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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

15 Unique Wild Animals you Can See in Kenya Safari

Kenya is famous for its commitment to conserving wildlife, and this has made the country one of the most distinct tourist destinations across the globe.

Apart from the trendy Kenya safaris ‘The Big 5’, Lions, Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Leopards, and rhinoceros, there are other beautiful, strange, and unique species of wildlife that you can see in Kenya.

These species of animals are there in game reserves and national parks across Kenya. The 15 unique wild animals you can see in Kenya safari are listed below:

1. Zebra

Zebra is a unique wild animal in Kenya, distinct for its white and black stripes across its bodies. They fall into the horse family and run at a speed of about 56km per hour. They have outstanding abilities in seeing and hearing.

Zebra has two species, including the Grevvy’s Zebra found in Northern Kenya, and unique for their tiny stripes. The grevvy zebra is among the endangered animals in the world.

The other zebra species is the Plain zebra which are colorless than the former and are found mainly at Masai Mara game reserve.

2. Hippopotamus

Hippo or hippopotamus is the third largest of all land animals. They have hairless bodies, trunks shaped like barrels, columnar legs, long pointed teeth, and broad mouths.

The habitat for hippopotamus includes streams, lake coasts, and swamps. A typical hypo can spend a whole day in the river.

Hippos can be seen at a couple of national parks in Kenya, such as Lake Naivasha, Nairobi National Park, Masai Mara, and others.

3. Serval Cat

The serval cat is a wide cat called leopards with similar spots and somewhat share equal stripes with tigers.

Like other nocturnal animals, they stride primarily at night and are a native of Africa with a medium size. Their sources of food include creatures like pests, reptiles, rodents, and related others.

4. Giraffe

Of the nine species of giraffes in the world, three originate from Kenya. These include the Rothschild giraffe, Maasai giraffe, and the third species is the Somali giraffe.

Of the three species of giraffes in Kenya, the largest in the Masai giraffe, which you can find in places such as Maasia Mara and Amboseli, among others.

However, the Rothschild giraffe is listed among the endangered animals globally, while the Maasia giraffe is the most common.

They run at about 60 kilometers per hour and are the tallest among all living terrestrial animals. Giraffes are gorgeous and walk in an enchanting way.

They have long necks, ossicones, and patches of brown all over their body. They are curious animals and a beautiful sight to behold in their habitat.

5. African Wild Dog

Unlike the domestic dog, the African Wild Dog is aggressive and certainly untamed. They are presently endangered but can still be noticeable in Kenya, especially at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Olare Motorogi conservancy, etc.

Just like the wolves, they live in groups and attack in groups too. They have patches on their bodies, no wonder they are called ‘Lycaon pictus’ in Latin, which means ‘painted wolves.’

Domestic dogs and even the wolf have a dewclaw, the fifth nail on the toe, which you see apart from the hind feet’s four toenails, but the wild dog lacks the dewclaw.

6. Gerenuk

The gerenuk shares a close resemblance with the giraffe and gazelle, which is why they are called the giraffe gazelle in some places.

It has a neck as long as a giraffe and shares the same body size as the gazelle. In Somali, the name means ‘giraffe-necked.’

7. Cheetah

Cheetahs are known as the fastest of all land animals, with about 110 kilometers per hour. On average, they weigh up to 60kilogram with a length of 210cm.

They have a related look to the leopard but have differences in color as they have lighter colors (orange blur) and are elongated. Their faces are smaller, while their backs are somewhat curved.

Cheetah, unlike some other wide animals, hunt openly and sometimes in about a group of five. They are available in some of Kenya’s game reserves, which slowly disappear because of recent excessive hunting. 

8. Flamingo

Flamingo is a wide bird illustrious to stand with one of their tall legs for a long time. In Kenya, you can find this bird in large numbers at the national reserve of Lake Bagoria.

The Lake Bogoria National Reserve is between the hills that protect the large varieties of birds that inhabit it.

Kenyan flamingos are usually pink because they feed on planktons from the blue-green algae, which grow in the warm alkaline lake waters.

