A Swingin' Safari

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"A Swingin' Safari"
Album cover of Bert Kaempfert's A Swingin' Safari
Single by Bert Kaempfert
Released1962 (1962)
LabelPolydor, Decca
Songwriter(s)Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert singles chronology
"Wonderland By Night"
"A Swingin' Safari"
"Afrikaan Beat"

"A Swingin' Safari" is an instrumental composed by Bert Kaempfert (using his alias, Bernd Bertie) in 1962. It was recorded by Kaempfert on Polydor Records and released in the United States on Decca Records, but failed to chart. That same year, Billy Vaughn recorded it, and his cover reached number 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the Easy Listening chart that summer. On Cash Box, the song peaked at number 11.[1]

The song features a distinctive main theme played on the tin whistle and a trumpet solo by Manfred "Fred" Moch. Kaempfert's original version served as the original theme music to the television game show The Match Game, from 1962 to 1967. It is also featured as the main theme in the Swedish game show called Vi i femman, where two teams of fifth-graders compete against each other.

The song was the title track of an LP consisting of orchestrations of the South African kwela style of penny-whistle music popular in the 1950s.[citation needed]

Use in media[edit]

The tune has been used in television advertisements for ING Direct in the UK, and as the rolling lap theme for the saloon stock car class in UK oval racing.[citation needed] It also featured in the films An Elephant Called Slowly (1969) and The Dish (2000).[citation needed] It is also used in "Become an Ex", a 2010–11 US anti-smoking public service announcement for the Ad Council.[citation needed]

In 1971, the song was used as the theme music to the Blue Peter Royal Safari. In 2017, it was used extensively by the European furniture retailer DFS, in both TV and radio advertising campaigns. In 2018, the song lent its title to the Australian comedy film Swinging Safari, set in the 1970s. The track featured in the soundtrack, and the album cover was seen on screen when a character showed off his collection of popular LPs.


  • Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed. 1996), p. 632. ISBN 978-0823085545

External links[edit]