Safari Animals Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Getting to see animals at a zoo is fun, but what about going on an African safari? This lesson will teach you about what a safari would be like as well as all about the animals you could see on a safari!

What Is a Safari?

Imagine this: your family has just won a trip to Africa, and part of this trip is a full-day family safari! Your parents are super excited, but wait - what is a safari? A safari is a trip, or an expedition, to look for animals in their natural habitats.

This might be what the land looks like when you go on your safari. This picture was taken in the African country of Tanzania.

Safaris most often take place in East Africa, but can happen anywhere you can see animals in their natural environment.

What Animals Will You See?

Most of the different animals you will see on your safari, including hippos, cheetahs, giraffes, and zebras, are mammals. Mammals are animals that have fur, are warm-blooded, and give birth to live babies. Keep reading to learn more about the 'Big Five', which are the five most common animals that people see on safari.


Leopards are animals in the big cat family, along with tigers, lions, and jaguars. They are mostly found in Africa and Asia. Did you know that leopards are nocturnal? This means that they are awake at night for hunting and eating, but they sleep during the day!

Leopards are known for their spots.

They are carnivores, meat eaters, and eat smaller animals like gazelles and deer.


Elephants are the largest land animals and can be up to 30 feet long from trunk to tail and weigh as much as 15,000 pounds. That's as much as 3 or 4 cars! Even though they are so huge, elephants do not eat other animals. Rather, they are herbivores and instead eat enormous amounts of plants like grasses, leaves, and bark. Did you know that adult elephants can eat up to 400 pounds of food and drink up to 50 gallons of water each day? There are two main kinds of elephants - Asian elephants and African elephants, so if you're on an African safari, you'll be watching for the African Elephant.


Buffalo are also herbivores and are often found near water holes. Did you know that the buffalo's biggest predators are humans? Humans have caused reduction in buffalo habitats when they break up their land for housing or roads. Buffalo are not as large as elephants, but they are still pretty big - they can weigh up to 1,500 pounds and be 3 to 5 feet tall!

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