Discover The Rarest And Most Elusive Animals In Africa

The Rarest And Most Elusive Animals


Do you dream of heading to Africa? Then you are almost certainly eager to see and perhaps even photograph some of the many beautiful creatures that inhabit this content. Many people have their own favourites they would love to spot from the majestic lion to the gigantic elephant. But which animals are the rarest and most difficult to find or see when you visit Africa? Here are a few of the continents most elusive creatures that you’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of on your safari.


The Aardvark is an odd, native African animal. It looks like an oversized hairless rodent crossed with some sort of pig. With its unique look, you would think it would be quite easy to spot one of these in the wild, but they are quite elusive for a number of reasons.

First, as any safari guide will tell you, these animals are nocturnal. While you might spot one moving around through the day, this is quite rare. As such, when the sun is high in the sky, it is likely they will remain hidden, out of sight in the undergrowth. Despite their nocturnal nature Aardvarks are quite common in sub-Saharan Africa so you may well spot one in the late evening. However, the creatures are also quite shy. They will run as soon as they spot you and are surprisingly fast. So, if you do see one, you’ll need to be as quiet as possible and resist making sudden movements to get that photo.


Aardvark searching for food, one of the elusive animals in Africa. The Aardvark walks between grass

This funny animal, Aardvark has so far not crossed my path in bush! Photographs courtesy goes to @David


Panther – Black Leopard

By far one of the rarest animals to see in Africa your chances of seeing one in the wild are sadly quite close to zero. Many people are not aware that panthers are actually born due to a recessive gene referred to as Melanism. This gives the beautiful feline its black coat. A common misconception is that a panther is a type of cat species, but they aren’t. A panther can be a jaguar, a leopard or a cougar that has this recessive gene. Even safari guides will be lucky to spot one of these creatures.

If you want your best chance of spotting one in the wild, you need to head to the beautiful hills of Mount Kenya. Here, you may get lucky and catch a glimpse of one of these cats roaming the jungle terrain.

Actually a picture of the one most Elusive Animals In Africa should be placed here – The panther, or better said a black leopard. Sadly to see this animal would be for me the lotto win. No picture available from my photo galleries. Also I have never seen a photograph so far of a black leopard in Africa, but in India.


Black Rhino

While not as rare as the last two female remaining Northern white rhinos, there are only five thousand black rhinos in the wild today. As such, they are considered to be critically endangered making them an unlikely guest appearance on your African safari. However, sightings do occur, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see the rhino run. Despite their notable size, a black rhino can run at 55 km per hour and is quite aggressive. You certainly don’t want one to hit your jeep, that’s for sure! The difference between a white rhino and a black rhino is; a black rhino has a hooked upper lip and a white rhino has more a square lip.


Black Rhino standing in grassland in a Savannah, behind the animal grass. This is one of the Elusive African Animals

Black Rhinoceros, to find them is not an easy task, but when you know what to look for!


The Honey Badgers

Known to be fast and fearless, these creatures may also be camera shy as very few people actually spot one. This is perhaps due to their size. While the cute skunk-like creature takes on massive predators in the wild, it’s actually only small and burrows deep under the ground. As fearless the honey badgers are, they even attack snakes. Interestingly, if you’re looking to spot one of these little critters, you may want to head to the Kalahari. According to game rangers, this is the place where most sightings do occur.


Honeybadger walking in the grass, it is black with a white back stipe fur from the head to the end of the tail on top. One of the most elusive animals in Africa

One of the funny animals in my opinion, a Honey badger. It’s not often you see these little chaps, but in Botswana we saw some nearly every day on our Photo Tour.


African Wild Dog

Another endangered animal, there are only 2000 to 5000 African wild dogs living in Africa. The good news is that if you do manage to spot one, it’s likely that you’ll see a lot more. African Wild Dogs are a pack animal and where one goes as many as twenty more may follow. The African Wild Dog is a beautiful creature despite looking rather odd. With a bushy tail and big bat like ears, the unknowing adventurer may not even realise what they’re looking at spotting one in the wild. While known as a dog, the animal is actually close to a wolf and can be seen around sub-Saharan Africa. So, where can you spot these pack pooches?

