What if I get lost on my safari . Hmmmm! This is a tricky question to answer! And it’s not because you cant get lost on a safari, its possible you can but because it’s something the tour operator together with the guides have tried to eliminate as much as Possible; by assigning you a tour guide all through your safari time. So getting lost is quite rare on a safari.
That said getting lost on a safari can be a frightening experience, but it’s important to remain calm and take proactive steps to seek help and ensure your safety. Whether you find yourself separated from your group or disoriented in an unfamiliar environment, following the right procedures can make a significant difference. So here are some essential steps to take when you are lost on a safari to increase your chances of getting the assistance you need.
- Stay Calm and Assess the Situation:
Take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Panic can cloud your judgment and hinder your ability to make rational decisions. Assess your surroundings, take note of any landmarks, and try to recall the path you took.
- Use a Whistle or Make Noise:
If you have a whistle or any other noise-making device, use it to attract attention. Shout for help periodically, as there may be other safari vehicles or guides in the vicinity who can hear you. However, do this with caution after carefully accessing where you are, because if you just do it where wild animals are, you may attract wild animals instead which won’t be good for you.
- Stay Put and Avoid Wandering:
In most cases, it is safer to stay in one place rather than wandering aimlessly. By staying put, you increase the chances of being found by search parties or safari guides who may be looking for you.
- Use Visual Signals:
If you have brightly colored clothing or any reflective items, use them to create a visible signal. Wave them in the air or place them in an open area where they can be easily spotted from a distance.
- Locate High Ground or Clearings:
If possible, try to find higher ground or open clearings that provide a better vantage point. This can help you spot any familiar landmarks or signs of civilization.
- Remember Basic Navigation Skills:
If you have some knowledge of basic navigation skills, such as reading a compass or using the sun’s position, use them to determine your direction and navigate towards known landmarks or water sources.
- Preserve Energy and Stay Hydrated:
Conserve your energy by resting periodically. Stay hydrated by drinking water from any available sources, such as streams or rivers, ensuring that it is safe to do so.
- Follow Animal Trails or Water Sources:
In the absence of visible paths or landmarks, animal trails or water sources can often lead to human settlements or Congo safari routes. Use caution and be aware of potential encounters with wildlife.
- Use Communication Devices:
If you have a mobile phone or any other communication device with reception, try to make a call or send a text message to notify your safari operator or emergency services about your situation.
- Utilize Emergency Equipment:
If you have any emergency equipment, such as a personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite phone, activate them to send distress signals and provide your exact location to rescue teams.
- Stay Alert for Rescue Efforts:
Listen for the sound of approaching vehicles, helicopters, or search teams. Make yourself visible by waving any bright-colored objects when you spot potential rescuers.
- Follow Local Safety Guidelines:
Familiarize yourself with the safety guidelines provided by your safari operator before embarking on the trip. These guidelines may include specific instructions for lost individuals and how to seek assistance.
- Stay Positive and Maintain Hope:
Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial during a challenging situation. Remember that search and rescue teams are experienced in locating lost individuals and will do their best to find you.
- Trust Local Guides and Rangers:
If you come across local guides or park rangers, approach them for help. They have extensive knowledge of the area and can assist you in finding your way back to safety.
- Learn from the Experience:
Once you are safely rescued or reunited with your group, take the time to reflect on the experience. Learn from it and consider taking additional precautions in the future to prevent similar situations.