Tread carefully

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 July, 2008, 12:00am

Building on its experience of running night safaris, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden has a set of guidelines for responsible nature visits. It advises organisers to limit group visits to between 12 and 18 people at a time.

They should be led by a guide, preferably with two assistants. Participants also have a role to play. Conduct: Walk slowly and quietly to avoid disturbing wildlife; acting out on the trail is also counterproductive because this scares the animals away. Pay close attention to the guide and cover torches with red cellophane paper because animals are usually less sensitive to red light. Attitude: Don't set your expectations too high. What you can see depends on luck and the season. Toads, frogs and other amphibians are more commonly seen in the summer when they are active, and mammals such as deer and wild boar in the winter. Many people sign up for night tours to see owls but these are usually difficult to spot, and almost impossible with a large and noisy group. Be open-minded and learn to appreciate what's around you. Act responsibly and be considerate. Photography: It isn't recommended because camera flashes disturb the wildlife, but may be allowed in some circumstances with creatures that are less sensitive to such intrusion.