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Wildlife-tracking apps are ruining safaris

Apps used to report animal sightings are causing humans to behave recklessly while on safari in South African National Parks.


Many tourists on safari arrive armed with detailed lists of creatures they hope to see in the wild.

UIG via Getty Images

The South African government is looking to curtail apps used to report animal sightings in national parks because they are putting animals at risk and ruining the experience for visitors.

Apps have become a "major cause for concern," South African National Parks said in a statement Wednesday. Rather than relying on eyesight, luck and a knowledgeable local guide, apps are instead encouraging drivers to race to sites of recent animal spottings.

The government reported scores of customer complaints about the apps leading to speeding, road rage and cars hitting and killing animals.

"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," said Hapiloe Sello, the parks managing executive of tourism and marketing.

Sello called the current situation a "direct contradiction to the ethos of responsible tourism."