Do & Don’ts in Andaman

Andaman & Nicobar Islands have many sandy beaches and coral reefs. But only some of these beaches are supervised for safe swimming, snorkeling and diving. Though Andaman water is generally safe for swimming and looks inviting, it also has some potentially dangerous marine animals, which may come in conflict due to mistaken identity such as prey or to defend their territory. Though such incidents are extremely rare, visitors are advised to observe the following precautions for a safe and enriching swimming experience.

Do’s

  • Find out about safe swimming or diving area from the Tourist Information Center, Local Tour Operators and Forest Department Staff. Do not swim in Protected Areas to avoid dangerous animals.
  • Look for the safety sign boards. They help you to identify potential dangers.
  • Ask a lifeguard on duty for some advice on swimming conditions like local currents, tides, visibility, and the presence of dangerous marine creatures etc. Swimming conditions can change quickly, so seek prior advice from a lifeguard before entering in water in an unpatrolled area.
  • Get a friend to swim with you so that you can look out for each other’s safety and get help, if needed. Children should always be supervised by an adult. Avoid swimming in the dark.
  • Raise your hand up for help if you get into trouble in the water. Stay calm and wave your arm for help.
    Treat National Parks as they are sanctorum of our precious natural heritage.
  • Obtain permits from the Chief Wildlife Warden for photography / videography / investigation inside a sanctuary or a Marine National Park.
  • While driving, follow the traffic rules, keep left. Carry legal documents like driving license, permit, passport etc.
    Dispose of the garbage and plastics at proper places/dustbins.
  • Take back only photographs and sweet memories leave behind only footprints and ripples.
  • Obtain transit pass from the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Wildlife Division, Port Blair, to transport any wild animal/trophy, article etc. outside the islands.
  • Foreign nationals are requested to obtain the Restricted Area Permit.
  • Visit only permitted areas.
  • Keep the beaches and the environment clean.
  • Observe decency and decorum in dress.
  • On the beach, parents are requested to keep an eye on their kids at all times.
  • Please drink sufficient water to avoid dehydration.

Don’t

  • Do not dangle your arms or legs in the water during boat rides.
  • Do not swim alone.
  • Do not swim in unsafe waters during monsoon.
  • Do not swim after consuming liquor.
  • Avoid night swimming or diving.
  • Do not pluck or damage corals.
  • Shiny jewellery or bright coloured clothes resemble the fins of small fishes and may attract predatory fishes.
  • Avoid such accessories or clothing while swimming.
  • If you have an open wound, please avoid swimming. Many predatory fish are attracted to blood odour.
  • Avoid diving or swimming amongst schools of fish. This may attract predatory fishes such as sharks.
  • Avoid night swimming or diving.
  • Foreign Nationals should not enter the islands without a required permit.
  • Do not enter into restricted/tribal areas.
  • Do not take video film or photographs inside Tribal Reserve areas of the indigenous tribes.
  • While driving, follow the traffic rules, keep left. Carry legal documents like driving license, permit, passport etc.
  • Do not take pictures of the Airport, Government Dockyard, Defence Establishments, Naval Wharf, Dhanikhari
  • Dam and Chatham Saw Mill.
  • Do not collect, destroy coral or touch/ break live coral.
  • Please do not stand on the coral reef while snorkelling / Scuba Diving.
  • Do not take video or film without permit, wherever such permits are required.
  • Do not carry sea fans and seashells unless specific permits are obtained from the Fisheries Department.
  • Do not throw garbage and plastic in public places, beaches and into the sea.
  • Do not light fire in Forests and Protected Areas as it not only destroys forests but also damages wildlife habitat.
  • Person who commits breach of any of the conditions of the wildlife protections shall be punishable under law.
  • Do not stay on the beaches or forest during night by putting up tents/hammocks.
  • Nudity on beaches and public places is strictly forbidden.
  • Do not enter the National Parks without prior permission.
  • Corals & Shells, collection of which is prohibited under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

GENERAL TRAVEL TIPS FOR VISITORS

Treat people with respect and be respectful of other cultures. Be an ethical traveler by understanding and appreciating local customs, traditions, and social norms.

Learn local taboos to avoid inadvertently offending or disrespecting people. Take the time to educate yourself about cultural sensitivities and adjust your behavior accordingly.

Be patient and flexible. Traveling can sometimes come with unexpected delays or inconveniences. Embrace the mindset of going with the flow and enjoy the journey, even when things don’t go according to plan.

Maintain a calm and composed demeanor, even in frustrating situations. Raising your voice in anger or displaying aggressive behavior can escalate conflicts and hinder your travel experience.

Avoid flaunting your relative wealth. Displaying flashy possessions or excessive wealth can attract unwanted attention and potentially make you a target for theft or scams. Blend in with the local crowd and exercise discretion.

Engage in fair and respectful bargaining, especially in markets or when dealing with street vendors. Remember that haggling is a common practice in many cultures, but it’s important to negotiate in a friendly and reasonable manner.

Be cautious when discussing politics, particularly in countries with sensitive political climates. Some topics may be considered taboo or can provoke strong reactions. It’s best to exercise restraint and avoid potentially contentious discussions.

Take care when handling money and making payments. Be mindful of your belongings and use secure methods of carrying and accessing your cash or cards. It’s advisable to keep valuables and important documents in a safe place.

Consider leaving expensive jewelry at home to minimize the risk of theft or attracting unwanted attention. Similarly, go easy on strong scents like perfume, aftershave, or cologne as they may not be culturally appropriate or appreciated by others.

Remember, by being respectful, culturally sensitive, and mindful of your surroundings, you can enhance your travel experience and create positive interactions with the local community.

Hope the above details are as per your requirements. In case of further clarifications or any question(s) please do contact us.