Alden Boon

How to Not Die While on a Game Drive


A safari trip is exhilarating — you never know what to expect. A cheetah may decide to sneak up on you; an elephant may charge at you. You could also die if you go into the wilderness thinking you own the place. Here are some tips for you when you go for your next safari trip. Follow them diligently so that you can return home safely, and sing Madonna’s Like a Virgin: “I made it through the wilderness”.

Do not fall out of the jeep

Most national parks will stipulate that it is illegal to disembark the vehicle — for very obvious reasons. But the terrains are often uneven and bumpy, so that sitting in a moving jeep is like being a loose coin in a washing machine on a tumble cycle. If not careful, you may fall out of the jeep and in a heartbeat become roadkill, no thanks to leopards with roving eyes. To avoid this, handcuff yourself to the steering wheel or anything metallic. This ensures that in the event you should fall out of your jeep, and your vehicle is being pursued by a predator and your driver and fellow companions are in a state of panic trying to speed away, you will never be left in the lurch.

Bring lunch or be lunch

When you visit a friend’s home, do you show up empty-handed? No, because you are not a barbarian! You bring snacks and food as a form of courtesy. Likewise, as guests in the wildlife’s homes, you have to bring lunch! Hurl your dry-aged grass-fed beef to distract a lion whose gaze is fixed on you. Being stalked by an elephant in musth? That arugula tossed with quinoa, barley and nuts may just save your body from being pierced by its tusks. Just remember to go easy on the dressing and marinade — they are unnatural and do not cater to the wildlife’s palate.

Be an ice king or queen

One thing makes us human beings weak: emotions. Our empathetic nature and our need to help others are our undoing. In the wild, bulls and stallions of different species kill foals and cubs and the young to show dominance, eliminate competition and protect his own lineage. That graceful tame impala gets ripped apart and eaten alive by hyenas. The faint-hearted and weak will want to dismount from the vehicle and help the shrieking, bleeding, wriggling impala, but this is of course suicide. Before going for a game drive, watch Grave of the Fireflies, Toy Story 3, Saving Private Ryan or binge watch This Is Us to build up your emotional immune system. Empty your well of tears and have no reserve.

Watch what you wear

Leopard prints may be a bold fashion statement that speaks of your fierceness, but in the wild you may be mistaken as a real leopard. The real threat you face is not other cunning big cats looking to wipe out the competition, but fellow visitors, starved of photos to put on their social media accounts, and in their desperation will stalk you and use camera trickery to make you the wild leopard. Paparazzi killed Princess Diana, never forget.


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

Have Your Say