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10 Awesome African Safari Movies You Need to Watch

by Cristina Costea

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Sometimes movies make us think about an important social issue, other times they bring a smile to our faces; a movie can scare you, and it can even motivate you. Movies, good ones, at least, have that power over us. 

So, if you’re passionate about Africa, its wildlife and the safaris it offers, we have got just the thing for you – 10 awesome African safari movies you need to watch before you go! These movies will set the perfect mood and enthusiasm for your upcoming African adventure.


10. Gorillas in the Mist (1988)


Gorillas in the Mist tells the story of Dian Fossey, primatologist, zoologist and anthropologist, who studied mountain gorillas for 18 years in the forests of Rwanda. The movie is based on Dian’s field study on primates, and the title comes from the book she wrote herself, published in 1983. The movie is touching and Sigourney Weaver’s performance is one of a kind! If you love gorillas and gorilla safaris, this one’s for you!


9. Born Free (1966)


Based on the true story of Joy and George Adamson, Born Free tells the story of Elsa, a lion cub raised by the couple with the intent to be reintroduced in the wild. Their story is famous, giving birth to books, movies, and documentaries, but this one is the one to see if you are interested in the story of Elsa and have a deep adoration of lions.


8. The African Queen (1951)


When referring to the African air, Humphrey Bogart’s character tells Rose (Katharine Hepburn) that it “makes your blood race, your face numb, and your spirit soar!”. His words are sure to inspire you to go on an adventure deep in the African continent. The African Queen is one of the most exciting movies produced by Old Hollywood and we recommend you watch it before your own African adventure.


7. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)


While this particular choice is not exactly a safari movie, it is about South Africa’s most prominent figure. If you’re not familiar enough with the story of legendary Nelson Mandela, we recommend Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. It’s a great movie that will stick with you for a long time. Playing Mandela is British actor Idris Elba, who does a terrific job of portraying the South African leader. 


6. Mogambo (1953)


It just doesn’t get any more old-school than Mogambo. Watch this movie and take it at face value. Don’t expect it to rise up to today’s standards, simply enjoy it! Ava Gardner and Grace Kelly are both stunning, Clark Gable is fantastic and the love triangle is mesmerizing. With the risk of sounding dated, they don’t make ‘em like this anymore! So, if you want to enjoy the old Hollywood take on an African wildlife safari, Mogambo is the way to do it!


5. Out of Africa (1985)


Out of Africa is one spectacular movie that will leave you breathless! The love story of a baroness and a big game hunter is so wonderfully told that this one will surely become one of your favorite flicks. The scene where Robert Redford’s character washes the hair of Karen played by Meryl Streep is one of the cinema’s most romantic and sensual scenes. If there’s one movie on our list that you simply must watch, it’s this one!


4. The Ivory Game (2016)


You just cannot go to Africa on an elephant safari without watching this movie first! The awarded Netflix documentary, The Ivory Game, takes a hard look at the illegal ivory trade, poachers, and the decreasing elephant population. It’s not an easy watch, but we all have a responsibility to be educated on this issue because the extinction of elephants will affect us all.


3. The Lion King (1994)


We simply couldn’t resist putting The Lion King on our list! It’s a movie for every age and cultural background and will surely touch all hearts. Also, can you believe it’s been released more than 20 years ago?! It goes to show it is one of those movies that simply doesn’t age. It’s also a tear-jerker, so consider yourself warned!


2. Africa (2013)


We just had to include this six-part BBC One documentary, because it’s one of the best documentaries on Africa’s wildlife. Narrated by legend David Attenborough, Africa takes the viewers on a wild ride through jungles, savannas, and deserts. It’s a visual treat, stunningly produced and narrated. The documentary’s score will immerse you in the story and you will be ready for your African safari!


1. The Ghost and the Darkness (1996)


“Oh, my God, lions don’t do this!” Oh, but yes they do! 90’s heartthrobs Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas star in The Ghost and the Darkness, a movie about two lions who have acquired a taste for human flesh and are even killing for sport. While this is almost impossible in real life, the movie is loosely based on true events. It’s a classic movie where the hunter becomes the hunted. A very entertaining film you need to see before you set out on your own African adventure. Just don’t let it scare you too much!


Ready to take the plunge and go on a luxury safari in Africa? Head on over to BookAllSafaris.com and book yourself a safari adventure of a lifetime! 

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