Animals Kilimanjaro: Spotting Animals while Climbing Kilimanjaro

best tour operator in tanzania

By William on 2023

Animals on Kilimanjaro

Most Kilimanjaro climbers want to experience the wealth of Tanzania’s wildlife at some point before or after they summit Africa’s tallest mountain. Certainly, the best way to see Tanzania’s incredible wildlife is to go on a safari to one of Tanzania’s National Parks or the famous Ngorongoro Crater. However, even while hiking Mount Kilimanjaro climbers are sure to see some interesting animals on the mountain.

Climbers hoping to spot elephants during their trek should choose the Rongai route, as the trail crosses the mountain’s northern side where elephants are more likely to be spotted. If you’re climbing by another route, you are still likely to see plenty of exotic animals as you climb the great Mount Kilimanjaro! Various monkeys, antelope, exotic cats and highland animals are all commonly seen during Kilimanjaro treks. Here, we share some of our guest’s favorite animals seen during Kilimanjaro climbs.

Kilimanjaro animal
Kilimanjaro Mt

What animals can one see on Kilimanjaro?

More animals live in the lush tropical rainforests at the base of Kilimanjaro than reside in the highlands, this is because of access to water and food. As your group climbs higher, less wildlife will be present around you. All animals in the National Parks of Tanzania are completely free to roam, meaning any animals spotted on Kilimanjaro are definitely ‘wild’. Thankfully, your team will not come across any dangerous lions or predators during your climb! You are more likely to see a shy species of antelope, Abbott’s Duiker, or chattering monkeys throughout your climb. Here are eight of our favorite animals spotted on Kilimanjaro.

bird kilimanajro
Bird at Kilimanjaro

Colobus Monkey

The colobus monkey is native to Tanzania and lives in family groups high in the trees. If you’re seeing one colobus, he likely has a sister or brother somewhere in a nearby tree. Look for the distinguishing long black-and-white tail and the loud chattering noise these monkeys make.

The colobus monkey is in the category of “guereza primates” and those found on Mount Kilimanjaro are an endangered species, so take plenty of photos but don’t disturb these special monkeys.

colobus monkey
Colobus Monkey

Serval Cat

Big cats such as lions and leopards get all the attention, but there are several other types of ‘big cats’ to be spotted in Tanzania. The serval cat is a wild cat that looks somewhat like a cheetah in its coloring but is smaller and slenderer than its cousin. The serval cat has the longest legs (relative to the rest of the body), with large ears and a pattern of black stripes and spots across their body.

This solitary cat is active day and night and usually is observed when it is out hunting. Serval cats prey on small rodents, but will eat nearly anything; from antelopes and wild rabbits to insects or reptiles – even grass!

If your hiking group is quiet, you may be lucky enough to spy a serval cat during your Kilimanjaro climb.

serval cat
Serval Cat

Aardvark

This unique and interesting animal is found only in Sub-Saharan Africa. While they may look a bit like a pig (and their name derives from the Afrikaans word for ‘ground pig’,) they are actually related to a favourite African mammal – the elephant! Now, those big ears and long noses don’t exactly resemble an elephant’s, but we won’t argue with science.

Aardvark
Aardvark

Tree Hyrax

Another animal found on Kilimanjaro, one also surprisingly related to the mighty elephant, is the small, nimble tree hyrax. Tree hyraxes live in forested areas where (you guessed it!) they live amongst the trees. The lower forests of Kilimanjaro are a natural habitat for these animals.

You may hear a tree hyrax before you see one, these interesting creatures make a distinct ‘call’ in the early evening and at nighttime. The noises vary, from a cackle to a loud shriek, but don’t be alarmed, the tree hyrax might just be marking its territory.

In order to spot these special creatures, you will need to be paying close attention after dark. Aardvarks are nocturnal and avoid the heat of the sun during the day. At night when it is cooler, they come out and feed on ants and termites. They have been recorded walking miles to find a nice termite mound to feast on, using their long snouts to reach the tiny insects.

Tree Hyrax
Tree Hyrax

Duiker

A duiker is a type of antelope, and the name ‘duiker’ comes from the Dutch word “to dive”, which accurately describes this animal’s leap into the bushes to avoid predators.

When compared to a common grassland antelope, the duiker is obviously smaller with differently shaped horns and a hump on its back. Duikers reside in heavily wooded areas, so you aren’t likely to spot them on your typical safari through a savannah. The slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro are an excellent location to see Tanzania’s native duikers in their natural habitat.

Lucky climbing groups will happen to see an Abbott’s Duiker, a small, endangered species of duiker that survive in only a few remaining locations in Tanzania; the Udzungwa Mountains and Mount Kilimanjaro are among the rare places to see these antelope. Predators aren’t to blame for the decline of Abbott’s Duiker, instead, it is the shrinking natural habitat and deforestation affecting their diet which is considered the most likely cause.

