African safaris are of course famous for their animals. On the open savanna, most of the animals are usually relatively easy to spot, especially if you are traveling with an experienced guide who has knowledge of the area and its wildlife.
My best safari trip of all time must have been a trip to a National Park during which I saw the whole big five and all the big African Cats including the African Leopard who usually hides during day time.
The Three Big Cats
The Lion is probably the best known big cat, the king of the savanna and the animals, and lions can be seen in many parts of Africa. Lions usually move around in packs which makes them easier to spot. During the hot days, they are often lazy, and they can be found laying in the shade somewhere under a tree or bushy areas. They are huge – much bigger and more impressive than one can even imagine. Also, that lion roar is something that gives chills every time – it is definitely something to experience.
The shyer cats Cheetah and Leopard are not as easy to spot even though they are spread widely and can be seen very close to towns, sometimes even in residential areas. Leopards are the most active during the night, therefore spotting them is most likely during a night safari – unless you happen to be very lucky. Cheetahs move around a lot. Therefore, there aren’t certain spots where one can see them for sure. Of course, some areas are more populated than others. Other small cats in Africa include interesting species such as the Caracal.
Antelopes of All Kind
One thing is that you will definitely see some antelopes if you go on a safari trip in Africa. Common antelope species include Springbok, Wildebeest, Hartebeest, Oryx, and Kudu but there many others too. Many of these like to move in big herds.
Iconic Zebras, Giraffes, Rhinos and Elephants
These four must be my all-time favourites, and luckily, when living or visiting in Africa, one gets to see these amazing animals up close and personal. There is nothing quite as powerful than seeing 10-20 huge elephants wander around to the waterhole, protecting their little ones, or seeing a couple of Rhinos joining them.
Giraffes and Zebras are usually more sensitive and shy. So, it is also great to see them. If one wants to see them up close, the approach must be slow and steady so that they do not run away. Remember, they are used to keeping their eye out for all kinds of danger. Other species which are often spotted are the Hippo and Crocodile. Flamingos, Vouchers, and other birds can be seen as well. Also, Meerkats, Warthogs, Buffalos, Hyenas, and Jackals are all over the place.
Some more rare and by now very endangered species of carnivores are the African Wild dogs. These Hyena-like dogs are only seen in some small parts of Africa anymore. It is one animal to look for as it might sadly disappear from the wild soon. They are very efficient hunters, like wolves, they hunt in big packs, and even for fun only, this makes them very vulnerable to human conflict as farmers do not appreciate them.