Well, you may want to head to Savuti Chobe National Park around December and January. It is during this time that zebra migrate through the park. The wild dogs often show, hoping to get a meal out of the fresh food supply. Alternatively, you can head to Zimbabwe where you might see a few in Hwange National Park or Mana Pools.


african wild dog cubs fighting for food, they try to tear apart one piece of meat, behind them big branches. These are some of the elusive animals In Africa

African Wild Dog Cubs fighting over a piece of meat the pack has brought to them. Botswana


African Penguin

We bet you didn’t know there were penguins in Africa, but there are. This is the only type of penguin that lives and breeds in Africa. With a white underbelly and a black top, they do look like the typical penguins you’d find in colder climates. One noticeable difference would be the dark stripe over their chest. Sadly, the population of African penguins is declining due to oil spills and other environmental issues. However, you can still spot them dotted around Africa. The Western area of South Africa homes a significant percentage of their population.


African Penguins coming out of the ocean and walk along the sandy beach, behind them big rock boulders. These are some of the most Elusive Animals in Africa

African penguins coming back late afternoon from fishing in South Africa



Another rare creature to spot that safari guides have a hard time finding is the Pangolin. This creature looks like an anteater with scales. It can also be described as an aardvark with armour. When it’s threatened the creature will roll into a ball, and it looks rather incredible. It’s is most likely the inspiration for the Pokemon Sandshrew. These creatures are nocturnal and after multiple safari trips you probably still won’t have seen one. While they are hunted for meat, these animals are not endangered.


Pangolin searching for ants on the ground, this is one of the Elusive Animals in Africa

So far I have not seen any of the elusive Black-footed cat in Africa. Photograph courtesy “2630ben”


African Black-Footed Cat

Finally, the smallest wild cat living in Africa will hardly ever be seen by humans. The black-footed cat actually looks a lot like your typical domestic animal. However, its stripes and colours make it a rare beauty, and with only ten thousand in the wild, they are very hard to find. As well as this, the little cats are shy, nocturnal and live a life of solitude. Often referred to as the ‘anthill lion’ due to its ferocious nature and tiny if you are lucky enough to see one make sure you snap a photo. You’ll certainly have earned bragging rights if you do!

 Black footed cat stretching in grass, this is one of the elusive animals in Africa

Black-footed cat this is one of the most elusive animals in Africa. Photograph courtesy “wolfavni”


Photograph of Aardvark, Pangolin & Black-footed Cat

The photographs of an Aardvark, Pangolin and the black-footed cat are not from my photo library. I have bought them in nature agency for this blog post. So far none of these 3 elusive animals have crossed my path in Africa, sadly. I do hope they will some day. Every photograph is labelled with the photograph courtesy what I purchased. I am very sorry that never is the full name mentioned who took the photographs. It was just not given!

Did I wake your curiosity for Africa? The African landscape is just as amazing. This continent is a dream and when you get up early enough, you will see it’s upmost beauty it has to offer for you. African landscape pictures taken early morning, enjoy.

In my photograph galleries I also offer stock photographs to buy online. More info about to purchase pictures as photography prints.


The Ultimate Photographic Safari

Botswana: The Ultimate Photographic Safari – Photo Tour 2017


Anette Mossbacher and Peter Delaney (BBC Wildlife Photographer of The Year in 2011, 2013) will lead a private group of six photographers into one of Africas last living Edens, Botswana. This Unique Photograhic Safari covers three of Botswana’s premier Wildlife destinations. The Okavango Delta, Savute and Chobe area. 

The Safari Photo Tour Dates: 27th October until 6th of November 2017

You arrive a day earlier in Maun, Botswana, our starting point for this photography tour. Please, meet Peter and Anette on 26th October for dinner in Maun.


