INTO THE JUNGLE
There are a few interesting natural areas in Zanzibar Island. In some of them You can experience walking through exotic forests of different kind, like coral rag forests or mangrove forests, usually so dense that it is appropriate to call them the jungle. If You would like to immerse in this mysterious yet spellbinding areas, we would like to suggest a few useful principles to enrich Your experience, enhance Your safety and give You the possibility to perform it in a sustainable way. Interested? Here are the essentials before entering the jungle:
- Prepare ahead of the journey. Take what You may need – water, headband, maybe some medicines – all the essentials useful in Your personal case. Although the jungle is full of surprises, there are no shops or pharmacies along the way.
- Not littering and bringing Your own trash from the trip back with You should stay in the obvious. Nevertheless, we would like to subtly remind You about this. The jungle is home to many animals. You wouldn’t litter in somebody’s home, would You?
- Staying quiet and avoiding additional noise or sudden movements has a few advantages. Firstly, You will not disturb or scare the animals. Secondly, if You stay quiet, Your chances to observe the local fauna will increase enormously. And believe us, there are so many interesting things to observe!
- Please remember, that if You are approaching wild or semi-wild animals, You need to keep some distance (for example, min. 3 metres in case of Red Colobus Monkeys). One thing is the animals’ comfort or security feeling (I guess You don’t like as well when a stranger gets into Your private space). Another thing is Your own safety – if the animal feels frightened, it will run away in a blink of an eye (chances for a great picture wasted) or can even attack You in self-defense. Be emphatic and do not push the line, and You will be rewarded with a great insight into their lives.
- If You are taking photographs of wildlife, beside the “distance rule” we have described above, please keep in mind to not use a flash. Do You remember this annoying feeling of the white spot orbiting in Your sight for some time after someone took a photo of You using a flash? If it was disturbing to You, for the animals it may be also very dangerous, as when temporary blinded, they may start to run away and accidentally do some harm.
- Do You remember the quote from “The Little Prince”: ‘You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.’?
INTO THE JUNGLE
You will surely be amazed with the wildlife in the jungle. You may have the urgent need to touch, feed or “help” animals in Your way of interpreting their situation. As great animal lovers, we truly understand You and Your need of interaction with them. BUT! Don’t interact with them, please! Your intentions may be pure but in the long run it can only harm them. If You attempt to tame a wild animal, it will start to be dependent on You, and will become prone to abuse by poachers or some aggressive people. Making sure that they are afraid of us is giving them the best weapon to protect them from humans and their aftermath.
- Feeding wild animals can also have very quick and fatal consequences. Different types of animals may have totally different diets. Hence, what we know is good for one, may be poisonous for another. For example, the Red Colobus Monkey, according to Jozani-Chaka Bay National Park rangers, can only eat some leaves, shoots, and flowers and unripe fruits. It happened once that tourists fed them with ripe bananas, what turned out to be very harmful to them, even causing death to some of the monkeys. That is why if You don’t want to harm them, don’t feed them, please.
- For Your own comfort, try to wear breathable, long-sleeve outfits in natural, not bright colours and do not use any cosmetics leaving a strong smell. In this way, You will avoid attracting mosquitoes and other insects. Your presence will be less obvious for the animals too, what will increase Your chances for spotting them.
- Do not collect any flowers or plants on Your way. Some of them may be very rare and endangered, and some of them may appear poisonous or be home for dangerous insects or reptiles. Simply speaking, ‘take nothing but pictures’.
- Follow Your guide instructions and be consequent with that. The guide has a specific knowledge and experience which will help You enjoy Your trip without any unpleasant surprises. Prevention is better than cure.
- Try to follow the route without stepping into interior. In this way You protect the flora and Yourself (by avoiding thorns, insects and other unpleasant “surprises’).
- Keep in mind that there are other visitors who would like to enjoy the beauty of the nature. Try not to interrupt them by staying calm and quiet. Be nice and remember that ‘what goes around, comes around’ 😉
- If You will notice some visitors presenting not environmentally friendly behaviour, it would be very nice if You can gently explain them what kind of benefits they can get from adopting desirable reactions (like getting close to animals, etc.).
- Have fun on the way and remember that thanks to You, acting in a responsible way described above, You are preserving this beautiful nature for Yourself and Your children!