Why don’t lions attack safari vehicles? We explain [Video]

Only a few days ago, a safari driver in Corbett National Park was fired after he provoked a Tiger causing the animal to attack the vehicle. But in the vast national parks of Africa, lions and other wildlife rarely attack the vehicles. Who do you think so? Well, there is a good reason for it.

This video by WildThing specifically talks about such attacks by the predators of the feline family or the cat family. It includes animals like the tiger, cheetah, leopards and lions. In many instances, the safari vehicles get close to these animals. But we rarely see any incident of these animals attacking the open jeeps used by the tourists.

Why don’t lions attack safari vehicles? We explain [Video]

The reason why these animals do not become aggressive is that when an area is designated as a national park and opened for tourists, authorities take certain precautions. They frequently drive safari vehicles near the animals to observe their behavior since the vehicles are unfamiliar objects in their environment. Although the animals may become aggressive initially, over time, they become accustomed to the vehicles and people travelling in them. They do not associate people or cars with food, so they do not attack.

Animals don’t usually show aggression towards cars, except for elephants or wild buffalo. Safari animals perceive the vehicle and the people inside it as one big object or animal. Lions and tigers do not distinguish between individual people and consider them as parts of a large beast. Hence, it is safe for people to remain inside the vehicle and avoid stepping out or putting their heads out, as this may signal the animal to attack.

Trained drivers

The animals in national parks don’t perceive safari vehicles as prey or threat and behave normally towards them. The size of the vehicles also plays a role as the animals like lions and cheetahs don’t want to expend too much energy in attacking a large prey, which could result in injury. The animals focus only on the vehicle and not the people inside. However, if someone were to step out of the vehicle, the animal’s behavior might change. If a lion or any big cat shows aggression, it’s best not to panic and drive away, as these animals have a natural instinct to chase their prey.

The behavior of the driver of your safari vehicle will depend on the size of the animal, as they are experienced and know how to react. If an elephant or rhino is spotted running towards the vehicle, the best course of action is to drive away as fast as possible. Some wildlife parks outside of India allow private vehicles inside, but it is always advised to keep windows closed and doors locked in such cases. Animals may try to break into the vehicle or come too close in search of food.

African countries get a major portion of revenues and foreign currency exchange through tourists. These national parks are a major attraction and some tourists spend months in here to get the perfect shots. Some of these tourists are famed photographers and documentary specialists. The drivers of the region are specially trained to handle the situation and read the animals, unlike India.

Shantonil Nag

Shantonil brings a refined blend of expertise and enthusiasm to motoring journalism at With a career spanning over 11 years, he anchors Cartoq's insightful car reviews and test drives. His journalistic journey began as a correspondent at, where he honed his skills in content writing and scripting car reviews. Later, as Senior Editor for, his expanded role included curating and structuring web content. At, his expanded role includes assisting the video team to create high-quality car reviews. (Full bio)