The wildlife of Tanzania is so precious, and more and more species are at risk. That is why it is important for tourists to book with responsible tour operators, and consider the initiatives each company takes to protect Tanzania’s most precious resource. Learn more about Williamson Adventures’ efforts to protect Tanzania’s wildlife, including our animal rehabilitation centre – the first and only in Tanzania!

Duiker
Duiker

 White-Tailed Mongoose

Resembling the body type of a weasel, the mongoose is a nocturnal mammal native to Africa. Mongooses may be most well-known for their ability to take down large, venomous snakes, including cobras, such as in Rudyard Kipling’s story, the Jungle Book. Of the mongoose family, the white-tailed mongoose is the largest. Their body is typically a brown colour, for camouflage in wooded areas. Their long, white fluffy tails make them distinct from another mongoose, hence their name “White-tailed Mongoose”.

Similar to the skunk, when frightened, the mongoose can release a musky odor from a gland in its rear end, so don’t scare a mongoose if you happen to see one!

 White-Tailed Mongoose
 White-Tailed Mongoose

Marsh Mongoose

In the same mongoose family is the Marsh Mongoose. While smaller than its white-tailed brother, the marsh mongoose is significant – it is aquatic! This mongoose enjoys swimming in swampy areas. The Marsh Mongoose hunts for birds in a unique way: this clever animal will pretend it is sunbathing and turn its belly (and bum) to the sky. The pink skin against the mongoose’s fur attracts birds to get a closer look – and then the swift mongoose catches its dinner.

Kilimanjaro hikers who walk quietly may easily see this mammal during their hike. Why? Mongooses prefer to tread smooth paths, just like the Kilimanjaro climbing trail!

Marsh Mongoose
Marsh Mongoose

White-Necked Raven

As your group climbs to higher altitudes on Mount Kilimanjaro, you will see increasingly less wildlife (or signs of wildlife), as the vegetation diminishes and the climate becomes less habitable. One animal, however, thrives in higher altitudes: the White-Necked Raven. This noble-looking black bird with a collar of white feathers around its neck can be seen at your campsites at high altitudes.

Ravens eat everything – even human food! So make sure not to leave your snacks out, even if they are in a container because this clever bird has been known to reason out how to open packages, or just carry that bag of chips away to eat it at the top of a tree.

White-Necked Raven
White-Necked Raven

Bush Baby

We have saved the cutest for last. The adorable Bush Baby (sometimes known as Galagos) are endemic to Kilimanjaro’s forests. This small nocturnal primate is known for its wide eyes and adorable features.

You may hear them from your comfortable warm tent throughout your Kilimanjaro climb. These animals are most active at night, often jumping through the trees and making noise. The sound of the Bush Baby is what gives it its name: it sounds like a baby crying! Bush babies are cousins to monkeys, but don’t really look like other primates: they are small, with soft fluffy grey or brown fur and cute, pointy ears that help them hear at night.

They are undeniably cute and the name “Bush Baby” is certainly fitting for these little primates.

Bush Baby
White-Necked Raven

Come See Kilimanjaro’s Animals for Yourself

These eight animals are only a few of the wildlife you may see throughout your Kilimanjaro climb. While we enjoy sharing about Kilimanjaro’s beauty and diverse wildlife, you should experience it yourself.

Interested in climbing Kilimanjaro? Want to experience Tanzania’s incredible wildlife and pristine nature? Book a safari or Kilimanjaro climb with Williamson today!

Have questions? Our professional travel experts are ready to answer any of your questions.

SIMILAR POSTS

Here are some other posts you might like

migration safari Safari blog

8 Tips to Witness the Spectacular Great Migration Calving Season

By William 2023Welcome to the spectacular event of the wildebeest calving season, an awe-inspiring spectacle orchestrated by nature herself. Williamson...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Best Things to Do in Zanzibar: the Top Zanzibar Island Activities

By William 2023Welcome to Zanzibar, the tropical paradise where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience....
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Thanda Island

By William 2023Welcome to Thanda Island, a secluded oasis nestled in the glistening waters of the Indian Ocean. If you...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Tides in Zanzibar

By William 2023Welcome to the captivating island of Zanzibar, where breathtaking beaches and turquoise waters meet a fascinating natural wonder...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Spice Tour in Zanzibar

By William 2023Welcome to the captivating island of Zanzibar, where history, culture, and tantalizing aromas come together on the famous...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

What Island to Choose for a Beach Vacation in Tanzania?

