the rules. If it is your first time in the country, there are several don’ts that you should avoid at all costs. These are not the only forbidden acts, and you can use common sense to determine what is expected of you on your wildlife safari Kenya.