Here are guidelines to ensure that you have the best experience possible in the magnificent SMNP and leave it pristine for future travelers.
- Minimize your footprint by making sure that you and your guide take your trash with you as you exit the park. Urge your guide to dispose of trash in Debark.
- Dispose of human waste responsibly. Human waste is extremely dangerous for wildlife and people alike. If you must defecate away from a latrine, make sure that you bury it at least 15 cm under soil. Use your hands, a stick, or a rock to dig a hole.
- Turn your engine off (or ask your driver to) when you’re close to wildlife. This minimizes noise pollution and decreases the chances that you’ll scare off wildlife.
- Remember that wildlife is wild. You will get the best pictures if you are patient. Do not try to get the attention of wildlife with food or noises. Feeding wildlife is a health hazard for humans, too.
- Keep 10 meters away from geladas. You will be able to get very close to geladas, as they are very habituated in the SMNP. Keep at least 10 meters away from the geladas, especially from those with young infants. Getting too close will scare them away and ruin your photo (and their day!).
- Be quiet and calm around geladas. Running, yelling, approaching too closely around the geladas will cause them to run away.
- Avoid eye contact with geladas. Eye contact is a sign of aggression that aggravates geladas. If you make accidental eye contact, avert your eyes and walk a few meters away.