By William 2023Tanzania's stunning coastline is adorned with a treasure trove of exotic islands, each offering a unique blend of...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

The Best Time to Visit Tanzania’s Zanzibar Beaches

By William 2023 When is the best time to visit Zanzibar? When is the best time to visit Zanzibar? The...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Food on Kilimanjaro Climbing

Food on Kilimanjaro Climbing By William 2023 What do you eat when climbing Kilimanjaro? Nestled in the heart of East...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Guides for Choosing the Best Kilimanjaro Climbing Duffle Bag

The Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best Kilimanjaro Climbing Duffle Bag By William 2023 Duffle Bags for Kilimanjaro Climbing Mount...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

10 Best Daypacks for Climbing Kilimanjaro

Best Daypacks Recommended for Climbing Kilimanjaro By William 2023 Best Kilimanjaro Hiking Daypacks of 2023 Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak...
Read More
Safari blog

Vaccinations and Immunizations Before Your Trip to Tanzania

Essential Vaccinations and Immunizations Before Your Trip to Tanzania By William 2023 Vaccinations and Immunizations Tanzania Planning a trip to...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs Zanzibar Packages

Combining Kilimanjaro Climbing and Zanzibar Packages

Combining Kilimanjaro Climbing and Zanzibar Packages By William 2023 Combining Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar Packages Africa, the land of mesmerizing landscapes,...
Read More
Safari Package Zanzibar Packages

Combining Safari Tours and Zanzibar Packages

Combining Safari Tours and Zanzibar Packages By William 2023 Combining Safari and Zanzibar Packages East Africa is a region known...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs Safari blog

Kilimanjaro Climbing and Safari

Combining Kilimanjaro Climbing and Safari Tours By William 2023 Kilimanjaro and Safari Africa, the mesmerizing continent of vast landscapes, rich...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Understanding Altitude on Kilimanjaro

Understanding Altitude on Kilimanjaro: Tips for a Successful Climb By William 2023 Understanding Altitude on Kilimanjaro Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Kilimanjaro Climbing Expeditions

Kilimanjaro Climb Expeditions:Challenges, Rewards, and Adventure By William 2023 Kilimanjaro climb: Challenges, Rewards, and Adventure Embarking on a Kilimanjaro climbing...
Read More
Safari blog

Why You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Next Safari Adventure

Why You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Next Safari By William 2023 Why You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Next...
Read More
Safari blog

Best Tanzania Safari Destinations

Best Tanzania Safari Destinations By William 2023 Best Tanzania Safari Destinations Tanzania, known as the crown jewel of African safaris,...
Read More
Safari blog

Tanzania’s Big Five Safari

Tanzania's Big Five Safari By William on December 31 A Journey through Tanzania's Big Five Safari Embarking on a safari...
Read More
Safari blog

A Complete Guide For a Safari in Tanzania

A Complete Guide for a Safari in Tanzania By William 2023 Complete Guide for a Safari in Tanzania Welcome to...
Read More
{"dots":"true","arrows":"true","autoplay":"true","autoplay_interval":3000,"speed":600,"loop":"true","design":"design-2"}
best tour operator in tanzania

About the Author

William is a Tanzanian Safari and Kilimanjaro expert motivated to write about his Safari and Kilimanjaro Trekking experience because of his passion for adventures. Through his stories and articles, William sought to inspire others to experience the thrill of adventure and to appreciate the beauty of  Africa around them.

