Seeing Baby Animals During Our East African Safari
September 21, 2021
Although not all baby animals are cute and adorable, the majority of them are and we saw plenty of them during our time in Kenya and Tanzania. Knowing that the number of people going on safari during these times of COVID restrictions, it must be even more fascinating to these baby animals when they come across humans for the first time. Sometimes they were curious about our presence, but for the most part, they didn’t even seem to notice that we were there. We enjoyed not only seeing the baby animals, but also watching their interactions with the rest of their families.
One of our first encounters with a young animal was during our time in Amboseli National Park where we came across a baby elephant who approached our Land Cruiser and raised his trunk to check out our scent. We saw many different baby elephants in the park and they were never very far from their caring mothers. Despite their size, the baby elephants are quite playful and are more agile than people might think. Watching the baby elephants as they played in the shallow lake was certainly quite fascinating. Every time that we saw baby animals, we couldn’t help but take lots of photographs, so we have many more than what we are sharing here.
We saw several lion prides with adorable cubs who were quite the handful for their parents. Just like typical children, they would be affectionate one moment and then playfully pounce on a sibling the next. It is all part of learning the skills necessary to survive in such a harsh environment. We spent quite a bit of time just watching the interactions between the various members of the pride and it is certainly one of our fondest memories of the trip. Even as young lions, they are strikingly beautiful and have such expressive faces. Although they look like kittens that you might want to take home with you, they will grow up to be fierce predators.
Similar to the elephants, baby hippos are much more sprite than what you might imagine. In fact, hippos in general are very agile and we lucked into to opportunity to see a whole herd of them charge down a riverbed to the pool below, which was truly amazing to see. Even a baby hippo is quite large, so they quickly grow to be pretty massive in their own right. Seeing them out of the water is the only way to get a true sense of their size as it can be deceiving when only seeing their nose and eyes protruding from the water.
We saw many different baby giraffes as we drove through and between all of the national parks. They are usually as graceful as the adults, but with their long legs, sometimes they were still getting used to walking on them. They were as equally fascinated with us as we were with them and we enjoyed watching them as they moved amongst the trees and bushes. As the giraffes get older, their coloring becomes more intense, but it is easy to distinguish a young giraffe as opposed to its adult counterpart who towers over them.
We saw many other baby animals during our trip, including rhinos, water buffaloes, baboons, birds, and many different antelope. Whenever we came across a baby animal, it was always a treat to watch them as they explored their world. In a place where survival can be difficult for a variety of reasons, those early years are so important for them to learn what to do and how to protect themselves. But clearly, when not in danger, they were just enjoying their youth and having fun.