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African Icons: Discover the 10 Most Famous Safari Animals on Earth

African safari animals are best for you if you are interested in wildlife.

There may be many ideas and inquiries running through your head. What kinds of animals are there in Africa? How can you appreciate the wildlife of an African safari?

The following article has the answer to all your questions. This article will brief you on less propaganda and more facts.

Now, let’s know the ten most famous safari animals.

1. Iconic African Safari Superstars

1.1. African Lion

safari animals
Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Unsplash Copyright 2020.

Lion, the king, is a hunter-carnivore. Lion, as you know, is the king of the jungle and also the Savana land king. It is known for its strength and aptness. It is a big cat and weighs around 225 kg.

 A lion makes all the prey work and spends its life in a territorial range. At night, their roars are hearable from a far distance. It will be a superb experience for you to watch a lion with playing cubs.

They are natural predators. Generally, lion hunts at night. To get the energy to prey, the lion rests all day. It makes his life progress with a territorial boundary.

The lion is a fearless animal, which is why it is called the jungle king. You can find lions throughout Southern and East Africa.

 The African safari will be the best choice to enjoy the hunter nature of the lion. You’ll need the patience to enjoy the lion king safari because the lion sleeps for around 20hr.

The ‘International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed the lion on the vulnerable list.

African Lion King Game reserves

You can enjoy the lion king safari in the following national park of African safari animals.

  • Rahua National Parks (Tanzania)
  • Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
  • Meru National Park (Kenya)
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Samburu National Reserve (Kenya)
  • Kruger (South Africa)
  • Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda)

1.2. African Leopard

safari animals
Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash Copyright 2018.

If you want to enjoy beautiful safari animals, a leopard will be a thrilling experience for you. Leopards are solitary African safari animals and hide in trees. You can see two together in the mating season only.

Leopard is a cunning hunter. Leopard comes out to hunt at night, so it becomes difficult to find them. 

You can find a leopard in most south African safari animal countries. The number is around 35 only. Although, you can also see a leopard sometimes in daylight.

Poachers are a threat to their existence. Hunting of leopards leads to human conflict. Their eyes are seven times more apt than human eyes. The average speed of a leopard is 64 km/hr, which makes a leopard a fast sprinter. They are hard to spot, although you can witness them playing with their young and mating. The best times to see them are in the evening and early morning. A leopard mother covers her young in layers of protection.

A leopard’s camouflage nature makes it difficult to spot. This elusive leopard nature provides them with an advantage in defending themselves.  Conservation will reduce human conflict. Maasai Mara National Reserve is famous for leopards.

African Leopard Game reserves

You can enjoy the beautiful ones in the following habitat areas of leopards.

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
  • South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)
  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Okavango Delta (Botswana)
  • Kafue National Park (Zambia)
  • Tsavo National Park (Kenya)

1.3. African Elephant

An elephant is the largest land mammal and one of the best African safari animals. Watching a herd of elephants crossing you is an unforgettable experience and a thrilling movement in life.

African elephants are of two types, one is the Forest elephant in West Africa, and another is the Savana elephant (largest land mammal). A female elephant leads a group of elephants.

If you are going to enjoy an elephant safari, the time will feel less. There is a wide range of African elephants, but elephants face a threat from humans. Elephants have emotions, intelligence, and strength.

 There are a lot of ornaments that consist of the teeth of elephants. Elephants are paying for human greed.

African Elephant Game reserves

  • Chobe National Park (Botswana)
  • Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
  • Etosha National Park (Namibia)
  • Amboseli National Park (Kenya)
  • Masai Mara National Park (Kenya)
  • Tsavo National Parks (Kenya)
  • Okavango Delta (Botswana)
  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • Mana Pools National Park (Zimbabwe)

1.4. African Buffalo

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Photo by Charl Durand on Unsplash Copyright 2019.

