Last updated: 07:09 PM ET, Thu June 09 2016

Your Apps May Be Hurting South African Wildlife

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | June 09, 2016

Your Apps May Be Hurting South African Wildlife

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

There is a time and place to reconsider using your newfangled app, and it may just be amid the remarkable beauty of nature.

South African National Parks has released a statement over concern of apps and technology that is harming the sanctity of various wildlife parks and the very safety of animals which travelers clamor to appreciate.

Apps have become an amazing asset for travelers regardless of the destination. We recently highlighted a study that offered as much.

The technology is like having a tour guide in your pocket, offering details and advice on specific aspects of your trip.

But it’s that particular advice that is going a long way to harming precious wildlife. The release states: “The rise in the use of these applications has resulted in an increased rate of lawlessness in the Parks including speeding, congestion at sightings as well as road kills caused by guests rushing to and congregating around these sightings.”

When everyone with a phone has the exact location of these animals a gigantic human watering hole ensues, which in turn causes a flock of curious scurrying to that very location.

You’ve traveled thousands of miles; let the animals come to you.

It seems that many are firing up the app to see where the animals are being sighted and are then rushing as quickly as possible to catch a glimpse.

The speed and congestion of tourists leads to obvious problems.

SANParks' managing executive tourism development & marketing Hapiloe Sello states: “As an organization we appreciate the fact that technology has evolved and that guests are taking advantage of it, however this is compromising the values of good game viewing in national parks.”

Sello continued, stating that mobile apps run counter to the very nature of these massive parks. Sello states: “Most guests appreciate the leisurely drive through the parks and the potential reward of a good sighting as a key element of the visitor experience.”

That’s good advice for travel in general. For a moment, put the smartphone away and let the adventure unfold naturally.

It’s far more enjoyable and safer that way.


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