Africa is a magical part of the world. It is an exotic paradise and houses many unique countries with their own wildlife, culture, and lifestyle. If you have never visited Africa before, it should certainly be on your world travel bucket list, and here you will be able to experience some of the most unique things in the world.
One of the main draws to visit this amazing part of the world is the promise of coming face to face with some of the most incredible creatures on earth. Lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) are just some of the animals you may see on African soil, and if you love animals then this is the ideal post for you.
Today we are taking a look at the most famous animals you can meet on safari in Africa, and where in Africa you will be able to find them.
We couldn’t begin a list about African animals without first addressing the king of the jungle; the Lion. Lions are stunning wild cats and they are majestic animals who live in the plains of Africa. Lions spend up to 20 hours of the day resting and this means that when you see them on safari, they will most likely be lounging in the sun with the rest of their pride. If you want to see a lion active and hunting, dawn or dusk is the best time of day to see them at work.
Where to see: You can find lions at the Kgalagadi Transfrontia Park between South Africa and Botswana.
Second only to the lion, elephants are one of the most iconic creatures on the planet and the African Elephant is the largest land mammal in the world. These stunning and peaceful creatures are a sight to behold and adults can reach a staggering weight of 11,000kg and a shoulder height of 3.96m. As you may also know, these creatures have long lifespans and also have an incredible memory. Elephants enjoy travelling in family units and they are often found close to forests and the Sahara desert.
Where to see: You can see elephants at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
Giraffes are the tallest animals in the world and usually they are the easiest animal to spot while on a safari because they tower above even the trees. The peaceful herbivores can actually become camouflaged very well behind trees and you may even see one appear seemingly out of nowhere in front of you. There are many species of giraffe in Africa and they are all friendly and inquisitive creatures. They are usually active throughout the day and should be fairly easy to spot on safari.
Where to see: Giraffes can be seen in vast herds in the Serengeti.
Leopards are one of the larger species of wild cat, and they are notoriously hard to see. Due to the intricate spots on their bodies, they become very easily camouflaged in the forests and therefore can be difficult to spot when on a safari. Leopards tend to live in wooded areas where they can use trees to move around high above their prey. They are solitary creatures, and don’t often come out during the day. At night though, these creatures make incredible hunters and can climb and swim to follow their prey. These creatures are currently labelled as a vulnerable species.
Where to see: You’ll be able to see leopards at the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa.
The rhino is most often seen as the elephants smaller cousin, and there are a lot of similarities in the appearance and behaviours of these land giants. There are two species of rhino in Africa, white and black, and they can be identified by the shape of their bottom lip. White rhinos have a square shaped bottom lip and black rhinos have a pointed bottom lip. During African Safari Tours You’ll be able to see and appreciate these creatures that sadly, are targeted by poachers and as a result are now endangered. There are less than 5000 black rhinos in the wild so a sighting of these amazing animals is something truly special in the wild. Rhinos are short sighted and often travel alone, being active throughout the hours of the day.
Where to see: Etosha National Park in Namibia, which is a conservation sight that houses both white and black rhinos together.
The Cheetah is known for being the fastest land animal on the planet, being able to sprint at a speed of 70mph in short sprints. They are the most delicate and slender big cat in Africa and they are characterised by having a more athletic build instead of the muscular build shared by Jaguars, Panthers, and Lions. Although they easily outrun the other big cats in the wild, their slender build makes them a target and often bigger cats will steal their food before they can eat it. This as well as other factors means that there are only around 6000 cheetahs left in the wild right now. Cheetahs often are seen in wide open spaces which allow them to run and reach their top speed.
Where to see: The Maasai Mara in Kenya is a great place to see cheetahs.
African buffalo are some of the most iconic animals in Africa and famously it was these beasts who shared that iconic scene in The Lion King with Mufasa and Simba. But before you write this huge beast off, you should take the time to see them for yourself because these amazing beasts have only 2 natural predators in the wild: Lions and Crocodiles. African buffalo cannot be tamed and live in large herds. They can be seen migrating across the landscape in stampedes and this is truly a stunning sight to behold. Be careful when close to these animals as they are responsible for multiple fatalities each year.
Where to see: Katavi National Park in Tanzania.
Hippos are often mistaken as being a gentle giant, because although they are herbivores and largely stick to their own business; when threatened they will attack and have one of the most powerful bites in the animal kingdom. Hippos live in large groups of around 100 and they spend most of their lives in water. When a hippo does walk on land, it is usually to find a source of water or move on. Hippos are stunning animals and can be seen throughout the day at watering holes.
Where to see: Luangwa Valley in Zambia has the world’s highest concentration of hippos.
Safari Animals And Where To Find Them In Africa