Copyright © James Weis / Grant Atkinson
Atkinson Photography and Safaris adheres to and strives to enforce the following protocol on its safaris, such that the welfare of animals is always put first.
- The safety and comfort of wildlife is paramount.
- We use great care in approaching animals in order to minimize any disturbance or disruption to their lives.
- If any animal displays signs of distress while we are observing it, we will move further away until the animal relaxes. If this does not work, we will leave it alone altogether and move off.
- We practice a great deal of patience when waiting for animal behavior to occur and never “push” an animal into doing anything.
- After dark we (Grant and Helena) personally refrain from taking photographs of wild animals with the use of flash or a spotlight. We believe that using a flash or spotlight may interfere with an animal’s night vision and can cause it stress and/or change its behavior, so we minimize our use of flash and spotlight in any situation. There are some places where some animals may only be viewed with a spotlight, which we understand and accept.
- When working in private concession or conservancy areas, we strictly adhere to the safari operator’s policy regarding the maximum number of vehicles permitted at a sighting. This typically means three to five vehicles (sometimes fewer) at a sighting and may mean we must move out of a sighting temporarily or combine more guests onto a vehicle to give all guests a chance to spend time at the sighting. This policy is meant to reduce the impact our presence may have on the animals.
- At sightings when we may be very close to the wildlife, we try to minimize the amount of noise that we make. We also try to not have loud conversations between our vehicles when they are in the same sighting.
- We remember at all times that we are very fortunate visitors and observers of these wild places and that the conservation of the animals and flora is more important than us taking a photograph or getting close enough to see everything we may wish.