The thrill of an African safari is the opportunity to witness wild and wonderful creatures in their natural habitats. And sometimes in the midst of spotting the usual suspects (like giraffes, elephants, and lions), you may catch sight of something more unique. Seeing these bizarre animals on an African safari will give you something even more exciting to share with your friends back home.
Let’s kick things off with a little insect that likes to roll around balls of elephant dung. Despite their rather peculiar choice, they are a very vital part of the ecosystem, helping to clean up waste and fertilize the soil. Even the ancient Egyptians understood the importance of this tiny critter, using its image in amulets, seals, and hieroglyphs.
These cuddly-looking cuties are found jumping around trees in Botswana. What stands out the most are their big, saucer-like eyes. Your best bet is spotting them when out on a night drive, since they are mostly nocturnal and feed on fruits.
When you see the South African Cape pangolin, you might be reminded of an armored dinosaur. The Cape pangolin has a scaly skin that protects it as it searches for ants and termites with its long tongue. It landed a spot on the endangered list due to poachers after its keratin-filled scales.
One of the more bizarre animals on safari has the look of part zebra (white and black stripes on its legs) and part giraffe (dull reddish skin). The okapi, native to the northeast Republic of Congo was not widely known until it was spotted in 1901 by a British explorer. It remains pretty elusive today on safari.
African Wild Dog
Not quite like your average pet, the African wild dog hunts in packs, making it quite a sight to see. Luckily, they are found in a bunch of safari spots including Botswana and Tanzania. Ruaha National Park in Tanzania has the third largest population of African wild dogs (plus a bunch of lions too). The open plains, woodland valleys, and baobab forests give these creatures plenty of places to roam.
Grey Crowned Crane
The grey crowned cranes certainly know how to strut their stuff. What makes them so noticeable is their glorious crown of yellow feathers. Its profile and regal appearance is so striking that Uganda listed it as its national bird.