African Safari Animals: 34 Photos that will make you want to visit Tanzania

I don't think we've ever had such a successful wildlife safari. The amount of different animals in different situations that we saw while visiting Tanzania was outstanding. We had so many amazing moments, we had to round up all our encounters with these African safari animals one giant photo story. 

African Safari Animals in Photos

It was while traveling through Tanzania with Go Ahead Tours that we had the opportunity to view the wildlife of the Serengeti, Ngorngoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara. That's a lot of different locations to see animals and we made the most of them all. We hope you enjoy!

1. Male Lion on the Prowl

african safari animals male lion

In the Serengeti a male lion keeps an eye on a herd of elephants with his three brothers staying covered in the long grass.

2. Lioness on a Rock

lioness on rock in serengeti

When entering the Serengeti, the first thing we spotted was a lioness relaxing on a rock. Not far away was Lion King Rock and this scene was fitting. This is exactly what we expected to see on the African savanna and the moment didn't disappoint.

3. Cheetah in the Grass

cheetah posing serengeti

Spotting cheetahs is tricky business. They hide well in the long grass, but this beauty was sitting poised and ready as we approached in our trucks. She posed for us before sauntering off with her sibling.

4. Baby Elephant playing

african animals baby elephant

There is nothing cuter than seeing baby elephants play. This little guy was the leader of his baby posse as he flapped his ears and charged his fellow siblings.

Video Break: Baby Elephants and Other Cute African Safari Animals


Elephants weren't at the top of my list of animals to see in Africa until we sat watching these baby elephants play. After that, every baby elephant I saw, my heart melted.

5. Leopard jumping into a tree

african animals leopard leaping onto tree

Seeing a leopard is a rare and beautiful thing. Seeing a leopard jump onto a tree and continue to climb it is nearly impossible. It was the end of the day of our final day in the Serengeti and we knew a leopard had been hanging out in a tree for a couple of days. On our way back to the lodge, Dave asked our guide George if we could swing by the leopard tree to see if she had moved.

Sure enough we caught her walking from one tree to another and snapped this shot jus as she leapt to her perch.

6. Lioness and her cub

safari animals mother and cub

This memorable moment consisted of 13 cubs following one lone female. Our guide George told us that there were probably three other adult female lurking in the grass, but the cubs were following her the alpha. As they followed along, this little guy broke away from the pack charging at his mom. He brought here down, nipping at her throat and belly before climbing on her back to tell the rest of the cubs to come on down!

7. The lone Bull elephant

safari animals elephant in black and white

When males are too old to be a part of the herd (or when male elephants grow out of their adolescence) They are sent off on their own to either find another herd or spend the rest of their days in solitude. This giant elephant was definitely an old man and he took notice when our safari jeep came near.

8. Lion looking at me

african safari animals lion hunting

This is the brother of our first lion photograph in the Serengeti. He walked so close to our truck that George told us to get our hands inside. He was licking his chops, so you knew he was ready for lunch!

9. Cheetah and her cub

african wildlife mother cheetah and cub

One of our favourite moments seeing African safari animals came while leaving Tarangire National Park.

We were on our way to the next stop with our roofs and windows closed. But our guides spotted this cheetah on the hunt with her cub. A herd of gazelles were grazing nearby and she was keeping an eye on them. At one point they made a move to chase one and it seemed like the perfect moment. But the baby jumped the gun bounding ahead giving the gazelle ample warning to get away.

Not to worry though, the mother quickly forgave her child and they cuddled up waiting for the next set of prey to walk by.

10. Giraffes on Lake Maynara

african wildlife giraffes on lake reflection

Lake Manyara is one of the most interesting stops to see African safari animals. It's one things to see giraffes on the Serengeti, but to see them standing on the beach with water reflecting their long  necks is mesmerizing. We counted 18 giraffes standing like statues on the shores of Lake Manyara; an alkaline lake known for its flamingoes and baboon population.

11. Lion chasing Lioness

africa animals lion chasing lioness

Brother lion number three got into the action on the Serengeti as this lioness tried to protect her cubs from a herd of elephants. As she tried to draw the elephants away from her cubs, she also had to fend off the male lions trying to mate with her. It's not an easy life for the ladies of the Serengeti.

12. The Yawning hippo

africa safari animals hippos in water

Hippos are pretty boring to watch. Most of the time they lay in pools of water with only their nostrils and ears sticking out. They all pack together protecting one another from the sun as they stay covered in mud. But every once in awhile a hippo yawns and it's the most exciting moment of the day!

13. Necking Giraffes

africa safari animals giraffes

Watching giraffes intertwine their long necks while swaying back and forth is like watching a ballet. They swing from side to side in perfect unison coming together for a few moments before beginning the dance again. The movements mesmerizes you into a trance as you watch the moment unfold..

14. Lioness with her kill

lioness with kill in tanzania

Watching this female lion carry her recent kill along the African savanna showed just how harsh conditions are for animals. She may have caught dinner but getting it back to her cubs took a lot of hard work. She walked for a few minutes and then dropped the gazelle taking heavy breathes as she caught her breath. All the while she had to keep an eye out for other predators that could challenge her to take her kill.

At one point she saw a lone gazelle and dropped her kill to try for another. It managed to outrun her, but she exerted a lot of energy. I wonder how she would have carried two kills at a time?

15. Elephant on the way to the watering hole

elephant with tree on african savanna

The perfect African safari scene. This is what I think of when I dream of Africa.

