For the carefree traveler, a forest may just seem to be an open public space where you can do anything you may wish. However, wildlife sanctuaries and reserves are very tightly regulated places as they need to ensure the safety and well-being of the flora and fauna, the environment and the tourists. Many tourists are often completely ignorant of the damage they can do inadvertently, so there is a great need to educate them on how to conduct themselves responsibly while on a wildlife safari. Some universal tips:
1. Never Disturb Animals
The reason why wildlife safaris are preferred over a visit to the zoo is that you can observe the animals playing, sleeping, hunting, and going about their daily routines in an environment where there are no restrictions on them. Even though there is a very natural tendency to approach the animals for observing them closely, your guide will always advise you to maintain some distance to avoid disturbing them. It is also very important to maintain pin drop silence. Do not wear clothing in loud colors or strong perfume, don’t pop camera flashes or even move suddenly as the animals may find human presence disturbing; they may flee or even attack.
The value of a forest lies in its cleanliness because not only does it make tourism more attractive but also ensures that the animals and environment stay healthy. Waste materials should invariably be taken back with you for safe disposal at designated spots. If you are staying at any of the hotels or resorts at Tadoba National Park, you can hand over the trash to the staff for proper disposal.
3. Don’t Litter
As a responsible tourist, you should take care never to litter. The biggest advantage of not littering with leftover food or plastic waste is that the animals do not end up eating stuff that’s not good for them or choking on the plastic.
4. Never Alight from the Safari Vehicle
You would be surprised to see the number of people, who don’t think twice before stepping out from the safari vehicle in order to observe the animals from close, feed them or even try to pat or cuddle them. Unless you have been explicitly permitted to alight from the safari vehicle by the forest guide, you should never get down. Even in emergencies like vehicle breakdowns, it is advisable to stay inside the vehicle than to go wandering off looking for help.
5. Dangerous Place
Even though it may not be obvious due to the all-pervasive peace and quiet, the jungle can be an extremely dangerous place. This flagrant violation of sanctuary rules often has disastrous consequences because the animals tend to attack when they feel threatened.
The best way of visiting a wildlife sanctuary is to leave it completely undisturbed and pristine. Do your bit towards conservation by advising people around you on the need for responsible tourism so that you ensure that the next generations too will be able to enjoy the same.