The African continent is massive. It is large enough to contain the countries of India, China, the US, and most of Europe. The number of animal species is astounding. Africa is home to 1100 mammal species (including 64 carnivores, 64 primates, and the most species of ungulate in the word), 2600 species of birds, 3000 fish species, 1800 species of amphibians, 1300 different reptiles, and upwards of 20% of the global insect species including 3600 different butterflies.
“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected.” Si’ahl (Chief Seattle)
First Light Safaris does not condone any type of conduct that negatively impacts wildlife. There will always be circumstances where displacing game is unavoidable and unintentional. The human presence is going to alter wildlife behavior somewhat. Guiding behavior that results in a pattern of disturbance to wildlife should be discouraged. Unscrupulous conduct of this nature does the industry a grave injustice. It creates false expectations, hurts reputable guides, and places you and wildlife in dangerous situations.
First Light Safaris ensures you will be given every opportunity to see many different animals of all sizes. Wildlife are unpredictable, which is part of why they fascinate us. There is no guarantee you will see everything you hope for. Please realize televised nature documentaries take weeks, months, or years of patient filming to capture Mother Nature’s drama as it unfolds. What I can tell you from personal experience, Africa and its wild inhabitants exceeded my expectations.
Wild animals are dangerous. There is no guarantee of your safety while venturing into the animal’s domain. I spent the majority of my life living alongside large and dangerous animals as a park ranger tasked with protecting the same incredible beasts. Animals want nothing more than to avoid conflict with humans, but rare situations arise where they may feel threatened and react aggressively. The common denominator in these cases is almost always human error or foolhardiness. I can assure you, the most dangerous animal on this earth walks upright on two legs.
While on safari, you will be in the reliable hands of the best trained guides and staffs in the safari industry. They will do everything to ensure your experience is safe and memorable. I can attest to this firsthand from my experience as a manager of a remote and small bushcamp.
I feel there are some in the industry that believe it is acceptable to intentionally get dangerously close to wildlife while on foot. They will brag about getting mock charged by an elephant or growled at by a pride of lions. The vast majority of these types of encounters can and should be avoided. It is highly unethical to purposefully put clients and wildlife in situations that could turn deadly. Staying back a little farther can result in an extended sighting instead of a fleeting glimpse. We are visitors and should respect the space of wild animals.