38 Remarkable Wildlife Encounters in Africa
My number one reason for scheduling a trip to Africa was for the wildlife sightings. I couldn’t wait to witness elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, and leopards in their natural environment. And within the first week in Tanzania, I had actually seen all the popular African safari animals!Little I couldn’t wait to witness elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinos, and leopards in their natural environment. And within the first week in Tanzania, I had actually seen all the popular African safari animals!Little did I know that I would likewise see such incredible sights as giraffes fighting, a group of white rhinos walking within 15 feet of me, lions feeding upon a zebra carcass, and giant tortoises on an island off the African coast.
VIDEO: The African Safari Animals I Saw in 8 Countries
A countdown with images of my most remarkable wildlife sightings and encounters over 2 months through 8 countries from Kenya down to South Africa, visiting national parks like Arusha, Serengeti, Matopos, Chobe, and Etosha. Interested in taking an overland safari in Africa? Chat to an Afrika Lovers specialist.
African Safari Animals: My Coolest Wildlife Sightings
38 Scheming monkeys in Chobe
Don’t be tricked by the adorable appearance of these monkeys. They were thieves! These two have actually learned that house=humans=food. So they wait here for tourist automobiles to show up for a bathroom break, then try to leap in the safari trucks to get whatever they can discover.
37 Leopard tortoise hiding in the lawn
An eagle-eyed member of our group found this leopard tortoise hanging out in the brown lawn. We saw him for a few minutes. It’s safe to say this was one of the slowest-moving animals I have actually ever seen.
36 Warthogs on the walkway
Warthog sightings were somewhat frequent throughout Africa. A lot were off in the distance or concealing behind some trees. This small group of warthogs chose to cross a pedestrian pathway in Victoria Falls. I think for them, it & rsquo; s better to run into humans than lions?
35 Rare caracal encounter in Etosha
Aside from lions, feline sightings are unusual. Leopards and cheetahs tend to stay surprise, and forget seeing smaller sized wild cats like the caracal. In Etosha National Park, we spotted this caracal just off the roadway. The caracal resembles an African version of a lynx and is easy to recognize by the long tufts of hair shooting out of its ears.Pardon the blurry image on this one. It’s amazing I got a photo at all, thinking about that the caracal ran out of sight within seconds. I feel privileged to have actually seen this unusual cat!
34 Giraffes flexing over
The coolest part about seeing all these African safari animals was noticing the little subtleties of how they live their lives. I had actually never pondered how giraffes bend over. Turns out, they have to do the splits! I saw numerous giraffes flexing over to drink at watering holes. This one mooned me as he licked the ground for minerals in Chobe.
33 Wildebeest crossing the roadway
I wasn’t in the Serengeti at the correct time of year to see the famous migration, however I can just picture what it’s like based on seeing groups of wildebeest run in front of our vehicles all the time. Someday I have to come back to witness countless wildebeests throughout the proper migration.
32 Huge marabou stork
Look at this human-sized marabou stork strolling around like he owns the place at a Serengeti visitor centre!
31 Lion cubs concealing in the shrubs
When lion mamas go off to hunt, they leave behind their cubs in a hiding place. On one occasion, I saw cubs in trees. In this circumstances, the cubs were left behind a little shrub simply a couple of feet off the main roadway. They were so charming! Hopefully they made it through– there were male lions just a brief range away.
30 Baboons in Victoria Falls
In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the baboons are extremely aggressive and not scared of human beings. They’ll walk right through open windows into stores. They’ll nab your grocery bags as you stroll on the street. And they’ll walk right past you on the pathway just a few feet away. It was a little unnerving strolling – past them so closely due to the fact that they threatening, but they left us alone.
29 Seeing elephants up close from a mokoro
In the Okavango Delta, you can ride in a standard mokoro canoe. As our guides led us through some of the area’s narrow waterways at sundown, we discovered a group of elephants just ahead of us. They stopped to drink water, then carried on without even acknowledging our presence. What a cool encounter at close range!
28 Ostriches being ostriches
The ostrich might be my preferred African animal. Whatever about them is so unusual, from their look to their habits. Seeing ostriches was always an adventure. Here we see a male (darker feathers ) with 2 females at a water hole. And a reward picture of a male strutting his things. The women are more blandly-colored to help them better camouflage themselves from predators.
27 Cape buffalo group in Etosha
The Cape buffalo is the forgotten member of the Big Five, together with lions, rhinos, leopards, and elephants. They’re not as “exciting” as the others, but I do enjoy their little hats. I saw a big group of buffalo relaxing around on a hot day in Namibia’s Etosha National Park.
26 Camels in Maasai Mara
Are my eyes deceiving me? Camels aren’t safari animals and they don’ live in this part of Africa! Apparently, twenty years earlier, 20 camels were brought to Tanzania for tourism functions. They were abandoned and ultimately found their method to the Maasai who live outside Serengeti National Park. They utilize these animals for transportation, milk, and meat. Reportedly, 400 camels now live in Tanzania, so you can often find them.
