Sounds of the wild: most popular safari sounds in Africa

Most Popular Safari Sounds

Most people go on safari thinking about the sights. Lions, baboons, elephants, hippos! What an adventure! But visit wild Africa and you explore with all the senses. I have as many memories of sounds and smells as I do of the sights.

Out in the bush you hear strange noises, especially in the stillness of night. So it’s good to know the African animal sounds before you go, especially if you will be camping on the savannah.

I personally don’t think any animal sounds beat that of a trumpeting elephant. If a whole herd is blowing their trunkets then it becomes an orchestra.

In this article you can listen to all the top sounds of the wild, learning how to identify different mammals and birds. The article includes most of the top safari sounds, those that you are likely to come across on any safari.

I love the nighttime bush sounds – when it’s so quiet it’s easy to pick up on any noise.

African Animal Sounds

1. Baboon

2. Elephant

  • Elephant trumpet sound.
  • Elephant growl.


Learn all about elephant sounds.

3. Hippo

Hippo roar grunts.


More hippo sound effects.

4. Hyena

Laughing hyenas.


Do hyena really “laugh”?

5. Impala

6. Jackal

7. Leopard

Video 1: Leopard Call Close-Up

Video 2: Leopard Call at Night

Listen carefully to the baboon alarm calls… next you’ll hear a leopard call. 😉

More about the sounds a leopard makes.

8. Lion

Lion roaring sound.


Learn the complete lion vocabulary here.

9. Zebra

Zebra sound.


Even more zebra noises.

African Bird Sounds

1. African Fish Eagle

Fish eagle sound.


Learn 14 incredible facts about Africa’s greatest raptor.

2. Crested Francolin

Crested Francolins calling.


3. Guinea Fowl

Typical African Bush Sounds

Sounds of the African bush.


Night Time Bush Sounds in Africa

1. Riverine Area

Cicadas & frogs.


2. Creepy Hyena Calls

Listen to the True Sounds of the Wild!

Listening through headphones or on a mobile isn’t the same as being out in the wild. You don’t hear these sounds in isolation. All the sounds mingle together and you never know what will come next.

At the best safari camps you drift off to nature’s lullaby. Sometimes you even wake in the night to a strange sound, like baboons nearby or hippos fighting at a distant river. Then the next morning you inspect the camp to see what kind of visitor left their evidence in the grass.

Going on safari is the only way you can truly listen to the sounds of the African wilderness. And don’t forget the smells as well! If you want to see a lion you can look at a photo. But if you want to experience a lion you need to go on safari and come face to face with the apex predator.

You might be able to spot a hippo in a zoo, but only on a safari can you understand how these giant animals live in the wild. A safari provides a connection with nature. You’re completely immersed, surrounded on all sides by the sights, sounds and smells of the wild.

And that is a very special feeling that I hope everyone gets to experience at least once in their lifetime.

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