You may have watched the domestic buffalo. But the African buffalo is different. It will be a new experience for you to watch such a wild and dangerous buffalo.

The look says more than words. Large hongs curved in shape looks like a cap. It would be a frightening experience to come close to these buffalos. They run fast at the speed of 56 km/hr.

The cape buffalo is one of four different buffalo. It is a herbivore-like cow. So be careful about going close to the cape buffalo. These buffalo are known for their charge first, ask later.

Cape buffalo is one of the African safari animals which will act as your adrenaline booster. It is a Saharan African bovine. Southern and East Africa is the home of cape buffalo. It is a robust sprinter with good height.

Savanah-type buffalo has black coats. The large hong of buffalo helps them to protect themselves. Kruger National Park in South Africa is home to these African animals.

African Cape Buffalo

  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
  • Chobe National Park & Okavango Delta (Botswana)
  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • Lower Zambezi National Park (Zambia)
  • Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)

1.5. African White Rhino And Black Rhino

Generally, the South African area is home to Rhinos. There are two types of African rhinos, white and black rhinos. A Rhino is a solitary safari animal.

A black rhino and a white rhino spent most of their time grazing and grass munching. 

It loves to be in dust, so it covers itself with mud. Its eyesight is enough to watch from 20 meters away. Noise movement helps them in navigation.

Rhino means nose horn in greek. Black rhinos and white rhinos are the second-largest mammals on land. Illegal poaching is responsible for a decrease in the number of rhinos.

A Rhino, one of the safari animals, is vulnerable to threats. Conservation efforts should be at a fast pace. 

You are fortunate if you get a chance to see African safari animals. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of rhinos, one of the African animals.

African Rhino Safari

  • Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
  • Etosha National Park (Namibia)
  • Nairobi National Park (Kenya)
  • Kruger Park (South Africa)
  • Gondwana Private Game Reserve (South Africa)
  • Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary (Uganda)
  • Lake Nakuru National Park (Kenya)

1.6. African Antelope

Antelope is one of the African safari animals with a large variety. There are 90 different beautiful antelope species in Africa. 

There are Nyala, Eland, Gerenuk, Roan Antelope, Topi, Hartebeest, Thomsons Gazelle, Sable Antelope, Impala, Springbok, Waterbuck, Klipspringer, and many more. Masai Mara is home to many antelopes.

1.6.1. Kudus

There are two species of kudus- the greater kudu and the lesser kudu. Greater kudu has spectacular horns. 

A kudu produces the loudest sound. It has a small body with long legs. Kudu is rarely aggressive and has beautiful antlers that curve when getting older. They possess 4-12 white stripes on the torso. 

In the rainy season, they disappear because of a large amount of food availability. They live in herds in southern Africa. Greater kudus are active throughout the day. So you can enjoy the African safari animal in daylight.

1.6.2. Eland

Eland is a slow and large animal. It is an herbivore. They have a high-protein diet that includes leaves, flowers, trees, shrubs, grasses, and seeds. Eland lives with a family group of 40-60.

You will be thrilled when you first see an eland antelope because it looks like a horse. Eland roams in a wide range of habitats. 

An eland covers most southern African countries. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of elands, one of the African animals.

It will be nice to watch them jumping over the fence. An eland eats fruits, leaves, seeds, etc., and is not a domesticated safari animal.

1.6.3. Sable Antelope

safari animals
Photo by James Botes on Unsplash Copyright 2019.

Sable antelope and Roan antelope look like same but are different. You can identify a sable by its horn curves backward. They live in savanna grasslands and protect themselves using their scimitar-shaped horns.

You will be thrilled to see a herd of sable having water because they are water-depending. A thick neck and tough skin are sable’ s physical characteristics. Sables live in large herds and are rare species. 

So, they daily come to a pool or near a waterbody. Katavi National Park is the home of sable antelopes. Kruger National Park in South Africa also has plenty of sables, one of the African animals.

