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Can You Go to the Bathroom on Safari

As a curator with extensive experience in African safaris, I understand the pressing concerns that first-time safari-goers and seasoned adventurers face about a seemingly simple matter: can you go to the bathroom on safari? They embark on this journey with uncertainties regarding the availability of bathroom facilities in the wild landscapes of Africa. 

Drawing upon my expertise and firsthand experience in curating safari expeditions, I aim to shed light on this topic, offering practical solutions and tips for a comfortable and responsible bathroom experience in the African wilderness. 

Can You Go to the Bathroom on Safari?

Many people are understandably curious about the availability and suitability of bathroom facilities while exploring the remote and untamed regions of Africa. By understanding the options available and implementing the solutions provided, you can approach your safari journey with confidence, knowing that your bathroom needs are well-considered and accounted for.

Restroom inside a dome shaped hut in an African safari

What Are the Options Available?

Safaris offers one of the most amazing experiences to connect with nature and witness incredible wildlife. However, planning and following responsible travel practices is necessary to get a smooth and respectful experience while answering nature's call on a safari. When it comes to bathroom facilities, there are different options available.

Bathroom Facilities at Lodges and Camps

Most safari lodges and camps go to great lengths to provide guests with comfortable and convenient bathroom facilities. These facilities are designed to offer a traditional bathroom experience while still providing all the modern amenities you would expect in a hotel or resort.

The bathroom facilities usually include flush toilets, running water, and showers. The toilets are typically connected to a septic tank or sewer system, so you can expect them to function like any other toilet. The running water is generally sourced from a nearby well or stream and is treated to make certain it is safe for use.

The showers are usually equipped with hot and cold water so that you can enjoy a refreshing shower after a long day of safari activities. Some safari lodges and camps also offer outdoor showers, allowing you to appreciate the natural surroundings while you freshen up. Staying at these facilities means enjoying modern life's comforts.

Woman using a hand sanitizer outdoors

Public Restrooms in National Parks

Seated rest areas or picnic sites may be equipped with public restrooms within national parks or public reserves. These facilities cater to visitors' basic needs and maintain cleanliness in the protected areas. However, these restrooms may only sometimes be available, especially in more remote parts of the park.

Bush Toilets

When you are on a safari and there are no facilities nearby, bush toilets are commonly used to answer the call of nature. Bush toilets are temporary structures designed to be environmentally friendly and easy to use while ensuring privacy. Your safari guide or tour operator will provide detailed instructions on using the bush toilet properly. The instructions may include the following:

  1. Choose a place: Your guide will help you identify a safe and discreet location away from the main area of the safari, where you can use the bush toilet without disturbing wildlife or other tourists.

  2. Use the toilet: Bush toilets are usually simple and easy to use,  yet it is important to follow the instructions and briefing of your guide. Depending on the type of toilet, you may need to squat or sit, and you will need to use toilet paper or wet wipes that are provided by the guide.

  3. Sanitize yourself: Maintaining good hygiene while using bush toilets is important to prevent the spread of germs and diseases. Your guide will provide hand sanitizer or wet wipes.

  4. Dispose of your waste: Bush toilets are designed to be environmentally friendly, so it is important to dispose of waste properly. Your guide will help you do this while minimizing your environmental impact. 

Using bush toilets on safari or while exploring nature is a safe and convenient way to answer the call of nature. With the guidance of a knowledgeable guide, you can use these temporary structures with confidence while ensuring that you preserve the beauty and integrity of the environment.

Toilet sign on a wooden pole

Portable Toilets

Portable toilets are useful additions for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy camping, hiking, or exploring remote areas. They are designed to offer a convenient and hygienic option for people who want to stay comfortable while enjoying nature.

One of the primary benefits of portable toilets is that they are lightweight, compact, and easy to set up. They can be easily carried on your camping gear and installed almost anywhere, even in remote areas. These toilets come in different sizes, designs, and types, giving you many options.

Portable toilets are also environmentally friendly, as they minimize the impact on nature. They are designed to contain waste and prevent it from polluting the environment, making them a great choice for those conscious about reducing their environmental impact.

What Is the Art of Timing?

Timing is paramount when going to the bathroom during a safari. It would help if you used the restroom before beginning any game drives or long walks to minimize the need for frequent stops. This is especially important as you never know how long the drive or walk may take, and it is best to be prepared.

