As promised in my last Kruger article, I wanted to write a blog post about How Not To Be A Butt-head in the Kruger. There are a lot of regular Kruger goers, old-timers and veterans, who have been going to the park for years, who respect the rules and etiquette of the Kruger and who constantly have to deal with butt-heads who show no respect to the park and animals.
Butt-heads everywhere in the Kruger
What we have come to realise in our time visiting is that nobody reads or respects the rules they receive from SAN Parks when driving into the park.
With that in mind, here are a few suggestions of how not to be a Butt-head in the Kruger and some Golden unspoken rules.
Disclaimer: Images are courtesy of the Otocyon page (give them a follow and tag buttheads you may encounter on your next trip) and videos are attributed accordingly.
1. Don’t be an Instagram Husband in the Park
Look – no matter how much your wife or girlfriend wants a mysterious “I’m on Safari someplace magical’ Instagram picture, just don’t do it.
It’s not worth risking your life unless you plan to be an afternoon snack for a Leopard.
2. Don’t always answer nature’s call
Plan your bathroom stops accordingly – or if you cant – wear a nappy.
3. Try not to reach such heights of stupidity
I can only assume these people couldn’t read the rules because they were unable to read English? Still doesn’t excuse such moronic behaviour.
4. Stop crowding the elephants
On occasion in peak season, the Kruger becomes what can only resemble bumper to bumper traffic jam on William Nicol.
Then, out of nowhere, a huge bull elephant appears from the bush and heads straight for you. But you can’t escape because people have decided to drive right up your ass and refuse to reverse for you.
Last time we went, this terrified guy that was about to get trampled by a bull had to scream out his window – Move! Move! Move! as no one would reverse for him.
5. Don’t teach your kids this kind of behaviour
Stretching your legs is only for picnic stops or the camps. Be a good example for your kids – they are going to bring their kids to this park one day and ignorance breeds ignorance.
6. Don’t force animals of the road like this
7. Don’t spoil a wildlife sighting by chasing animals like this
8. Don’t take ‘Self Drive Safari’ so seriously
There is over 2600 km of road to explore in the Kruger. Was it really necessary to drive into the bush like this?
9. Remember, windows are transparent for a reason
Learn when it’s time to switch the aircon on instead.
10. Don’t litter – better yet – don’t bring single-use plastic into the park
I snapped this picture on my last visit. It made me very sad and is another example of how plastic is affecting our environments.
11. Don’t feed the animals
Both times I have stopped at Tshokwane picnic spot, I have seen tourists feeding monkeys fruit so that they can get a picture.
The poor women that work at the picnic spots have to go around spraying the monkeys with water continuously because they’ve now become brave and steal food right from patrons tables.
Never ever feed wild animals.
Finally, closing thoughts and unspoken rules of the Kruger (well – according to me and family and friends I asked)
Remember, most importantly, don’t be a Butt-head in the Kruger.
Let me know in the comments section below what other golden rules people should know when visiting the Kruger?