9. Honey Badger

The honey badger is a beautiful wild animal unique to the Kenya safari. It has black and white fur and got its name from its fondness for eating honey larvas and honey.

Though they are not as big as other wide animals, they are violent and can attack more giant animals and survive. For instance, they can strike a tiger devouring its kill, and still take over.

10. Caracal

The caracal shares similarities with the golden cats and serval but has no patterns on its fur. It has tufted ears similar to that of the African lynx.

Their beautiful tufted ears add as a means of interaction among the caracals. Though the caracal is charming, they can be very dreadful, as seen when attacking their prey.

Also, they have extraordinary jumping abilities, as can be seen when they want to catch their prey. They can jump for about 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground.

11. Wildebeest

Wildebeest, also called the gnu, is a species of antelope native of Africa. This wild animal has a large body and slender legs. They have a square head and ‘c’ shaped horns, grey fur, dark or fair beard, and black tresses.

Most significantly, from June to October every year, the wildebeest travel in mass from Tanzania to Kenya alongside a couple of gazelles and Zebras.

12. Hyena

Hyenas make sounds that are pretty hilarious and usually come in two species, namely, the spotted hyenas and the stripped.

Spotted hyenas seem to be stronger than the stripped, and they are generally great fighters. While the striped hyenas can chase away tigers from their kill to take over, the spotted hyenas go for their kills.

13. Warthogs

Warthog, a pig family’s wild animal, has a similar snout and body shape with the pig and weighs about 150kg. It also has four tusks.

They feed on grass, roots, fruits, and the bark of trees. You can spot it on waterholes and streams drinking water from them.

14. Cuckoos

The cuckoos are unique in Kenya safari even though there are thousands of interesting birds in the country. That is why Kenya is birdwatchers’ first destination.

Cuckoos have ten varieties and are in the family of Cuculidae. They have the size of a dove and a smooth body which includes a white underbody, shady barred, and blue-grey upper body with an extended tail and wing.

Cuckoos are famous for laying eggs on the nests of other birds, which makes some people regard them as evil because those birds will end up raising their young ones for them.

These unique birds appear around March to April in Africa, but they later migrate to Britain to enjoy summer there. 

15. Crested Porcupines

Crested porcupine, popularly called the African crested porcupines, is a rodent species that fall into the family of Hystricidae.

They have stretched out crests from which they got their name. They also have elongated pines, which are usually black and white.

Also, African crested porcupines have big bodies, usually black, with an average size of 27kg in weight and 83cm in length.

They consume mainly tree bark, fruits, bulbs, roots, and other plant materials and have spines across their shoulders up to their forehead.

Ten most famous wild animals in Kenya?

Kenya has many wild animals considering its lakes, valleys, mountains, and grassland savannah landscape.

However, the ten most famous wild animals in Kenya include; rhinoceros, hyena, lion, elephant, wildebeest, lesser kudu, genet, giraffe, crocodile, and Africa Buffalo.

Which animal is only present in Kenya?

Kenya is officially known for the Panthera leo melanochaita, which is the East African lion. This official national animal of Kenya is known to be vulnerable and among the Big Five.

Presently, the most unsafe animals in Kenya are apart from the lion, the buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant, and leopard. Others include hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, African buffalo, and mosquitoes.

Additionally, the endangered creatures in Kenya wildlife include the pancake tortoise, gray-crowned crane, black-fronted francolin, cheetah, and the black rhino. 

What is the rarest animal in the Safari?

Unlike other animals in the Safari, they are a few other animals that only the lucky people can see in the Safari. These creatures are the rarest, and you can hardly spot them in the Safari.

These animals include; the honey badger, the African wild dog, the African civet, and the pangolin. Only a few Safari constant visitors have seen these animals in East and Southern Africa.


No doubt, Kenya is regarded as the top safari destination globally because of its diverse wildlife that has continuously attracted tourists.

The list of unique wildlife mentioned above is an incredible sight to behold among lovers of nature. They are the most sought-after at parks and national reserves.

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