The Bad Tourist Hall of Shame


Holy fucking hell I hate tourists. I hate their big cameras and their stupid questions and their lumpish gait and their scowling sunburnt faces and their dreadful children.

Of course, there are good tourists and bad tourists and most importantly of all, I am, myself, a tourist.

For example, I am currently sunburnt, wearing lots of beaded bracelets, dragging around a large camera, and reading Eat Pray Love (writing good, but far, far too much hippy god stuff – a case in which I probably should have judged a book by its cover).

Nevertheless, here is an ever-expanding list of the worst tourists I have encountered, and where. 

Tanda Tula safari lodge, Kruger Park, South Africa

Number: One adult female

Nationality: Canadian

Chief crimes: Endorsing circuses

Description: Loud woman with a short blonde pixie crop who laughed hysterically at all her own jokes, which weren’t funny. She was telling a story about this amazing thing she’d seen a lion do at a circus. I interrupted her to point out that circuses are very unhappy places for lions. She retorted, “Yeah but it was in Vegas. So it was a high-end one.” Then she laughed hysterically.

Plettenburg Bay Game Reserve, South Africa

Number: Two women, two children

Nationality: South African

Chief crimes: Ignoring the guide, being alive

Description: Two brash, mouthy women with equally brattish children who sat behind us in our safari vehicle. They were told not to smoke, carry food, stand up in the vehicle or make sudden noises near the lions. They smoked, chomped on crisps throughout, stood up and made screeching sounds right by the lions.

Chitabe Safari Camp, Botswana

Number: Two retirees

Nationality: French

Chief crimes: Arrogance, rudeness, apparent dislike for animals

Description: Male declared that he wanted a guide who would ‘chase’ the animals, otherwise he finds the drives ‘boring’. Female knocked over a jug of water at the dinner table and blamed the waitress, who was standing several feet away. Both responded to the discovery that I was a vegetarian by avidly celebrating the method of making fois gras.