1.6.4. Impala

Impala is a medium size antelope that lives in eastern and southern Africa. Safari goers love its look and high jumps. You have to try to spot it. An impala has a reddish coat on it.

Both males and females look alike. A white stripe under the belly fascinates the safari-goers. The curved horn protects it from skull damage and wounds. 

They prefer to have sheds and enough water resources. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of impalas, one of the African safari animals.

1.6.5. Nyala

Nyala is a medium-sized spiral-horn antelope. It is smaller than kudus, with white strips as its ornament. 

The southern part of Africa has plenty of nyala population. A nyala is always alert and cautious. They are shy safari animals.

Nyala prefers sufficient grassland habitat and remains active early in the early morning and evening. White chevron is their most attractive feature. 

In the rainy season, you can spot them at night. They become active when it’s an alarm by the kudus to protect themselves.

Nowadays, a nyala comes out in normal conditions and is less shy. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of nyalas, one of the African animals.

1.7. African Cheetah

A cheetah, with a speed of 120kmph, is the world’s fastest land animal. It is one of the most famous and beautiful African safari animals. Spotted coats make it look elegant.

Cheetahs are the most active cats. Grassland is the place where you can easily spot them. You may confuse a cheetah and a leopard, but there is a difference between the size and spots.

 You can have the best hope for a cheetah safari in daylight. The long and flat tail helps him in balance and steering. A cheetah can survive on drinking for a few days.

A female cheetah is solitary. A male cheetah lives in a family group of 2-3 brothers. A cheetah that hunts in daylight. They are in an endangered state today. 

They’re widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of cheetahs, one of the African animals.

African Antelope Safari

  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Etosha National Park (Namibia)
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania)
  • Masai Mara National Park (Kenya)
  • Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)

1.8 African Giraffe

giraffes
Photo by Tobin Rogers on Unsplash Copyright 2017

A giraffe is an icon of African safari animals. A giraffe, one of the majestic animals, is known for its long neck and spotted coat. It is hard not to love giraffes. In Savana, the giraffe staring gives a different feeling.

A giraffe is the tallest living land animal. They have big necks and legs. Masai and Serengeti giraffes are the most famous. A group of a giraffe called a tower. 

Two giraffes’ coats are unique. Masai giraffe is darker in color. Giraffes need water once in many days.

Mother is responsible for the coat patterns of the giraffe. You never want to miss seeing a tower on an African animal safari. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of giraffes, one of the African animals.

A giraffe lives in a group from a safety point of view and poses an awkward position to eat from the earth. A giraffe has a sharp sense of smell and hearing.

African Giraffe safari

  • Etosha National Park (Namibia)
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park (Tanzania)
  • Chobe National Park & Okavango Delta (Botswana)
  • Zambezi National Park & Mana Pools (Zimbabwe)
  • Lower Zambezi National Park & South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)

1.9. African Wild Dogs

An African wild dog is well known for hunting. A lion is the most famous predator, but a dog is a hunter. If you want to enjoy a fascinating African animal safari, an African wild dog safari will be a great experience.

African wild dogs are many types. They are also called painted dogs. Wild dogs live in the pack of 6-20. They are tough to spot.  Wild dogs display the bond before a hunt. They can hear a voice from a far distance with big round ears.

Habitat loss is a big problem for them due to human conflict, being caught in traps, and vehicle hits.

African Wild Dogs Safari

  • Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania)
  • Moremi Game Reserve (Botswana)
  • South Luangwa National Park (Zambia)
  • Kruger Park (South Africa)
  • Madikwe Game Reserve (South Africa)
  • Ruaha National Park (Tanzania)
  • Hwange National Park (Zimbabwe)
  • Mana Pools National Park (Zimbabwe)

1.10. African Zebra

A group of zebras is called a dazzle. It is much fun to watch a zebra munching away on the grass.