Lioness snarling, side view of wildlife animal on ultimate photographic safari in Botswana, Africa


About The Photo Tour Locations: 

Okavango Delta

Is an emerald oasis in the heart of Botswana. This life giving water rises from its source in the Angolan highlands and dies in the scorching sands of the Kalahari desert. The Okavago delta during the dry season (Oct-Nov) has the highest concentrations of wildlife in Southern Africa. The delta fringes and flood plains attracts huge numbers of grazers which in turn attracts large numbers of predators. Lions, Hyenas, Leopards and Wild Dog can be encountered on a daily basis. 


Ultimate Photographic Safari, two lionesses playing, one animal tries to catch the other animal


Photographic highlights include the large herds of Buffalo and breeding herds of Elephants. These herds as they trek daily to the deltas waters kick up clouds of dust creating an ethereal glow in the last rays of an African sunset. The delta is home to the indigenous Lechwe who make spectacular photographic subjects as they leap through channels clear waters. Not to forget the lion prides patrolling the areas.


Photography tour, Lechwe jumping through the swamp of the Okavango Delta in Botswana on a ultimate photographic safari


Expect to see pods of Hippos in the lagoon areas of the delta. The shallow are perfect for bird species in particular the waders, storks herons and egrets.


Khwai River Lodge Day 1 -3:

The renowned Khwai River Lodge will be host to our safari group on the deltas waterway. The lodge is home to luxury rooms seated on raised wooden platforms with traditional African roof thatch. 

Each room has its own private decks with easi chairs and hammocks, perfect to relax after an action filled photographic day. Four poster beds with discreet air conditioning and elegant bathroom will ensure a comfortable nights sleep. 


Safari Photo Tour, Leopard sitting in tree at Sunset, photography tour Botswana 2017


Day 4 – 6  Savute:

Is a dry arid area within the Chobe National park created by the unpredictable water flow of the Savute channel. The animals are reliant on a few waterholes some man made. During the dry season the wildlife congregate around these vital water sources. Late afternoons entire herds of different species can be seen crowded around the same waterhole. This can lead too spectacular action photography as tolerance levels of animals are pushed to the limits. 

The Savute is renowned for its groups of spotted Hyenas and Lions which led the Derek and Beverly Joubert creating a wonderful documentary called “Eternal Enemies” 

Another wildlife phenomenon are the Lion killing Elephants of the Savute caught on camera by the BBC.


The 5 Star Savute Elephant Camp is situated in the heart of the Chobe National park. The camp is in a truly remote and wild area offering guests the complete classic African safari experience. 

The lodge hosts a cluster of twelve rooms on raised platforms. Each with its own outdoor lounge shaded by traditional African thatch. 

Rooms are luxurious with lavish ensuite bathrooms and dressing rooms with discreet air conditioning. 


Saddle Billed Stork caught a fish, behind elephants on a Ultimate Photographic Safari Botswana


Chobe River: 

Day 7 – 11:

The Chobe river marks the boundary with the Caprivi strip in Namibia. The Chobe is famed for its large populations of Buffalo and Elephant. Some 70,000 elephant are found in the Chobe National park. The highest density of Elephants in Africa. They provide wonderful photographic opportunities as they come to the river bank to drink and swim. Late afternoon you can expect to see all the animals from the nearby forest coming down to drink. 

As our small photographic safari group will be staying on the Chobes premier houseboat we can take advantage of smaller boats specially adapted to photographers needs. This allows us to get close and personal with Chobes wildlife. Photographing from a boat will allow photographers to get a complete unique photographic perspective of their subjects. 

Photographing on the Chobe River will bring an exciting and different feel to this “Ultimate Photographic Safari”.

Apart from the huge herds of Elephants, large concentrations of Buffalo, Antelope and Predators are seen. The birdlife in Chobe is prolific with close to 390 species been seen from the boats alone. 


Hippo fight on a ultimate photographic safari photo tour, two hippos fight in the water


Chobe River Accommodation:

The luxurious house boat contains three decks the lower deck boasts five ensuite cabins tastefully decorated. The middle deck contains the lounge and dining room. The open air top deck allows guests to chill and relax on sun loungers and enjoy their sundowners with snacks.

