77 famous safari quotes that will inspire you to travel Africa

Richard Mullin quote about Africa

Looking for a new and exciting adventure?

These 77 famous quotes and safari sayings will literally make you fall in love with Africa! 😉

77 Safari Quotes to Inspire You About Africa

This is a very personal list.

Some of these safari quotes first inspired me to explore Africa, many many moons ago.

These safari quotes continue to inspire me.

After spending so long in Africa I know that these quotes are not only inspirational, they are incredibly accurate.

So take a read and feel inspired.

Safari quotes 1 – 10

John Hemingway quote about Africa magic

1. “If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.”

* John Hemingway (American author)

2. “Why is it you can never hope to describe the emotion Africa creates? You are lifted. Out of whatever pit, unbound from whatever tie, released from whatever fear. You are lifted and you see it all from above.”

* Francesca Marciano (Italian novelist and filmmaker; extract from “Rules of the Wild”)

3. “Africa has her mysteries and even a wise man cannot understand them. But a wise man respects them.”

* Miriam Makeba (South African singer and civil rights activist)

4. “Africa is not a country, but it is a continent like none other. It has that which is elegantly vast or awfully little.”

* L. Douglas Wilder (American politician)

5. “Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.”

* William Burchell (English explorer)

6. “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.”

* Richard Mullin (Origin unknown)

7. “You can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.”

* Malcolm X (American Muslim minister and human rights activist)

8. “Africa – You can see a sunset and believe you have witnessed the Hand of God. You watch the slope lope of a lioness and forget to breathe. You marvel at the tripod of a giraffe bent to water. In Africa, there are iridescent blues on the wings of birds that you do not see anywhere else in nature. In Africa, in the midday heart, you can see blisters in the atmosphere. When you are in Africa, you feel primordial, rocked in the cradle of the world.”

* Jodi Picoult (American author)

9. “If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

10. “There are as many Africas as there are books about Africa — and as many books about it as you could read in a leisurely lifetime. Whoever writes a new one can afford a certain complacency in the knowledge that his is a new picture agreeing with no one else’s, but likely to be haugthily disagreed with by all those who believed in some other Africa. … Being thus all things to all authors, it follows, I suppose, that Africa must be all things to all readers.”

* Beryl Markham (British-born Kenyan aviator, adventurer, racehorse trainer and author; extract from “West With the Night”)

Safari quotes 11 – 20

Ernest Hemingway quote about being happy in Africa

11. “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”

* Ernest Hemingway (American author and journalist)

12. “When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence.”

* Francesca Marciano (Italian novelist and filmmaker; extract from “Rules of the Wild”)

13. “Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.”

* W. C. Fields (American actor and writer)

14. “It’s really beautiful. It feels like God visits everywhere else but lives in Africa.”

* Will Smith (American actor and producer)

15. “Africa is mystic; it is wild; it is a sweltering inferno; it is a photographer’s paradise, a hunter’s Valhalla, an escapist’s Utopia. It is what you will, and it withstands all interpretations. It is the last vestige of a dead world or the cradle of a shiny new one. To a lot of people, as to myself, it is just home.”

* Beryl Markham (British-born Kenyan aviator, adventurer, racehorse trainer and author; extract from “West With the Night”)

16. “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it? How can you explain the fascination of this vast, dusty continent, whose oldest roads are elephant paths? Could it be because Africa is the place of all our beginnings, the cradle of mankind, where our species first stood upright on the savannahs of long ago?”

* Brian Jackman (British journalist and author, best known for his interest in wildlife and wild places – especially Africa)

17. “…few can sojourn long within the unspoilt wilderness of a game sanctuary, surrounded on all sides by its confiding animals, without absorbing its atmosphere; the Spirit of the Wild is quick to assert supremacy, and no man of any sensibility can resist her.”

* James Stevenson-Hamilton (first warden of South Africa’s Sabi Nature Reserve)

18. “To witness that calm rhythm of life revives our worn souls and recaptures a feeling of belonging to the natural world. No one can return from the Serengeti unchanged, for tawny lions will forever prowl our memory and great herds throng our imagination.”

* George Schaller (American conservationist and author)

19. “There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

20. “In Africa you have space…there is a profound sense of space here, space and sky.”

* Thabo Mbeki (former South African president)

Safari quotes 21 – 30

Brian Jackman quote about the safari bug

21. “Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.”

* Brian Jackman (British journalist and author, best known for his interest in wildlife and wild places – especially Africa)

22. “The biggest lesson from Africa was that life’s joys come mostly from relationships and friendships, not from material things. I saw time and again how much fun Africans had with their families and friends and on the sports fields; they laughed all the time.”

