Open Safari Vehicles

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous's picture
Open Safari Vehicles

During the past few days when there was a flurry of lion pride activity, we saw people in a couple of safari jeeps come close to the lions and watched them, took photos, talked loudly enough for us to hear, etc.....all in an open jeep.

I am trying to understand the behaviour of the lions. Why would they be so passive? what would the rangers do if one of the lions decide to attack? In the night, when everyone is focussed on one side the vehicle, wouldn't there be a surprise attack from the other side?

Until I actually visit one of the African parks myself, I will have to rely on the answers by this forum!!

Anonymous's picture


Ingwe correctly states that the lions and all other animals do not see the vehicle with these funny, noisy blobs on them (aka human upper torsos and heads) as a threat.

However, should someone stand up, get out or make a loud noise the animals could react. Usually they will react by running away (even lions), rather than attacking the vehicle and its occupants.

The guide should however be sensitive when approaching a sighting and ensure that the animals are given space to continue doing whatever they were doing when the vehicle first arrived there - you encroach the personal space and stop the animals from feeding or walking in a certain direction you may get a violent reaction.

In most places the guides carry a rifle on the vehicle, but this is used mainly by the guide as protection should he / she choose to leave the vehicle to track animals or take is passengers for a walk. It is highly unlikely that a guide will have time to react and use the weapon should the vehicle be attacked.

On the odd occassion where animals have attacked safari vehicles you tend to find that the animal has been harrassed and irritated to the extreme that it feels that its only way out is to attack. Things are slightly different with elephant and sometimes rhino who are somewhat larger than the vehicle and on the odd occassion may attack for no reason (known to the guide and other occupants anyway).


Ingwe's picture
Joined: Mar 14 2006

All the rangers who take out the tourists are armed.

The lions don't see people as a food source and aren't threatened by the presence of the landi. They see the whole thing as one unit. But if some one were to stick out a leg or arm then the sillouhette of the vehicle is broken and that may cause the lions to feel threatened. The guides know how close to get to the lions without crossing that boundary.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.