Safari animals are people too!
Africa is an entrancing place, and a large part of what makes it so fascinating is its fauna! If you're planning a luxury African safari, no doubt the chance to see giraffes, elephants, zebras, cheetahs and hippopotami in the wild was a big factor in your decision making. Today we check out eleven amazing animals you're likely to see on a luxury safari holiday, where and when to find them, and some tips for being close to these foreign creatures. They're people too!
- Lions Lions are quite commonly encountered animals on luxury African safaris. You'll need to follow your luxury safari holiday guide's instructions regarding lion safety carefully. They look lazy, but are big and fast, and think of you as dinner. Even if you escape an attacking lion, there's a chance that cats will eventually develop a hatred of humans and have to be shot if they harass enough tourists.
- Black rhinoceros If you're going on a luxury African safari in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia or Zimbabwe, you might be treated to black rhino sightings. Black rhinos do have poor eyesight but they have excellent senses of hearing and smell. They are extremely aggressive, and attack in response to fear, panic or simple confusion! Tree trunks and termite mounds are often the object of black rhino ire, so watch only from great distance. Standing still can help prevent you being noticed by a rhino.
- Giraffe These imposing creatures are found from central to Southern Africa – anywhere there is plenty of acacia to eat. Giraffes are less likely than predator animals to be aggressive, but their enormous necks and powerful legs and hooves are actually quite fearsome weapons.
- Leopard Any luxury safari holiday throughout central and eastern Africa is likely to see you encountering leopards. Watch for them both on the ground and in trees; leopards are also very opportunistic hunters, and if you want some awe-inspiring hunt shots, just sit and wait for a while when you see leopards and impala or gazelle close to each other.
- Eland These massive bovine-type creatures are found on the plains of southern Africa, and could well be lion, hyena or spotted dog magnets. Stay well away and be patient!
- Hippopotami These hungry, hungry animals are actually most closely related to whales and porpoises! They are semi-aquatic and can remain underwater for 3-5 minutes before resurfacing to breathe, so, somewhat like crocodiles, you need to watch out for them when approaching waterholes. They can easily outrun humans, so don't be tempted to get too close. Even lions are not considered as brave as hippos by Zulu warriors.
- Zebra Zebra can live in a wide variety of habitats, but extensive hunting for their hides throughout Africa has severely impacted their numbers – you can still catch sight of a herd of zebra on a luxury safari holiday, but it's less common now.
The delight of seeing African animals in the wild is unmatchable. Your luxury African safari guides will let you know what animals you're likely to encounter, how to stay safe around them and give you some insight into their fascinating habits. Make sure that you pay attention to them!