The Serengeti is a safari destination that is a magnificent experience any time of the year, but it’s in February when nearly all of the animals have babies. Between the Great Migration on the Serengeti Plains and all the adorable babies, a luxury safari in Tanzania with SkySafari by Elewana is a bucket list trip that will definitely top the list of best trips you’ve ever been on. We’ve seen things on safari that put the circle of life into perspective like hyenas hunting wildebeest, lions feasting on their morning kill and an elephant that died from a wound likely inflicted by poachers. While those things are a sad reality, we’ve also seen the cutest baby animals that just absolutely melt your heart. There are 13 of the cutest baby animals to see on safari:
1. Lion cubs
Lionesses will give birth to a litter of one – four cubs and we were lucky to find this litter of four (though you can only spot three in the photo).
2. Elephant calf
Elephants only get pregnant once about every five years and the gestation period is 22 months. Elephant calves are quite small! Our guides estimated this cutie was around eight or nine months old.
3. Giraffe calf
Giraffe calves are born already around six feet tall! Though after seeing full grown giraffes, it’s pretty easy to spot a youngster even when they’re on their own. Sadly, we learned that giraffes aren’t very good parents and will leave their babies own their own while traveling several kilometers away.
4. Baboon infant
Baboon infants hang on to their mother’s stomach for the first month and then at five or six weeks old, start riding on their mother’s back. This cute little fella (boy parts definitely indicated he was a fella) was less than a month old! We were lucky to spot him playing very close to the road, though he scampered over to hold on to mom as soon as we stopped.
5. Wildebeest calf
Wildebeest calves can stand within just a few minutes of being born and can run with the herd within an hour after birth. We saw a few young calves as the Great Migration moved from the Serengeti Plains south to Ngorongoro Crater, where the wildebeest will birth their calves in the short grass plains.
6. Cape buffalo calf
Cape buffalo calves are completely dependent on their mothers for their first year. The females will stay with and join the natural herd. We saw mostly male herds, but did spot some calves in a female herd we came across.
7. Hippo calf
Hippo calves are born in the water and can hold their breath for nearly three times as long as an adult hippo. Hippos spend around 16 hours each day in the water, so babies are a little hard to spot. We got lucky to spot a baby out of the water at Ngorongoro Crater.
8. Warthog piglet
Warthog moms only have four teats and piglets each suckle from their “own”. No sharing! When warthogs run, their tail sticks straight up and the piglets run in a line behind mom. Though I hope they weren’t running from a predator, they are too cute in running mode.
9. Zebra foal
Zebra foals are actually born brown and white and with a thicker coat. They look fuzzy, which makes them all the more adorable. Like wildebeest, zebras have their babies just before the long rains begin in February. We saw quite a few baby zebras at Ngorongoro Crater.
10. Thompson gazelle fawn
Thompson gazelles are really small with an adult standing at only around 2 – 3 feet tall. Females move away from the herd to birth a single fawn and the fawn will spend most of its time resting and hiding in the grass. It’s not very common to spot a fawn, so we were particularly lucky to see this little fawn with its mom on the short grass plains at Ngorongoro Crater during the Great Migration.
Hyrax live in families of up to 50 and are sort of look like a rabbit without long ears and cotton tails that can climb. The babies all snuggle up with mom when they nap and we were quite amused watching the resident hyrax families at Serengeti Migration Camp.
12. Crocodile hatchling
Crocodiles lay around 50 eggs and bury them in the sand on the riverbank. Of the 50 eggs, only one or two hatchlings actually survive. This little guy was sunning himself right next to mom in the Serengeti.
13. Monkey infant
Like baboons, monkey infants clutch their arms around mom and hitch a ride on their belly. Because the mom and dad are so protective of their youngsters, baby monkeys can be hard to spot. Like all kids, they like to play and you might spot them chasing each other around. As soon as the parents spot you watching though, they grab up their babies and hold on to them protectively.