* Andrew Shue (American actor)

23. “For as long as I can remember, I have been passionately intrigued by ‘Africa,’ by the word itself, by its flora and fauna, its topographical diversity and grandeur; but above all else, by the sheer variety of the colors of its people, from tan and sepia to jet and ebony.”

* Henry Louis Gates (American literary critic)

24. “The most hazardous part of our expedition to Africa was crossing Piccadilly Circus.”

* Joseph Thomson (Scottish explorer)

25. “One cannot resist the lure of Africa.”

* Rudyard Kipling (English writer)

26. “You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

27. “There is always something new out of Africa.”

* Pliny the Elder (Roman author)

28. “But African time was not the same as American time…As African time passed, I surmised that the pace of Western countries was insane, that the speed of modern technology accomplished nothing, and that because Africa was going its own way at its own pace for its own reasons, it was a refuge and a resting place.”

* Paul Theroux (American travel writer; from Dark Star Safari)

29. “There is a language going on out there – the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops and chirps have meaning derived over eons of expression…we have yet to become fluent in the language – and music – of the wild.”

* Boyd Norton (American wildlife photographer, from Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning)

30. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.”

* Solomon Linda (South African musician, singer and composer)

Safari quotes 31 – 40

Winston Churchill quote about Uganda - The Pearl of Africa

31. “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly the ‘Pearl of Africa’.”

* Winston Churchill (Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom)

32. “He could tell by the way the animals walked that they were keeping time to some kind of music. Maybe it was the song in their own hearts that they walked to.”

* Laura Adams Armer (American artist and writer)

33. Old and new kiss everywhere in Africa.”

* John Gunther (American journalist)

34. “The continent is too large to describe. It is a veritable ocean, a separate planet, a varied, immensely rich cosmos. Only with the greatest simplification, for the sake of convenience, can we say ‘Africa’. In reality, except as a geographical appellation, Africa does not exist.”

* Ryszard Kapuściński (Polish journalist, photographer, poet and author)

35. “If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

36. “One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.”

* Edith Wharton (American novelist)

37. “The eye never forgets what the heart has seen.”

* African Proverb

38. “Behold the zebra on the plains, and shudder at his mighty manes!”

* Ogden Nash (American poet)

39. “I have loved no part of the world like this and I have loved no women as I love you. You’re my human Africa. I love your smell as I love these smells. I love your dark bush as I love the bush here, you change with the light as this place does, so that one all the time is loving something different and yet the same. I want to spill myself out into you as I want to die here.”

* Graham Greene (English writer and journalist)

40. It was wildest, untouched Africa, and it was magic.”

* Jane Goodall (English primatologist and anthropologist)

Safari quotes 41 – 50

Boyd Norton quote about the Serengeti - the land of our youth

41. “Wilderness gave us knowledge. Wilderness made us human. We came from here. Perhaps that is why so many of us feel a strong bond to this land called Serengeti; it is the land of our youth.”

* Boyd Norton (American wildlife photographer, from Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning)

42. “They say that somewhere in Africa the elephants have a secret grave where they go to lie down, unburden their wrinkled gray bodies, and soar away, light spirits at the end.”

* Robert R. McCammon (American novelist)

43. “Having travelled to some African countries, I find myself, like so many visitors to Africa before me, intoxicated with the continent. And I am not referring to the animals, as much as I have been enthralled by them during safaris in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Rather I am referring to the African people.”

* Dennis Prager (American radio host)

44. “The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands.”

* Sir Richard Francis Burton (British explorer)

45. “People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure.”

* David Attenborough (English broadcaster and natural historian)

46. “If you only visit two continents in your lifetime, visit Africa – twice!”

* R. Elliot

47. “You go away for a long time and return a different person – you never come all the way back.”

* Paul Theroux (American travel writer; from Dark Star Safari)

48. “Here I am where I belong.”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

49. “I went to South Africa on safari and came eye to eye with a beautiful leopard. We were so close; I was staring at him for a long time and I felt a recognition with my own nature.”

* Bai Ling (Chinese-American actress)

50. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”

* Bill Bryson (American-British author of books on travel)

Safari quotes 51 – 60

Mary Anne Radmacher quote about the moon

51. “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”

* Mary Anne Radmacher (American writer and artist)

52. “All I wanted to do was get back to Africa. We had not left it, yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.”

* Ernest Hemingway (American author and journalist)

53. “They say an elephant never forgets. What they don’t tell you is, you never forget an elephant.”

* Bill Murray (American actor, comedian, and writer)

54. “The love of all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.”

