QUIZ: Can You Name the Animals in These 10 Closeups?

Written by Thomson Safaris

person looking at elephants through binoculars on safari

Binoculars are your best friend when you’re spotting wildlife on safari. But what if magnified views were all you had? What if the one rhino you see is sheltered in tall grass, far away, identifiable only through the lens hanging around your neck?

We believe the ability to identify hard-to-see wildlife adds immense value to every safari. Consider this quiz your training regimen: can you identify all 10 animals in these extreme closeups?

Keep track of your score and see how you rank!

1. What animal sports these spots?

cheetah spots closeup detail

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Cheetahs have round spots, subtly different from the rosette-style markings of leopards. It can be tough to tell them apart!

cheetah in serengeti

2. What animals can have up to 3 pounds of hair on their heads?

close up of lion mane

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Over 3,000 lions live in the Serengeti alone, and the country of Tanzania has more lions than Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia combined. Lion sightings are guaranteed on every Thomson safari!

3. What animal wears these bumps like a crown?

giraffe horn closeup

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The knobs atop a giraffe’s head, called ossicones, are bony, fur-covered protrusions used as clubs in combat. They accumulate bone mass over time, meaning older giraffes swing harder than younger ones.

giraffe head green background

4. What animal could use a little moisturizer?

elephant trunk detail

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Elephant trunks have over 40,000 muscles–more than 66 times the amount in a human body!
Here are seven more reasons to see elephants on safari.

elephants in tanzania

5. What antelope displays these knife-like horns?

thomson gazelle horns detail

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Thomson’s Gazelle!

Agile Thomson’s gazelles (sometimes known as tommies) are easily identified by their side-to-side swinging tails, like a windshield wiper. They live in herds up to 100 strong, or mixed groups up to 700.

Before you ask, no, Thomson Safaris is not named after them, or them after us. Our name actually comes from company co-founder Rick Thomson– but the gazelle does star in our logo!

thomson gazelle

6. These are the feet of a…

feet of an ostrich

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During the courtship dance known as kantling, a male ostrich drops to his knees, twists his spindly neck backwards and rocks side to side with dramatic flair. Usually, the female he’s trying to woo isn’t impressed. But when she is? They’re mates for life!

Here are six other animal courtship rituals you could see on safari.

ostrich are strong runners

7. What animal rocks this side part?

wildebeest closeup

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Thomson guides sometimes refer to wildebeest as the “spare parts” animal. They have a head like an ox, the mane and tail of a horse and the horns of a buffalo. But they’re actually antelopes!

wildebeest mother with calf

8. Hopefully, you’ll never see this animal from this close up!

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Black rhinos are critically endangered. An estimated 80 live in Tanzania, and your best bet to see one is in Ngorongoro Crater.

black rhino in black and white

9. What animal has hooves like these?

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You’ll see lots of warthogs, and warthog burrows, on your Eastern Serengeti walking safari. Your guide will advise you not to stand in front of them–in the mornings, warthogs like to sprint and leap from their burrows to get a running start on predators that may be lurking nearby.


10. What animals armor themselves with skin like this?

crocodile skin

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Despite their thick, armor-like skin, crocodiles are one of the most sensitive animals around (physically, anyway). Some parts of their snouts are more sensitive to pressure than human fingertips.

How do you tell the difference between crocodiles and alligators?

crocodile at river



0-3 correct: Looks like some wildlife identification training is in order. Here are our top Instagram posts from 2022…for study, of course!

4-7 correct: Nice job! Your attention to detail will not only help you identify hidden animals in the Serengeti, it’ll elevate your capacity for wildlife appreciation, too.

8-10 correct: Wow! You have an eye for wildlife that would make any Thomson guide proud. But can you guess the weird group names of these 10 safari animals?