newbie behavior

Feb 7th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 260
newbie behavior

I am going on my first safari in May, and as i read your posts, i keep seeing references to being with newbies, etc.
what am i likely to do as a newbie that will be annoying etc
i am not going with a list to check off the animals i see
I would love to benefit from others experience. is the protocol that while on drives i refrain from asking questions, and ask later?

it will all be new and wonderful and amazing, so i don't see myself as the type of person who is going to demand to find a leopard, etc, and i imagine i can sit for considerable periods of time just watching the same animal in its natural habitat.

for all the money we each spend to be on safari, i sure don't want to mess up anyones trip, nor do i want mine to be negatively impacted by others.


amycyma is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Hi Amy,
You wont mess up anyones trip if you stay very quiet whilst watching animals (I think this is the most important issue for me, there is nothing worse than someone in your jeep thats oooing and ahhhing loudly), if you wear the right colour clothes that will blend into the evironment so that animals are not frightened off, and generally respecting the people in your jeep.
Ask as many questions as you like, the guides want you to ask questions and will will be prowd to answer them in great detail.
Above all relax and enjoy your safari experience, and dont worry too much.
JanBristol is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Be aware of how much you move when you are stopped at a sighting that people are photographing. Even experienced people do this but it helps to be aware so the vehicle does not move when the photo is snapped.

Asking questions while on the game drive is fine -- just don't be nonstop. We all ask questions.
mpkp is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Amy, I'm sure you'll do fine! I love traveling with "newbies" because it's so much fun to see them experience Africa for the first time. The memories you'll make will stay with you for a lifetime. Your safari will be a great learning experience. As has been said, yes, please ask questions. A wise man once laid out the three "C"s of international travel: Don't criticize, compare, or complain... good advice!
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 04:14 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Here's one more C.

Don't Carelessly lock yourself in the loo before your first gorilla trek so that the Rwandan army has to be summoned to get you out. They didn't have to paratroop in from Kigali, fortunately, as they were already patrolling the grounds near the ranger station.

I hope they let me back in the country this August after that incident. I may be blacklisted.

There is a lot to be said for ShayTay's comments about the enthusiasm of first timers.

I shared a vehicle with a woman who was seeing her first wildebeest in South Africa. It is common to see hundreds in a herd and thousands in East Africa so one wilde at a distance was not a big deal for me.

She insisted we stop and examine it with our binocs. She was excitedly describing the various shades of brown in its hide and commenting on its unique beard. By about the third time she exclaimed, "It's magnficent!" I realized she was absolutely right.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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LOL! A fourth "C" it is!

We could start a new thread... describe your first wildlife sighting in Africa. It always seems to be a giraffe, not only on my first safari in Kenya, but on subsequent safaris, as well. After seeing that giraffe and a few zebras, one of my friends spotted a multi-colored herd of animals in the distance. "Ooh, what are those?" she excitedly asked the guide. The dignified Peter responded, "Those would be cows!"

May we always be "newbies" at heart!
ShayTay is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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I would rather experience newbie enthusiasm, than the attitude of one who has been there, done that.

I still remember landing at our first strip after leaving Nairobi and seeing a zebra. We insisted on sitting there for what seemed like ages, chattering, pointing and clicking away. The guide tried to tell us there'd be lots more just like it, but we weren't taking any chances. Eventually we agreed to move on. Three minutes down the dusty road, we met the rest of the family. All seven hundred of them...
Femi is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 04:19 AM
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You have paid a fortune for your vacation, you should actually ensure that you get a healthy return on your investment. Aside from courtesy to others, do as you please within the regulations of your environment.

If you have "specials" on your wish list, tell your guide... they are most often eager to please and since they aren't mind readers wont know unless you speak up.

IMO, it is not a case of what you should NOT be doing, but rather how much can you do before others start winging out of jealousy.

From a guides perspective, they love feeding off the enthusiasm of others, so if you're excited about something show it, smile, laugh, be happy.... of course all within reason, no need to express yourself in the midst of a tense stalk, should you be so lucky...
mkhonzo is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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Our guides told us which behaviors were dangerous, and which behaviors could scare animals away.

Other than that, I think ordinary consideration for others will be just fine.
Momliz is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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Most importantly, enjoy every MINUTE of your trip!!!
HariS is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 07:19 AM
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Amy my dear

from your post it is easy to tell you are sensitive enough
one needs to be sensitive to her/his fellow safari-goers that's all

enjoy it!

aby is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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One suggestion is that you should not be the first one to do something. See how others do it, and you will fit in fine.
Jed is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 08:59 AM
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When I was growing up we would occasionally have international guests for dinner who worked where my dad did.

That's what my sister and I were told--wait to see what the guest does and then follow suit so that they were not uncomfortable.

We still chuckle about putting the baked potato in the salad bowl. Tasted the same.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 09:30 AM
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I just thought of the most important rule, Amycyma. Report back here when you return!
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Dear amy

I have not read all the posts so just let me give you my 2 cents....

you will get a "briefing" informing you on the essentials in view to safety and security on gamedrives and in camp as well as general "rules" and also your guide most probably will ask you for your "favorites".
Don't be shy! Just follow your interests as long as they are not ruling others.
If you are not happy with anything - just tell your guide!
But never put on your mobile during game drives nor shout and jump.

You will have a great time!

spassvogel is offline  
Feb 8th, 2009, 02:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 260
thanks all, glad to hear that my newbie excitement could be a plus rather than a negative.
and thanks Lynn for your link to the threads. you are amazing, how do you find them all so quickly to help everyone out.
and i do promise to post a trip report, and if my photos come out decently, and i figure out how to put them into some format, i will post those as well, as i love reading everyones reports and looking at photos. aside from always getting me pumped for my trip, helps me learn a bit about wildlife photography.

amycyma is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 06:50 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,161
If your guide has a general orientation session where he or she is explaining about safety etc. perhaps you can ask "I've never been on safari before, what else is considered courteous behavior?". Then you (and the others) get to learn and even if you make a mistake in your enthusiasm they will all know your intentions were good. Have fun!
laurie_ann is online now  
Feb 9th, 2009, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 20,132
Never play a clarinet in the 3rd row seat.
Other than that do what you want, it's your trip.
cybor is offline  
Feb 9th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Cybor, I had an aria belted out by an amateur opera singer through the pop up roof one time. And you thought you were being ridiculous with the clarinet.
atravelynn is offline  

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