February 14

Love is in The Air: Africa’s Most Affectionate Animals


By Marlin Clark on
February 14, 2023

Love is in the air...and Africa is no exception, with these adorably affectionate animals not afraid to share the love! Take a look at some of the cutest and most loving species in the African animal kingdom in our photo series below.


Baby elephants greeting each other by linking trunks

Baby elephants greet each other by linking trunks

These two cute elephants are happy to see each other, and it shows. Did you know that elephants use touching to communicate and show affection? In fact, they enjoy a fair amount of PDA!


Lions mating in the wilderness of Africa

Lions are affectionate animals in the African kingdom

The African lion needs no introduction and is one of the most requested members of the Big 5 our guests want to see on safari. Like your domestic cats, lions are affectionate animals and will rub their heads or groom each other to share the love. They are also big cuddlers!


close-up of female cheetah nuzzling young cub

Female cheetah nuzzles her young cub

Aw, how sweet! This mama cheetah is grooming her little one, showing how much she cares. Cheetahs are also part of the feline family, so this is a common way for them to express their love.


Kissing Giraffes

Giraffes will entertain you on safari with their kisses

Kiss, kiss! These giraffes are having an adorable moment. You will often see this on safari, and sometimes they even do some French kissing with their super-long (up to 45cm) tongues! 


two impala babies having a kiss

Two impala babies sharing a kiss

Impalas are also quite affectionate animals, like these two baby impalas taking a moment to share a kiss. We sure feel like we're falling in love when staring into those big eyes!


Boulders beach grooming penguins

Penguins grooming each other on Boulders Beach in Cape Town

If you've ever seen penguins, you know they're not shy and enjoy rubbing against or grooming each other. Plus, did you know that penguins mate for life? Even if they lose their significant other, they don't move on and remain single instead of finding a new partner.


Meet majestic gorillas in Africa

Meet majestic gorillas in East Africa

Oh, how we love gorillas! If you've ever been gorilla trekking in East Africa, you'll know that these primates have very human-like behaviour. They are, after all, our relatives, as we share 98% of the same DNA. It makes sense then that they have similar ways of expressing love!


Meerkats couple playing on the sand

Meerkat couple playing on the sand in the Kalahari desert, Namibia

The meerkat is a very affectionate African animal, often embracing and cuddling one another or giving each other a peck, like in this picture!


White rhinoceros mother kissing baby white rhinoceros calf

White rhinoceros mother kissing her calf

Rhinos believe love is blind...because their eyesight is not great, they rely heavily on their sense of smell. They also use body language to communicate and show their emotions to one another.


Lion cubs licking Kenya

You missed a spot!

Just like little domestic kittens, lion cubs lick and groom each other to show affection and deepen their bond. Plus, it's adorable to see, and our safari guests all collectively go "awwww" when they see this sight (you will too!).

See Africa's Most Affectionate Animals on Safari 

Why settle for static photos when you can see the real deal on safari? Our Travel Experts will tailor your dream African safari to make sure it ticks all the right boxes. Contact us today, and let's start planning! 

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About the author 

Marlin Clark

Marlin was born in Johannesburg, but moved to Cape Town at the age of five. Growing up, he's always been fascinated with colours and shapes - the Lego blocks he was obsessed with as a kid are now repurposed as stationary holders on his desk. Marlin is inspired by all things beautiful, has a positive outlook on life, and is driven by a desire to make things that matter. In his spare time he enjoys expanding his knowledge on all things design-related, loves to travel, and find opportunities to improve his outdoor photography. He'll never pass up a good cup of coffee.

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