25 Flamingos in the Serengeti
I’ve seen so many flamingos in zoos that I almost forgot they in fact live in the wild. Lots of the pink and white birds unwinded around a lake in Ngorongoro Crater.
24 Banded mongooses in camping area
Meet the banded mongoose. It’s like a squirrel, but with sharper teeth. A substantial group of these critters took control of one of our camping sites. They were safe and amusing to watch.
23 Group of zebras & rhinos at watering hole
Watering holes were a common sight in national forests, as animals of all kinds collected to satiate their thirst. When lions were around, the other animals kept their range. When no lions were present, they all came out to drink together. Giraffes, rhinos, elephants, impalas, jackals, and zebras socialized together.
22 Baboons in the Serengeti
A group of baboons took up residence in a small spot of trees, providing tourists a possibility to enjoy them up close. They’re fascinating because they’re so human-like. It was especially enjoyable to view a child baboon play. He kept getting on the grownups and troubling them until they shooed him away.
21 Seeing 25 giraffes during an Okavango Delta trek
Look how close you can walk to giraffes on a walking in the Moremi Game Reserve section of the Okavango Delta in Botswana! We saw around 25 giraffes amount to on this hike. We got within 100 feet of them approximately.
20 Impalas battling, feeding, breeding
Impalas are the most ubiquitous of the African safari animals in the eastern and southern part of the continent. I saw thousands throughout my visit and I’m grouping all of the impala wildlife sightings together here. Impalas typically live in groups. I saw some dominant males living with groups of around 30 females, mating with numerous, one after another. I saw male impalas fighting, challenging each other for supremacy. I saw groups of & “loser males” – the ones who didn’t have a collection of females – cohabiting. In Namibia I saw the less-common black-faced impalas. No matter how many impalas I encountered, I still found them remarkable.
19 Close encounter with zebras
You never forget your very first time. The early morning of my very first safari trip into the Serengeti, I was rupturing with excitement about what we might see. Immediately, we took place upon a couple of zebras near the roadway. My first safari animal sighting! Unlike many zebras, these ones didn’t run. They just stood there, sizing me up and giving me an opportunity to take close-up pictures.
18 Black rhinos in Etosha
By the time we reached Etosha, we had seen several white rhinos. However the less-common black rhinoceros had actually eluded us. And after that we saw a couple during an afternoon drive in the park. Black rhinos are incredibly threatened. As poachers target them for their horns, there are fewer than 2500 black rhinos left in the wild, and their numbers are dropping rapidly. Seeing this one roam easily around the park was a stunning thing.
17 Jackals hunting shrieking birds at a watering hole
One night at a watering hole near our campground, I took pleasure in watching the dance in between a jackal and a group of birds. The jackal would get near to try to make a kill, then the birds would scream and alert each other. Some would even dive bomb the jackal and nip at its head. The jackal would pull away, then return later on, then get chased off once again. Poor jackal did not score a meal this night. I have no photos from that night, so the pic above is a random jackal from the Serengeti. Jackals were among my favorite wildlife sightings in Africa. I like how resourceful they are. They didn’t eliminate large game themselves, but they’re skilled scavengers who are proficient at slipping in and taking bites of carcasses from more terrifying predators who are feeding.
16 Crocodiles chasing each other
I had the fortune of seeing probably 10-15 crocodiles in numerous places around Africa. Most did stagnate an inch. They remained perfectly still on shore, looking terrifying. This set of crocs from Chobe National Park was an exception. One swam in the water, approaching the other, who lunged at it and caused it to escape as fast as it could. The brief tussle qualified as major excitement on the planet of crocodile sighting.
15 Cuddling hyrax atop Table Mountain
The hyrax (or rock dassie) is a rodent-looking mammal that I encountered atop Table Mountain in South Africa. These critters are sensitive to temperature levels, so on this cold, rainy afternoon, they gathered together for heat.
14 Vultures eating carcass in Serengeti
I don’t know what animal this group of 30 vultures found, but they tore it to pieces. The vultures snipped at each other as they all attempted to get a piece of the action. A few jackals stood apart the periphery waiting their turn.
13 Elephants walking beside our safari automobile
Isn’t it crazy when a group of 12 elephants (consisting of two babies) saunters out of the woods, strolls straight towards your safari jeep, stops briefly to look at you, makes a loud trumpet sound to warn you not to tinker the babies, then continues walking past to the woods on the other side? Yeah, that had never ever occured to me either, till this glorious day in Chobe.
12 Running into a hyena outside the camping site restroom
Many of our camping areas had fencing to keep the wild animals out, however a couple of did not. Like our very first night in the Serengeti. We were totally out there in the wild. Lions, elephants, leopards, or anything else could have wandered into our camp. The only animal that did come by was a hyena. As I was brushing my teeth, I got out of the restroom, shined my flashlight to the left, and there it was. A predator efficient in eliminating a human. The light terrified it off, and I headed straight to my camping tent, where I did not emerge until morning. We heard other hyenas wailing that night, however none bothered us. As you may imagine, I did not get a photo of the hyena. In truth, of the approximately 10 hyenas I saw on this trip, none were close enough for me to catch a terrific photo. The shot above from Serengeti was the finest glance of a hyena I had.
