Popular Safari Animals You will see in Kenya

The reason why Kenya is known as a wildlife haven by tourists from all over the world is because of the sheer density of safari animals that you can easily spot even in the least expected places.

If you will recall, there was a time a lion was spotted loaming in the busy streets of the Capital Nairobi. one can only imagine what to expect by visiting the National parks that are scattered across the country.

Here are some of the popular safari Animals

Kenya is particularly popular with safari animals. The big five are a must-see while on a safari but that is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a host of other popular safari animals that will make your safari worthy it. The big five includes


Buffalos are among the most popular safari animals in Kenya. The African Buffalo is a robust species, with several sub-species but the most common one in Kenya is cape/savannah buffalo.

You may also like: Things to do at Tsavo National Park

It’s one of the largest buffalo Weighing between 500-900kg. Buffalo’s are bad tempered and can very dangerous to human.

safari animals


  • It’s almost black in color that turns dark brown with age
  • Adult buffaloes have horns that are fused in the skull forming a protective shield.
  • The horns also meet in front of the forehead making the buffalo look very angry and mean.
  • Buffalo’s are herbivorous and graze in herds with one Alfa male.

African Elephant

The other popular safari animals are the elephants. Elephants are the largest earth mammals and are said to be very intelligent. They live family unit led by older female know as the matriarch.

Due to its sheer size Elephants, has very few predators apart from humans who hunt them down for their valuable ivory.

safari animals


  • Elephants have a very sharp sense of smell.
  • An adult Elephant can eat up to 450 kilograms of vegetation in a day.
  • Their big ears are used as heat shields.

Related: Top 20 Interesting Facts About Elephants.


The lion is commonly known as the king of the jungle, and they are the only cat family that lives in groups.

Although they are sometimes hard to spot, they are popular safari animals that tourists look forward to seeing in national parks.

They live in family groups called pride. A pride consists of up to 20 or so female lions and their young ones and up to 3 male lions whose primary job is to protect the pride.


  • Female lions do most of the hunting
  • The male is the only ones that have mane (huge fur around the head and neck).
  • Lions hunt and eat and play within a very short period they stay in-active (resting) for up 20 hours a day.


The leopard is known to be quite an elusive animal and prefers a solitary life. They are agile, stealth and opportunistic predators eating a variety of prey.

Leopards have a beautiful seine with rosette patterns that give them beautiful look.

They are largely nocturnal, hunting mainly at knight and prefers to drag their prey up into the tree branch.


There are two different species of Rhinos’ in Kenya and both of the species are considered to be an endangered species and so they are protected.

The species are black and white rhino which does not have anything to do with their color.

The black Rhino is actually grey in color, and the white rhino gets its name from a mispronunciation of a Dutch word WIDJ for wide referring to its upper lip.


  • Rhinos are herbivores
  • The difference between the white and black rhino is the shape of their upper lip, wide square shaped for white, and pointed or hooked for black rhino.


Wildebeest is the most abundant game animal in Kenya especially in Masai Mara, where they migrate in hundreds of thousands.

They belong to the family of cows and so they are hoofed herbivores. The wildebeest are popular due to their migration which is caused by, food, water, predators and one strange factor phosphorus.

They usually give birth during the same period within a span of about 3 weeks resulting hundreds of calves being born at the same time.


Zebras are familiar to many people due to their distinctive black and white stripe.

They belong to the horse family, and actually walk, trot and gallop like horses, you would be tempted to ride them but they have never been domesticated.

They are widely spread in many of the game park and reserves in Kenya, and they are social animal always grazing in herds a fact that makes them easy to spot while on a safari.


The Giraffes like the zebras have beautiful skin but unlike zebras that are striped the Giraffes are spotted. an interesting finding shows that their spots are more like fingerprints since no two individuals have the same pattern. Giraffes are the world tallest mammals, and in Kenya, there are three different species.

  • The Maasai giraffe has patches that are leaf-like in shape.
  • The Rothschild’s giraffe patches are similar to the Maasai giraffe, but the Rothschild’s giraffe has no spots below the knee.
  • The reticulated giraffe, which has a bold network of white lines.


The hippo is the third largest land mammal, and is a strange animal in that it resembles the pig but not of the same family and it’s a herbivorous animal that is also semi-aquatic spending about 16 hours a day in the water.

safari animals

The hippos have a barrel-shaped torso, nearly a hair-less body and have an enormous mouth and big teeth.


The Nile crocodile is the most common one in Kenya and prevalent in almost all the major rivers and lakes.

Its only known predator is man, but on the flip side, these crocks eat any animal that they can get a hold of, from small fish to the big mammals including humans.

As a matter of fact, they are responsible for most of the human fatalities every year than any other wild animal. An adult male crocodile can grow to be up to 18ft long.

Besides the big five and other large mammals, there are other popular safari animals like the apes family, Gorillas, Skye and vervet monkeys that are quite interesting and fun to watch, plus other small mammals.

Birds also take a big chunk of the popular safari animals, as a matter of fact, bird watching has become quite popular with most safari-goers; Lake Nakuru is one spot that has become a must go while on a safari and get to enjoy the millions of flamingoes that at times blanket almost the entire lake.

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Amanullah is not your average writer, he understands concepts and turns ideas into words. He is a fan of characters and likes to play with letters in the alphabet.

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