16. Cheetah cub

cheetah in long grass african savanna

When visiting the Masai Mara in Kenya, we only saw one cheetah our entire safari. While on safari in Tanzania, we saw a half a dozen cheetahs including moms, cubs and this adolescent.

17. Male lion in the Ngorogoro crater

tanzania safari animals lion in ngorongoro crater

We didn't expect to see male lions at the Ngorongoro Crater but sure enough, after spending time watching the wildebeest and zebras, we came across two male lions walking steadily to find some shade. We followed them for a bit before they changed course towards a very big and shady baobab tree.

18. Lake Manyara with Flamingoes

pelicans of lake manyara

This is what Lake Manyara is famous for. Here you will see not only flamingoes, but storks, cranes, pelicans and eagles all flying and floating on an incredible lake surrounded by rolling hills.

19. Morning light on a Hyena

hyena on the seregeti in long grass

The poor hyena isn't the most famous of African safari animals, but seeing one is pretty rare. I think they are cute and just because they are scavengers doesn't mean they aren't fierce. When cycling Africa we often had hyenas circling our camp. We didn't stray too far from our circle at night with these guys hanging around.

20. Bull elephant right before a fake charge

elephant africa animals

While watching a bull elephant from the safety of our truck, he suddenly took notice of us and charged. Elephants are the most unpredictable when on safari in our opinion. They look so relaxed and zen but one false move and they charge. It was a quiet moment, but the truck next to us suddenly laughed loudly. This guy didn't like that at all and charged at our truck. Luckily it was just a warning.

21. Staring into the breeze

lion in the sun and grass of serengeti

Something tells me this lion smells tonight's dinner.

22. An elephant procession

elephant procession in black and white

While on safari in  Tarangire National Park, all the wildlife seemed to be walking to one place. Processions of elephants, zebras, and impalas all walking in long lines towards the watering hole. The coolest thing about our Go Ahead safari is that we had lunch overlooking said watering hole and continued to view the wildlife cross the river and splash in the water.

23. Flamingos flying

flamingos flying over lake manyara tanzania safari

We were really excited about the flamingos of Lake Manyara.

24. Colourful birds of Africa

lilac breasted roller

Dave and I are normally not into bird watching, but our safari mates in our truck were very big birder. Their excitement over birds was contagious and by the end of the trip, I started to know the names of the birds of Africa like this colourful cutie the Lilac Breasted Roller.

25. Zebras on the savannah

zebras common africa animals on safari

There are a lot of zebras in Tanzania. When you see them up close, they look as if they've been painted with thick chalky makeup. I started to really fall in love with the zebras of Africa and if you look closely, you'll see a little bird on this foal's back.

26. Leopard climbing up a tree

african animals on safari leopard climbing tree

Remember the leopard leaping above. Well, here it is climbing. Isn't that cool!

27. Lion and Elephant fighting for space

lion and elephant in tanzania

We all thought that lions are the kings of Africa, but if elephants are mad at you, you're in trouble no matter who you are. This lion and his brothers were way too close to a herd of elephants and their calves. The elephants were having no part of that and a group of big males split off to chase the lions away.

28. A late evening yawn

female lion yawning

The sun was setting and this lion knew it. Almost time for a nap and time for us to head back to the lodge.

29. A chillin' baboon

baboon sitting on termite mound

Sitting atop this termite mount, a baboon looks like royalty. A group of elephants had just left the area and this baboon wasted no time jumping on top this mound after they left. You could tell that he was itching to get his spot back.

30. Lions napping in a tree

lions sleeping in tree

I've always wanted to see lions sleeping in trees. It was a first for us on our Tanzania safari. Lake Manyara claims to be famous for sleeping lions, but we saw lions sleeping in trees in the Ngorongoro Crater and here at Tarangire National Park. Aren't they beautiful?

31. Close up of a Giraffe

giraffe head shot

Giraffes have a strange mix of being beautiful and dopy looking at the same time. This captures the beauty of the giraffe.

32. Flamingo reflections

flamingo reflection africa

Did we tell you we were excited about the flamingoes of Lake Manyara?

33. A lioness and her cubs

african safari animals lioness and cubs

Being on an African safari in August lets you see all the cubs at their cutest. It seemed that every turn in the Serengiti found us at another squad of cubs with mother.

34. Keeping watch before the hunt

african safari animals cheetah pose

The cheetah and her cub eye a pack of gazelles. Will they get a kill on the second try? I sure hope so. Mom has a lot of patience, so I think she'll teach this little fellow how to hunt in no time.

Africa is close to our hearts and we were so excited to finally go on Safari in Tanzania. We've been fortunate enough to safari in Kenya, South Africa and Botswana. I cannot tell a lie, Tanzania was the best of them all. If you want to see a lot of African safari animals, this is the place to be!

Our trip to Tanzania was in partnership with Go Ahead Tours. Check out their website to book your own Tanzania safari with a Kenya extension. The Kenya extension ensures rhino sightings. It was the only big 5 animal we didn't see in Tanzania. But a hot tip from us – if you do the Kenya extension, you go to Lake Nakuru and it's known for it's white and black rhinos that have been introduced to the park to help bring back the population.


Read More:

On Safari in Tanzania

The Maasai Tribe Visit – What it's Really Like

Kenya Safari – The Masai Mara Experience

What to Wear on Safari 


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