11 Lion mama with 4 cubs
The hardest-working mama I saw in Africa was this lioness, who was accountable for assisting 4 cubs as she walked through the Serengeti. What a huge task! Everyone appeared delighted and healthy on this day.
10 Cape Cross seal colony on Namibia ‘s Skeleton Coast
An astonishing 200,000 Cape fur seals live in the Cape Cross region. I’ve never ever seen seals as close as I did when I walked down the boardwalk here. I got close enough to touch them, however decided that would be a very bad idea.
9 Elephants swimming in between islands
Elephants are excellent swimmers but you hardly ever see them swimming. In Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba, I found five elephants migrating between islands. The water wasn’ t very deep, and the trek between islands was quite brief (it took less than one minute), but it was still awesome to see swimming elephants, something not many people get to witness.
8 Penguins in South Africa!
My first-ever penguin wildlife sightings was available in South Africa at Boulders Beach, the area where African penguins established a colony in the 1980s. It was fun to see these playful birds up close as they swam, rested, and took branches from each others nests on the beach.
7 Lions resting in lorry shade
Lions usually see safari lorries as big, safe, metal machines. They don’t really even see the human beings inside. So when trucks approach, often they move away. Often, they’ll even approach the automobiles and rest right next to them! That’s what occurred in Ngorongoro Crater, when 2 female lions approached our trucks and chose to rest in the shade. How amazing to see these huge felines from such a close range!
6 Feeding Jail Island tortoises
I didn’t think of when I flew to Africa that I’d get to engage with huge tortoises. But I found them on Changuu, or Jail Island, a little island off the coast of Zanzibar, itself an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania. These tortoises are the second-largest tortoise species in the world, just exceeded by the Galapagos tortoise! Getting to feed them by hand was very cool.
5 Eight rhinos gather at an Etosha watering hole
Numerous fenced-in camping sites in Namibia and Botswana had watering holes simply outside their grounds. Campers might go sit there at any time of day and wait for wild animals to come quench their thirst. My most unbelievable watering hole experience took place during the night in Etosha National Park. It was wonderful to sit on a park bench under a blanket and watch nature unfold beyond the fence just a few feet in front of me. Around 9 pm, an elephant emerged from the trees to eat. Jackals and hyenas snuck out for water. Lots of giraffes and zebras tentatively approached the water while continuously scanning the ground around them for predators in paranoid fashion. Then, a rhino emerged. It approached the water and caught the attention of the elephant, which bellowed at it, triggering it to pull away and relocate to the other side of the water. Quickly after, two more rhinos came out of the trees, butting heads with each other in some sort of fight. Twenty minutes later on, a 4th rhino appeared. Then a 5th. Then came a mother and a baby. Another rhino peeked out from the trees. Eight rhinos in the same place at the same time! I stayed until 1 am and was blown away by the possibility to observe these creatures in their natural environment for hours. I wasn’t in travel blogger mode, so I didn’t have my camera. I did snap a couple phone photos, including the one above with 4 rhinos in the picture.
4 Lions eating zebra
Seeing lions walking and sleeping was cool, however I think you have to see lions searching or feeding to truly experience the Serengeti. Fortunately, we came across a group of lions feasting on a zebra carcass simply off the primary roadway. One traveler from another truck stated he’d experienced the kill numerous hours previously. By this time, all that was left was the zebra’s head, which two lions took turns snacking on, and the intense red ribcage that had been completely removed clean of meat.
3 Leopard sightings in the Serengeti
Leopards are most unlikely to see amongst the Big 5. They’re fast and they tend to stay out of sight, far from the primary roadways. We had a fantastic safari driver, who took us on numerous dirt roads and was adept at finding leopards far away in the trees. We saw three leopards that method, all in trees off in the distance. Every time we got closer, they ran down the trees and scampered out of sight. How awesome to see!
2 Giraffes fighting
A giraffe battle is an extraordinary thing to witness. The two giraffes stand beside each other and whip their necks against the neck of the other giraffe, triggering a loud thud sound that sounds extremely uncomfortable. We were close enough to see and hear a set of giraffes doing battle for a number of minutes in Botswana. What an incredible life experience.
1 Hiking with rhinos up close
The most extraordinary wildlife sighting throughout the overland safari in Africa came throughout a rhino walk with rhino specialist Ian Harmer. He led our group on a bush walk in Matopos National Park, away from the security of our safari automobiles. There, we had the ability to stroll within 50 feet of a group of white rhinos as they grazed. Approaching any closer would have been unsafe. In some cases the rhinos will get closer if they want. Which is exactly what took place as they continued grazing, walking within 15 feet of where we were standing. What an overwhelming sensation to be in the presence of these magnificent animals! They looked in our direction a few times, however they mostly ignored us and kept eating. Simply seeing rhinos from a range while sitting in a vehicle would have been an excitement, however to be out there in the wild, in their presence, close enough to read the numbers on their ear tags and to hear their chomping of turf was incredible. Rhinos became my favorite African safari animal after this hike, and the walk was the most remarkable moment during my time in Africa.
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