Toilet setup on a wooden hut on an African safari site


You are listening to your body; knowing its needs while on safari is also significant. Finding a suitable spot as soon as possible is important if you feel the urge to go. This preserves the environment's natural balance while also guaranteeing your comfort.


Taking advantage of available restroom facilities whenever possible is always a good idea. Most safari lodges and camps have restroom facilities, and it is highly recommended that you use them whenever necessary. This guarantees a more comfortable and joyful safari experience in addition to maintaining hygiene.

What Are the Basics of Going on a Safari?

If you plan to embark on a safari adventure, it is important to understand the basics of safari travel to get a smooth and memorable experience. Safaris can occur in various settings, such as national parks, private reserves, or wilderness areas, each with unique features, rules, and regulations. 

It is vitally important to follow the instructions provided by your guide. These instructions may include safety guidelines, what to do in an emergency, and how to behave around wild animals. It is important to remember that bathroom facilities may be limited, and wild animals may be present on a safari

It is imperative to avoid going off on your own. Wild animals are unpredictable, and wandering away from the group can put you and others at risk. Before using the bathroom, you must ask your guide to examine the area for potential risks. They can hide in bushes and tall grass, so ensuring the area is safe before use is necessary. 

What Is the Importance of Conservation?

One of the most important principles of responsible travel is minimizing our environmental impact. This is especially important when traveling to delicate wildlife habitats on safari. Here are some ideas that you can put into action:

Person pulling a sheet of toilet paper roll

  • When using the bathroom, it is necessary to be mindful of conservation efforts to preserve the ecosystems. Many wildlife habitats are fragile and require sustainable practices to protect them. 

  • Using water wisely is a fundamental aspect of conservation. It would help to take shorter showers or use a bucket to reduce water usage. Also, turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or shaving. 

  • Another aspect is the proper disposal of waste. Always use the designated toilets and avoid littering. This helps to prevent pollution and makes certain that wildlife habitats remain healthy. 

Adopting sustainable practices when using the bathroom on safari is critical in conserving wildlife habitats. By taking the necessary steps to minimize the impact of human activities, we can help make certain that these delicate ecosystems remain preserved for future generations.

Pack-In, Pack-Out Policy

When embarking on a safari adventure, it is important to be mindful of the pack-in, and pack-out policy enforced in many safari destinations. This policy requires visitors to carry out any waste they generate during their excursion, including toilet paper, hygiene products, and other waste materials.

This policy is necessary to maintain the pristine beauty of the wilderness and protect the wildlife that calls it home. Waste left behind can contaminate the environment, harm wildlife, and disrupt the natural ecosystem. It is significant to respect this policy and play your part in preserving the natural habitat that you are visiting.

Outdoor shower on an African safari

It is always a good idea to plan and pack accordingly. Bring enough bags or containers to carry your waste back with you. You can also consider using biodegradable products, such as toilet paper or soap, that will not harm the environment. Help preserve the wilderness for future generations by packing out all your waste.

Related Questions

Can I Go on Safari on My Period?

Yes, you can go on safari while on your period. It is recommended to come prepared with an ample supply of feminine hygiene products, as access to them may be limited in remote safari locations. It is advisable to use tampons or menstrual cups for ease and convenience during outdoor activities. 

Which Toiletries Should I Pack for My Safari?

When packing toiletries for your safari, consider products such as biodegradable soap, shampoo, and conditioner to minimize environmental impact. Include a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. Do not forget sunscreen, insect repellent, and lip balm with SPF. Pack a small towel or travel-sized wet wipes for refreshing purposes.

Can I Have Food and Liquids Before Going on Safari?

It is recommended to avoid consuming heavy meals and excessive liquids immediately before going on safari. This is to prevent discomfort and the need for frequent bathroom breaks during the safari drive. However, it is important to stay hydrated, so drinking water in moderation is advisable. Opt for light snacks that will not cause digestive issues. 


Managing your bathroom needs during a safari is important to make a pleasant trip. By being aware of your body's needs, using available facilities, and planning, you can minimize discomfort and focus on the incredible wildlife and landscapes around you. Whatever your situation, following responsible travel practices is important.

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