TESTIMONIALS

What Our Clients Say About Us

LCF20130907
LCF20130907
2023-08-30
7-Day Migration Safari with Williamson: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience! My friend and I had a 7-day migration safari (River Crossing) with Williamson Adventures exceeded our expectations. The captivating sights of wildebeest herds were absolutely breathtaking, a true testament to the wonders of nature. Our knowledgeable guide Raymond made the experience even more remarkable with his deep understanding of the wildlife and their behaviors. The seamless combination of the safari with a day trip to Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour added a perfect touch of cultural immersion. The lush greenery and the thundering waterfall were a sight to behold, and the coffee tour was enlightening. Williamson's team orchestrated a flawless journey, ensuring comfort and safety throughout. This safari was a life-changing experience, and I'm incredibly grateful to William and his team for making it so exceptional.
Vi_X
Vi_X
2023-08-30
Unforgettable experience in Tanzania The Ultimate Tanzanian Safari and Cultural Experience! I can't thank Williamson enough for the incredible 7-day migration safari adventure. Witnessing the Great Migration in person was an awe-inspiring spectacle, and Raymond Our Guide added an educational layer that deepened our appreciation. His passion for wildlife is contagious! The highlight was coupling this safari with a day trip to Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour. The waterfall's beauty left us speechless, and the coffee tour was a delightful insight into the local culture. The Accommodation during our safari experience was top notch, thank you William for organizing our trip and his team was amazing! I am going to miss Tanzania ❤️ # one of my best trip ever # amazing travel experiences # lots laughs & fun during the trip # unforgettable moments
Edson B
Edson B
2023-07-23
Incredible Safari in Tanzania We did a 5 day Incredible honeymoon safari with Williamson Adventures , we were researching good company for our safari It is our luck to go with them the communication was smooth, we exchanged so many texts until we reached the conclusion . The guide Allan was knowledgeable who knows alot about animals and plants his driving skill was exceptional on the rough road on the way to Serengeti national park , The accommodations were good during our safari we will recommend Williamson Adventures to our family and friends .
Juliane P
Juliane P
2023-07-21
Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route My dad and I booked the Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route and since the first contact with William I received all the information and help that we need and our conversation was easy. Our team at the Kilimanjaro hike was really friendly and helpful and our guides were perfect with us! Cannot recommend more I and have no words to thank enough all the team.
Ellen Karin R
Ellen Karin R
2023-03-19
Er du interessert i fugleliv såvel som dyreliv prøver du Williamssons adventures med Ian som guide Er du interessert i fugleliv i tillegg til dyreliv bør du be om å få Ian som guide. Han var kunnskapsrik om både fugler, dyr, fauna og stoppa opp på alle henstillinger og svarte tålmodig på alle spørsmål. Ian var også ein flink sjåfør. Vi var i alle nasjonalparkene, Tarangire, Serengeti, Manyara og Ngorogoro conservation area. Vi var på en fire dagers safari, og lunsjboksene, frokostene og middagene var fantastiske. Likeså med overnattingsstedene. Vi ble tatt vel i mot og tatt vare på. Denne safari er ett minne for livet, og kan anbefales på det sterkeste. I tillegg til kjempemange fugler og dyr fikk vi også sett alle fem store????
Jessica D
Jessica D
2023-02-06
Perfect Kilimanjaro trek, perfect safari, perfect Guide From the first day of emailing Williamson Adventures for a safari and Kilimanjaro quote we were answered in professional way with full of information about the tour in Tanzania.The Director William was helpful and well organized our Kilimanjaro trek and 5 days safari , we started hiking for 6 days machame , the team was very helpful and the porter were strong and friends they really supported us to carry our luggages and guide was very professional especially during the summit day we really appreciate them . After safari we went to safari where we saw many animals excluding rhino because the guide explained that they're now endangered sometimes it's hard to spot them although it was good experience, the food good and accommodation was superb with high comfortability. Thanks Williamson Adventures for making our trip unforgettable
Norbet h
Norbet h
2023-02-02
Kilimanjaro Climb Experience! My husband and I booked 7 days Machame route Kilimanjaro mountain climb with Williamson adventures, we liked the experience from the day we started hiking up to last day at mweka camp. The tour was very organized and the team was extremely friendly . During the summit Day it's was really challenging for me but the guide and porter was really helpful and fun to be around , the food was delicious and plentiful so we really appreciate our chef , the tent were top quality and brand new so we slept in comfortable tents . I really recommend Mr William to arrange your Kilimanjaro mountain trekking if you wish to make it to the top of Kilimanjaro mountain. Best wishes from USA
Christensen H
Christensen H
2023-01-31
Unforgettable safari in Tanzania My Safari experience in Tanzania with Williamson adventures was really good since from the day we emailed them they were very cooperative , we had 8 days safari in Tanzania with them the guide was very detailed about Flora and fauna of Tanzania national park, I really liked Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater the most because of its scenic views and abundant of Animals, we managed to see all the big 5 during safari, the accommodations was nice and clean, we really thanks this company for making our journey in Tanzania unforgettable
Hannah P
Hannah P
2023-01-29
Best Wildlife Safari I did a 7-day safari in Tanzania and it was an unforgettable experience. The tour guide was knowledgeable about the wildlife, making each game drive a learning adventure. From the endless plain Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Crater, every stop was awe-inspiring. The accommodations and food were good and provided the perfect balance of comfort and immersion in nature. I would highly recommend to Williamson to plan your safari in tanzania . Thanks Williamson Adventurures for the nice hospitality
willegamba94
willegamba94
2023-01-25
7 day Kilimanjaro Climb Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 7 days Lemosho was an experience of a lifetime. The trek to the summit was challenging, but the breathtaking views and sense of accomplishment made it all worth it. The scenery was absolutely stunning, from the lush rainforest at the base to the barren, lunar-like landscape at the summit. The guides were knowledgeable and supportive, and the porters were incredibly helpful in carrying our gear. The final summit push was grueling, but the sunrise from the top was truly unforgettable. Despite the physical demands, I would highly recommend Williamson Adventures for Kilimanjaro climb to anyone looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The sense of camaraderie among the climbers, the challenge of reaching the summit and the stunning beauty of the mountain made it an experience I will never forget.

WHY CHOOSE US?

We are committed to responsible tourism and strive to minimize the impact of our safaris on the environment and local communities.

We strive to offer competitive pricing without compromising on quality. We ensure our clients receive the best possible prices for our safari experience.

We have a team of highly experienced safari experts who have extensive knowledge of the wildlife and ecosystems of the areas we operate in.