* Charles Darwin (English naturalist)

55. “A giraffe is so much a lady that one refrains from thinking of her legs, but remembers her as floating over the plains in long garb, draperies of morning mist her mirage.”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

56. “Traveling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

* Ibn Battuta (Moroccan explorer)

57. “Everytime I look at a zebra, I can’t figure out whether it’s black with white stripes or white with black stripes, and that frustrates me.”

* Jodi Picoult (American author)

58. “I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life because, after Africa, nothing has ever been the same.”

* Suzanne Evans (English journalist and politician)

59. “I believe that no one could perceive where the vast body of water went; it seemed to lose itself in the earth, the opposite lip of the fissure into which it disappeared being only 80 feet distant.”

* David Livingstone (Scottish physician and explorer; Livingstone quote about his first sight of Victoria Falls in 1855)

60. “I need Africa to remind me that beauty has many faces and that giving has many hands.”

* Annie Downs (American author)

Safari quotes 61 – 70

Toto quote about blessing the rains down in Africa

61. “I bless the rains down in Africa.”

* Toto (American rock band)

62. “When you have caught the rhythm of Africa, you find out that it is the same in all her music.”

* Karen Blixen (Danish author best known for “Out of Africa”, her account of living in Kenya)

63. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”

* Aldous Huxley (English writer and philosopher)

64. “Africa smiled a little when you left. We know you, Africa said. We have seen and watched you. We can learn to live without you, but we know we needn’t yet. And Africa smiled a little when you left. You cannot leave Africa, Africa said. It is always with you, there inside your head. Our rivers run in currents in the swirl of your thumbprints; our drumbeats counting out your pulse; our coastline, the silhouette of your soul. So Africa smiled a little when you left. We are in you, Africa said. You have not left us, yet.”

* Bridget Dore (South African poet; poem dedicated to Nelson Mandela)

65. “A charging black rhinoceros is nothing to mess with. When it is headed straight toward you, it is the ultimate exercise in sphincter control. In my case, it was a strange bit of weather that caused one to charge me.”

* Boyd Norton (American wildlife photographer, from Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning)

66. “We are all children of Africa, and none of us is better or more important than the other. This is what Africa could say to the world: it could remind it what it is to be human.”

* Alexander Mccall Smith (British writer)

67. “The lion does not need the whole world to fear him, only those nearest where he roams.”

* A. J. Darkholme (Canadian author and poet)

68. “You either get the point of Africa or you don’t. What draws me back year after year is that it’s like seeing the world with the lid off.”

* A.A. Gill (British journalist)

69. “If anyone wants to know what elephants are like, they are like people only more so.”

* Pierre Corneille (French tragedian)

70. “How nice it would be, I thought, if someone reading the narrative of my African trip felt the same, that it was the next best thing to being there.”

* Paul Theroux (American travel writer; from Dark Star Safari)

Safari quotes 71 – 77

Henry Cloud quote about dating and safari

71. “People tend to look at dating sort of like a safari – like they’re trying to land the trophy.”

* Henry Cloud (American self help author)

72. “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

* Mary Ritter Beard (American historian)

73. “For anyone who feels they are overwhelmed by their job, or maybe they take their job too seriously or are working too hard, I say go to a safari, particularly the Okavango Delta, and just be humbled.”

* Jill Scott (American singer)

74. “I grew up in Rhodesia on my father’s ranch and every year he used to take us on safari in some remote area of the wilderness.”

* Wilbur Smith (British-South African novelist)

75. “What I was really overwhelmed with by Africa was its tremendous natural beauty; I got to go to some pretty amazing places. Every other weekend we got a day or two off and go on a safari or the natural wonders of Africa and if anyone gets the opportunity to go there, it’s something you have to do in your lifetime.”

* Edward Zwick (American filmmaker)

76. “Africa had a way of coming back and simply covering everything up again.”

* Alexander Mccall Smith (British writer)

77. “Tourists who go to Africa have more of a traditional experience than Africans do. A tourist goes on safari; Africans don’t.”

* Paul Theroux (American travel writer; from Dark Star Safari)

# Bonus quote: safari and wifi

Africa Freak quote about safari and wifi connection

“There is no wifi on safari, but you will find a better connection.”

* Africa Freak

Can’t Find Your Favourite Africa Travel Quote or Safari Saying?

There are so many more to inspire me and others. Share them below and move people. 🙂

Also feel free to read our personal list of Africa’s most wonderful wildlife quotes.

12 thoughts on “77 famous safari quotes that will inspire you to travel Africa”

  1. I am just a week back from my (first) safari. I have been dreaming of Africa every night since I returned home. She is in my head. She is in my heart. I will never be the same.

    And thank God for that.