There are three species of zebras – Plains zebras, Grevy zebras, and Mountain zebras. A plains zebra is the most common in southern and eastern Africa.

A zebra has unique black and white stripes. Scientists are not sure why a zebra have these stripes.

 A zebra runs in a zig-zag pattern to confuse the predators to protect themselves from attack. A zebra can run at the speed of 65 km/hr. Zebras like to live in groups.

When they feel the attack situation, they align themselves in a semi-circle and attack predators if it comes close. 

 They rotate their ears to express their mood with other zebras. Zebras live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of zebras, one of the African animals.

African zebra safari

  • Etosha National Park (Namibia)
  • Makgadikgadi Pans (Botswana)
  • Okavango Delta(Botswana)
  • Samburu National Park (Kenya)
  • Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
  • Masai Mara (Kenya)
  • Tsavo National Park (Kenya)

2. Southern And East Africa Safari Animals

Above there is a list of the top 10 safari animals. If Africa comes into the picture and the wildlife tally reaches only ten, it is not digestible. 

If you see African safari animals, you will love to see a wide range of wild animals. Africa is full of grassland and tree, which is why it has different wildlife breeds.

There are a lot of bird species to watch. A Lilac-breasted roller, a national bird of Kenya, is a beautiful bird. Savana woodland is lilac’s home. 

Lilac has insects as food. You can spot them on the pole top and dead trees. Kruger National Park, South Africa, is home to this bird.

There are many vultures in Africa, with eight different species. They play a crucial role in the cleaning of dead creatures. One of the most common vultures in Africa is the white-backed vulture. 

safari animals
Photo by Valentin Jorel on Unsplash Copyright 2019.

You can spot them in Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park easily. You can find them in Kruger National Park, South Africa too.

The primary food of bee-eater is bees. Bee-eater is present all over Africa. It is a green-yellow bird. Bee-eater hunt with skills. 

They are known for catching insects in the air. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, is the home of bee-eaters. A bee-eater has seven species. 

Kruger National Park in South Africa has plenty of bee-eaters, one of the African animals.

An ostrich is the largest nonflying bird in the world. It has three stomachs. An ostrich can cover at a speed of 70 km/ hr. If you see a running ostrich, consider yourself lucky. 

Every national park in Africa has an ostrich. An ostrich generally lives in pairs. They’re widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Mountain gorillas are one of the primates of earth. Mountain gorillas in Uganda may be one of the best African safari animal experiences. 

You cut your path through the jungle and vegetation to reach a high altitude. Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is a good place for a mountain gorilla safari. 

A gorilla is an animal that shows curiosity toward human beings. Mountain gorillas resemble humans a lot and have family groups of 10.

A Nile crocodile is an aggressive predator. The Nile crocodile is one of the African safari animals and catches its prey by jaws. You can find Nile crocodiles in Kruger Park in southern Africa.

Wild pigs are bushy African animals. These African animals have long body hair. The region of these African animals is small.

3.1 Safari Etiquette

There is nothing like eastern and southern Africa, the best for safari. Sub-Saharan Africa is south of the Sahara and reaches amazing African safari animals. 

All the places around you in Africa are a chance to observe the wildlife closely. 

But you should follow etiquette while going on an African animal safari. You should maintain the protocol of game reserves and national parks.

3.1. Do Not Try to Have Animals’ Attention –

Animals can go away from you. Don’t seek the attention of an animal by clapping and whistling. 

Loud noise can spook the animal. Sounds disturb animals that may lead to unprecedented danger.

3.2. Leave No Trace –

The African safaris will take you to the very heart of wildlife, so it is your responsibility not to misuse this chance and damage the ecosystem. 

Don’t throw the plastic pieces out of the vehicle and deform the natural vegetation around you. Smoking is not permissible in any animal safaris.

3.3. Do Not Be Rude to Locals –

You can interact with locals to be informed about their culture. You can greet them with simple words and give them gifts, money, and toffies to children.

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