The top 3 animals in Tanzania are…

Being a safari guide in Tanzania has to be one of the most rewarding jobs ever. You encounter wild and beautiful creatures every day, visit some of the most scenic areas of the country and stay in lovely hotels and lodges. But my life is not always easy; recently I was asked a difficult question. What are your three favourite animals to see on safari? It is not so easy to answer as I have so many favourites, but I will try.

1. Leopard

These shy and ultimately clever cats are nature’s assassins. It is the leopard’s stealth and patience that sets them apart from the other big cats of the African bush. The best place to see them in their natural habitat has to be in the Serengeti.

leopard-family

2. African Hoopoe

These elegant birds can be spotted in the Ngorongoro Crater fairly regularly. For me the hoopoe has a very gracious and charming character that makes them just stand out amongst other birds. If alerted, it raises its distinctive crown, making it even more special to look at.

African_Hoopoe_2

3. Common Elands

These huge beasts are the second largest antelopes in the world. At first glance they resemble a cow but after you look closer you find they are much different… They have large spiral horns, thick fur on their foreheads and bulls tend to have a large dewlap under their necks which disappear completely when they are alarmed. Some of the larger bulls can grow to an enormous 1ton and are still able to jump almost 2m – from a standing position!

Eland_2_cut

I guess these three animals stand out the most for me for their individual qualities but after a seven day safari in the Tarangire, Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater you are so spoilt for choice that it gets hard to choose…