  2. Safari in Africa is an experience like no other. From witnessing majestic lions in their natural habitat to watching graceful giraffes roam the savannah, every moment on safari is filled with wonder and awe. The vast landscapes of Africa offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure, whether you’re trekking through dense forests or cruising along rivers teeming with wildlife. But what truly sets a safari in Africa apart is the chance to connect with nature on a deeper level, to see firsthand the intricate balance of ecosystems and the incredible resilience of the animals that call them home. A safari in Africa is not just a vacation, it’s an opportunity to connect with the world in a profound and unforgettable way.

  3. I just came to Africa two weeks ago and I’m already falling in love. Thanks for the great quotes, I enjoyed reading them and a lot are beginning to ring true. I’m excited to explore more of it whenever the opportunity may arise in the future.

  4. Hi Michael! Amazing quotes! I enjoyed reading them. Some I’ve heard before and some I have not which was fun to come across while I read through your post. They all really do inspire the desire to travel to Africa or be in Africa. It definitely is a great representation of how I feel whenever I am in the continent. It truly is an amazing surreal place to be in. Not just for the landscape, the views but even because of the people in the country and the wildlife! It’s truly an amazing place and I’d love for everyone to discover the beauty of it.

  5. There are things in my life that are as necessary to me almost as much as my husband and my family. Two of these things are music and animals.

    A trip that combined these loves beckoned my soul…and Africa was a place I had dreamed of for my whole life. It could be said that in Africa my dreams come true…

    Africa seems to have a rhythm that beats like your heart.

    Sometimes it’s calm and relaxed – moving steady and contentedly without any real imperative – like the giraffe that walks across the plains. There is a swing and a sway and it has the same grandness as the slow movement of a Beethoven symphony.

    Sometimes the rhythm is full of energy and movement – the gazelles come to mind in their quest to find the balance for being watchful and joyful. They have so much energy that they seem to want to let off some steam – pronking and jumping around like staccato notes on a musical score.

    The big cats. They say silence has a power all on its own. They survey all that is around them and have been charged with being the judge, jury, and executioner. They sit there quietly, like a rest with a fermata…until they don’t.

    Lions are said to be the “king of beasts.” This is not true. The crown belongs to elephants. Every being yields to it without question. The wise give them a respectable berth as an offending tree can be cast to the side with the same effort we use to dismiss insignificant details. Their rhythm is an ever-present sforzando, punctuating the plains with their performance.

    Even the annoying mosquitoes and tsetse flies contribute their part to this symphony…they are annoying, persistent, and the bane of every being’s existence…they personify “The flight of the bumblebee.” I don’t like these pesky bugs – or this piece of music, but nonetheless, they exist.

    Africa has its own rhythm and feel – unlike anything else I have ever experienced…and the people have captured it in their music. They have somehow captured all that is Africa, and the music feels alive.

    The sounds of the Maasai…Their music fills the night – voices, drums, clapping – all of it capturing the essence and spirit of this continent. I could hardly move…I didn’t want to miss even one note. I will remember these sounds forever.

    This trip is enough to move even the most well-traveled or stoic person to tears.

    It is a remarkable place.

    1. Wow Kelly, THANK YOU!

      I could not have found better words to describe my love for this special continent. 🙂

      You are such a star! You spoke from the heart and I’m sure a lot of our readers will find your words truly inspiring. I certainly did.

      Thanks again for sharing,


  6. Michael Burke

    I love Africa… Each day, each breath, she consumes me. I have never changed so much in such a short time. Each day I feel more part of her. Her colour, smell, her smiles, the ever changing landscapes. Vast deserts, rolling hills, plains and mountains. Her beauty and her majesty. Like sweet wine flowing through my veins, my heart sings as I wave to all those faces going by. Back home to my grandmother’s birth place. They said “welcome home”, those village boys. How did they know? You all said I would cry, I thought no, but yes I often do. Not for their pain but for their happiness. I cry now, together hearts will sing, “I love Africa”. See her now as I write… Kilimanjaro, it doesn’t get much better. Tears on a hard man’s face. There is no time but now, no words just peace. Thousands of smiling faces, the mass of souls are singing out. Yes I see and feel it now… In those trees I sense the Spirits of our saving, could it be our looking for? Sailing ships a familiar shore, now I’m crying happy and singing. Thoughts intense of please no more. I love Africa. An epiphany I can’t explain. Not like the ancient rituals, sound of rain, and men together by campfires. Beginning to end but there really is no such thing as time, just imaginings. We still love sitting by the camp fire and we love listening to the rain? I love Africa, the Eden and our Birthplace, Man.

    How can I explain to you my friend what I have seen and felt unless you too have seen it all… Africa.

    Michael Burke. “Expedition Nentikobe”

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