22 Heartrate-Raising Safari Photos That Prove Mother Nature Is Truly Wild

When it comes to vacation, some people are perfectly content to sit in a lounge chair while sipping an icy beverage and leafing through some magazines. Others prefer sealing themselves into a nicely air-conditioned room with Netflix and all the snacks they can handle. These are all fine vacations, but some people have something a little more wild in mind. 

All these travelers wanted was an exciting safari vacation and some cool wildlife photos. But when the African bush’s wild inhabitants turned out to be truly ferocious, all the poor tourists could do was hope their safari guides knew what they were doing — and hold on tight. 

1. We’re not quite sure how this safari guide just kept on grinning when a growling lioness perched herself on the tree branch directly behind him. From the way she was looking at him, we’re not sure if she was being friendly or planning dinner…

2. You’re just driving along on your safari, admiring the brush’s wild inhabitants, when a 10,000-pound elephant suddenly bounds towards your vehicle. But it doesn’t end there: the elephant, clearly peeved, proceeds to LIFT your vehicle skyward. That’s what happened to one poor tourist group, and they’re lucky to have survived.

3. This family thought they were embarking on a regular ol’ safari when it suddenly became very clear that they weren’t the only passengers. Two lions jumped into the safari truck and started to nuzzle the very surprised family as their guide urged them to stay calm.

4. When you’re being attacked by two hungry cheetahs, you’re going to do practically anything to escape unscathed. If you are a terrified impala, that may require you leaping into a Toyota Prado that’s filled with equally-terrified tourists. Such is life!

5. How was this guy so calm?! He was just observing a leopard in its natural habitat when it suddenly started toying with his foot. We always forget that buried within those adorable paws are razor-sharp claws just looking for something—or someone—to play with…

6. Did you know that an elephant’s testosterone can reach 60 times its normal limit? Did you also know that said-elephant could take its extra aggression out on your safari vehicle, causing 4 blown tires, a broken chassis, and a likely life-long fear of elephants? 

7. What’s cuter than a family of gorillas playing together in the grass? Well, it’s a little less cute when the mama suddenly flings herself onto an innocent woman standing with a group of tourists. Maybe she was just protecting her babies!?

8. It’s obvious who would win in the leopard vs. dog fight…right? This dog was curled up in front of a safari truck when a leopard suddenly pounced. But instead of becoming lunch, the dog barked the leopard into reluctant submission. Dog 1, Leopard 0!

9. Imagine that you’re driving your car when you suddenly find yourself upside down, all thanks to the powerful tusks of an angry elephant. This is exactly what happened to a woman in South Africa, who survived with a mere tusk-stab to the thigh.  

10. A tire to a lioness is like a chew-toy to a puppy…right? Apparently so, since this lioness felt the need to sink her teeth and her claws into a tire that was on the back of a moving safari vehicle. 

11. White Rhinos can weigh up to 5,000 pounds, meaning you don’t want one of them charging towards you. Unfortunately for one woman, she was taking a photo when she was pierced in the chest by the tusk of an angry rhinoceros, causing a collapsed lung.

12. When two photographers came across a crouching tiger, they tried to be as silent as possible so as not to startle it. So when the tiger suddenly pounced — and headed straight for the elephant one of the photographers was perched on top of — they were definitely caught by surprise!

13. All this family wanted to do after a day in the wild was drive home. But when a lively trio of baboons leaped onto a tourist’s car, they started pulling apart the hood in an apparent effort to stop the family from leaving! That’s so…sweet?!

14. This is a truly tragic story: When newlyweds Patrick and Julie Smith were on a heavily-guarded walking safari, Patrick was suddenly and viciously attacked by a “rogue” elephant. Elephants usually don’t kill humans unless they feel threatened, which makes Patrick’s death all the more confounding. 

15. Hopefully no one inside that jeep has any other plans for that afternoon. Changing a flat tire can be time consuming enough, but swapping it out when there are lions hanging on the spare? Yeah, they’re not going anywhere for awhile.

16. If authorities tell you NOT to hang out in a certain area because lions often, you know, attack people there, maybe you should listen. One woman learned this lesson the hard way when, after trespassing, she was tragically mauled by the king of beasts himself. 

17. When a couple was suddenly attacked by a young bull elephant, they fought for their lives until the only thing they could think to do was yell “sorry”…and when they did, the elephant simply walked away. “Sorry” really does go a long way! 

18. We have no idea what these giraffes were fighting about, but judging by the ferocity in which they threw their long limbs around, it must have been something personal. Watching two giraffes duke it out is definitely something we never thought we’d see! 

19. Look how close this elephant came to this poor tourist! We see nothing but curiosity and wisdom in the elephant’s eyes, but when it comes to the tourist’s eyes, all we see is pure fear. And can you blame her? That trunk was practically filming for her!

20. One woman’s trip turned sour when she found herself running for dear life from a tiger. She was rescued just in time, but it’s the possibilities of what could have happened that keep us up at night. 

21. Four couples sued a wildlife preserve after their truck overturned and left them face-to-face with a pride of lions. One man suffered internal bleeding while the others deal with post-traumatic stress disorder—and if we were faced with a pride of growling lions, we’d be scarred, too. 

22. Every job comes with its own set of dangers, but this is next-level. A safari guide was leading a group through the bush when he came face-to-face with a charging elephant. He somehow managed to stay calm despite thousands of pounds rushing towards him.  

