If you own a drone, GoPro camera or selfie stick and are planning a safari at Kariega this is an important blog for you to read. The Kariega team recently formalised a policy on the use of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAE), GoPro cameras, selfie sticks and cell phones. Here are the top five things that you need to know:
- Drones and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) are not permitted for personal use.
- Selfie sticks may only be used on game drive vehicles with permission from the ranger. Selfie sticks may not be used at Big 5 sightings as they break the profile of the vehicle and create a safety risk.
- GoPro cameras may be used on game drive vehicles with permission from the ranger and other guests (in other words, nobody must object to their use). No extensions may be used at Big 5 sightings as these also break the profile of the vehicle and create a safety risk.
- Cell phones may be used on game drive vehicles on silent mode only. No calls should be made. Location services must be turned off.
- Guides must ensure all guests on the vehicle are aware and comfortable with the use of the various technologies.
Why No Drones on Kariega Safaris?
The main reason that drones are not permitted at Kariega is for the protection of the wildlife. Studies have shown that flying a drone over animals’ can cause them stress. Additionally, we have various endangered species on the reserve, particularly black and white rhino, and we need to ensure that information about these animals does not get into the hands of poachers.
The use of drones has already been banned in all national parks in South Africa, Botswana and Kenya for the same reasons.
Drones may not be used in or around any of the lodges to protect the privacy of fellow safari guests. Most of our guests cross continents to get into the African wilderness and certainly do not want a drone buzzing around.
When May Drones Be Used?
We do allow the use of drones for specific conservation purposes. For example one of our awesome wildlife vets, Dr William Fowlds, used a drone to locate a rhino who had disappeared in some thick bush. Read this blog to find out how we found a white rhino with a newborn calf with a drone!
Once every few years we also allow the use of drones to take footage for marketing purposes. For example, we used a drone to capture some of the footage used in our wildlife and safari activities video.
Feedback from Kariega Safari Guests
We hope that you understand and support or policy for no drones on Kariega safaris. We would like to hear what you think about our policy. Please add your comments below or add them on our Facebook page, via Twitter or on Instagram