Duration of the Photo Tour: 27th October 2017 until 6th of November 2017

Arrival Day – Meeting for Dinner: 26th October 2017 in Maun, Botswana for those arriving earlier.

6th November transfer back to Kasane.

Cost per person: 9775.- $US Dollars

Reservation Fee: 2200$ US Dollars

Registration ends: 15th of July 2017

Difficulty Level: Easy

Climate: Warm – Hot

Reserve your spot for this fantastic photography tour, accompanied by two professional nature and wildlife photographers. After your confirmed booking a full detailed list will be send to you with all information you need. Please, do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiries you may have.

Scheduling your arrival: You arrive on the 26th October 2017 in Maun / Botswana, a day before your photographic safari tour starts. Please meet Peter and Anette for dinner.

What Do You Need To Bring Along On Your Photographic Safari:

        • Patience and passion for wildlife, love to travel
        • Lenses for your camera bodies in the range from 16 – 600mm. The minimum tele requires around 300mm. If you do not own a tele, there are shops which rent lenses and bodies for reasonable prices in these days.
        • Camera body, 2 bodies are highly recommended. If one fails, you still have one body left in the bush!
        • Hyperdrive or Laptop, external hard drives for your photographic files storage


Safari Highlights

        • Opportunity to photograph in one of the last true remaining Wilderness areas. Where wildlife has no boundaries! 
        • Experienced and knowledgable field guides will drive us in private open 4×4 vehicles. Reserved for our photography tour group only.
        • Private vehicles with one person per row (3 Rows per Vehicle) plus a seat by the driver is available for lower perspectives.


Is This The Ultimate Photographic Safari For You? 

        • Photographers of all levels are welcome to this Photography Tour. 
        • The Photo Tour leaders are professional wildlife and landscape photographers and have experience with Canon, Nikon, DSLR and Mirrorless cameras.
        • Photo Tour leaders will gladly answer any question and share their valuable experience and knowledge.
        • This Safari Photo Tour is all about Wildlife Photography, we will maximise our time when ever possible in the field.
        • One to one help is available at the lodge.
        • Anette and Peter want all participant to have the most memorable photographic experience and will do their best to ensure this happens. 
        • This “Ultimate Photographic Safari Photo Tour”  has been designed for serious wildlife photography and game viewing. The locations chosen are some of the best wildlife photography destinations anywhere.
        • Photography and digital workflow instruction from experienced professionals.
        • The Group size will be 6 guests only.


What Is Included In The Photographic Safari Photo Tour?:

        • All luxury accommodations, including all meals, drinks (all house wines, local spirits, soft drinks, bottle water, tea and coffee) during the safari photo tour
        • Domestic flights in a small aircraft between each safari lodge. We have 2 extra fright seats for photography equipment on the flights between the safari lodges! Of course, it is a photography tour 🙂
        • All safaris with private 4×4 vehicles & house boat in Chobe for our photography tour group.
        • All park fees, transfer from and to Kasane airport


What Insurance You Should Have For This Photographic Safari Photo Tour

        • Please, make sure to have an insurance for your medical coverage over the full time for your photographic tour
        • Travel insurance
        • Camera equipment insurance


Information for personal care on this Photography Tour:

        • On this photographic safari photo tour we will be traveling in the African bush. Please, bring enough of any of your medication along you need for this time!
        • If you suffer of any health issues in hot environments, please seek medical advice before booking
        • Let us know, if you need a special dietary.
        • Please, check that all your vaccinations are up to date for the Southern Part of Africa.
        • Motion sickness and sea sickness medication, if needed! We will be on a boat for a few days and transfer between camps in little aircrafts!


About Nature Photographer Anette
See more offers on Photo Tours with two expert photographic instructors, like discovering Greenland. More information about all Photographic tours and workshops offered. Why not take a private tour to follow the funny Meerkats in Botswana!