23. Animals act wild outside of safaris. See last week on The Real Moose Wives Of The Meadow… “Oh yea, Ruth, yea, you think you’re so funny. Well, you know what, you know what you are. You’re just one big giant…”

© Barney Koszalka

24. Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! Oh, the wise forest elder. Everyone thinks he’s nuts, but he’s just out here trying to keep the peace. “If you guys keep this up we’re going to start looking civilized, is that what you want?!”

© Mary McGowan

25. Woah, Charles “Bark”ley may have over-fished his bounds, but telling him to “go club himself?” That’s just not right, guys. The world is melting, can’t y’all just be friends? Don’t make us send in the squirrel…

© Amy Kennedy

26. When you’re trying to do the frog-to-prince thing, but you’ve had too many GMOs in your diet and you live off a nuclear waste facility. “How much longer is this supposed to take? Neither of us is getting any prettier.”

© Sergy Savvi

27. “So then when I finally caught him, then he was all like, ‘please, I beg you, don’t eat me. I have a family.’ Then I said, ‘don’t worry, little guy. I’ll prey for them.'”

© Muriel Vekemans

28. Okay, obviously a Libra. Hopelessly romantic squirrel can’t decide which flower she’d like better. The left one is more symmetrical — it says thoughtful and stable. The right is more chaotic — it says fun and wild. We’ll check in like 6 hours and see how it’s going…

© Geert Weggen

29. It’s a little-known fact, but when temperatures drop below -12, the elephant seal actually starts exhaling miniature ghostly penguins. These ghost penguins only live for 48 hours, but they float around the world reminding people that global warming is a thing.

© Jackie Downey

30. Some people call her paranoid. They don’t understand, this is a ritual. Check around the birch tree eight times, walk in a circle, check around the birch tree eight times. This is how she stays safe. This is also how she has trouble making new friends.

© Jamie Bussey

31. Fed up with the lack of adherence to the clearly stated laws of the land, this bear took it upon himself to raise awareness. No one steps out of line when big brother bear is watching.

© Jonathan Irish

32. We’re not quite sure what kind of headlights this deer got caught in, but it doesn’t look like he was ever the same again. We know it seems like all the cool deer are getting in the high beams, but no one wants to end up like Dale, here. Stay off the streets, kids.

© Rab Adamson

33. Every neck of the woods has one. Those big curious eyes, those great listening ears, and that huge yap! She has to keep her hand over her mouth otherwise all your secrets will spew out of her like a spontaneous combustion. She might look innocent, but beware Belinda the gossip.

© Jakob Strecker

34. When you finally let it go and you feel 10 pounds lighter. We can almost hear him singing: I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky. Doesn’t matter if it’s night or day, I make the doo and then I eat more prey.

© Kevin Rooney

35. If this elephant’s trunk worked like a vacuum, it would make for an amazing housekeeper — just think of all the dust it could suck up with that nimble thing! Of course, getting inside the apartment could prove problematic…

© Anup Deodhar

36. It may look like this little tweety is playing coy, but he’s about to bust out some “Thriller” moves that will chill you. Cause this is thriller. Thriller night. And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to strike.

© Antonio Medina

37. “You can’t be serious, you have a headache, again?” Observing Safari life, one comes to realize that things aren’t all that different in the wild than in the bedroom. She knows, lion about a headache, works every time.

Maureen Toft

38. Crafting the secret greeting for the inaugural Buck’s Club meeting is an enormous task. First, all bucks must don the symbolic crown of ferns. Then they stand tall and look each other in the eye like real men. Then, with hoof in hoof, they whisper the ancient Latin bucks club mantra, bros before does.

© Bartek Olszewski

39. This week at woodland’s poetry slam, Mr. Moose recited Walt Whitman: “I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” Though there were few present with opposable thumbs, snaps resounded.

© Mary Hone

40. What, you’ve never seen two reptiles doing the foxtrot? These guys don’t care what anyone says, this dance isn’t exclusive to foxes. They have a 4/4 time signature rhythm that will tip any jive-o-normative scale.

© Sergy Savvi

41. This polar bear really gave that photographer a run for his money. Literally. Can you imagine a polar bear trying to commandeer thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment? You’d grab your stuff and run for the glaciers, too.

© Roie Galitz

42. Congratulations on four seasons of mating, they say. You guys make such a cute couple, they say. Looks like the honeymoon phase is over in this nest. Once the squawking starts, it just keeps on going.

© Christopher Schlaf

43. Sure, we all like to think we’re secure in our relationships. But here’s a question: when your partner says they love you and all, do they love you this much?

© Michael Lane

44. When you have the heart of a queen, you can vogue anywhere you please. His thick skin doesn’t shut out the feminine energies of the universe. This rhino is feeling fancy, fabulous, and fierce. Work it, girl!

© Kallol Mukherjee

45. This is the last time she sat by and let him not ask for directions. They had to make it all the way to seagrass before he admitted he might have been a little turned around. Buckle up, buddy. Mama’s taking the driver’s seat, and she looks like she means business.

© Achim Sterna

46. Here is an exclusive behind-the-scenes photograph that was taken on the set of a Coke commercial. Toss the hardworking guy a bottle, already! The contract states three sodas per shoot.

© Qiusheng Hu

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