Top 10: Animals to see on a vehicle-free safari

Africa's wildest sights aren't seen through the windows of a jeep. Here's the animals you can encounter when you step out of the car and into a new, exciting safari experience

By Emma Gregg
photographs by Emma Gregg
Published 15 Nov 2018, 08:00 GMT, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 14:42 BST
Watching white rhinos on foot at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda

Watching white rhinos on foot at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda

Photograph by Emma Gregg

01 African penguin, South Africa
Chill out on the boardwalks at Boulders Beach in False Bay near Cape Town and watch South Africa's beach-loving penguins at close range.

02 Brookesia micra chameleon, Madagascar
Africa's tiniest reptile can only be found by exploring the roadless forests of Nosy Hara archipelago. You'll need keen eyes: they're perfectly camouflaged and barely half an inch long.

03 Chimpanzee, Tanzania & Uganda
There's never a dull moment when you're tracking chimps on foot. Speedy, agile and vocal, they'll keep you on your toes as they forage, hunt, squabble and groom.

04 Elephant, Botswana & Zimbabwe
For serene views of a herd of elephants at the water's edge, watch from a hide or approach gently in a boat, enjoying their beautiful reflections as they drink.

05 Giraffe, Botswana & Kenya
Galloping on horseback across a sweeping savannah alongside wild giraffes, admiring their graceful gait, has to be the ultimate equestrian thrill.

06 Hippopotamus, South Africa & Zambia
Waterside safari camps and lodges often have resident hippos which wallow nearby by day and come ashore to graze by night. You can watch them without leaving the deck.

07 Lion, Tanzania & Zambia
The thrill of spotting lions on foot is unlike seeing them from a vehicle. Keep your distance and you'll be fine. But just try telling that to your thumping heart.

08 Mountain gorilla, Uganda & Rwanda
Gorillas occasionally wander into fields and gardens, but to be sure of finding some, join a guided hike, and climb deep into the forest.

09 Rhino, Kenya, Namibia & Uganda
Tracking wild black rhinos on foot is one of Africa's most exciting conservation-friendly adventures. For a gentler alternative, take a short stroll in a rhino sanctuary.

10 Shoebill, Uganda & Zambia
With a peculiar, prehistoric appearance, shoebill birds stand so still when fishing that you'll wonder whether they're real or stuffed. To spot one, venture into their wetland habitat by canoe.

Published in the December 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2023 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved