A man on safari in Tanzania got a much closer experience with the animals than he probably wanted.

Britton Hayes from Seattle, Washington, was with a tourist group enjoying a look at rare animals in the natural habitat.

But three cheetahs out hunting in Gol Kopjes of Serengeti National Park decided to get up close to the group – leaving them terrified.

Footage of the encounter has gone viral online, and it shows Hayes sitting perfectly still as a cheetah sniffs the jeep just inches from his head.

Speaking to KOMO News, Hayes described what happened, and said: “We started to notice the cheetahs became curious of the vehicle.

Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life while it was happening

Britton Hayes, Tourist

“But it was too late to drive quickly away or anything like that because you don’t want to startle the animals, because that’s when things usually go wrong.”

Hayes praised his guide for helping him to remain calm and also showing him how to slow down his breathing.

Doing this helped keep the cheetah at ease while it explored the jeep.

He said: “Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life while it was happening.

“I felt like I had to clear my mind of any thoughts because from everything you’re told about predators like that, they can sense fear and any sort of discomfort you’re feeling and they’ll react accordingly.”

cheetah in jeep safari tanzania viral videoTwitter/Elisa Jaffe

WATCH: The incredible moment a cheetah jumped in to a jeep has been caught on camera

Once the pack of cheetahs got bored and wondered off, he explained the entire group just stared at each other for 10 seconds.

They were then finally able to relax again and continue the safari.

Hayes admitted the group were laughing about the event just hours later and were relieved nothing bad happened.

The incredible video was shot by Peter Heistein while the group was on Grand Ruaha Safari.

This is not the first time a close encounter with an animal has been captured on film and gone viral.

cheetah in jeep safari tanzania viral videoTwitter/Elisa Jaffe

WATCH: The cheetah enjoyed a long look around the jeep

A crew of scientists sailing through Antarctica enjoyed getting to know an animal well after it hopped on to their boat earlier this year.

They were collecting water samples whilst gliding through the icy tundra on the inflatable raft.

Operated by the Australian Antarctic Division, they were suddenly joined by an animal that leaps into the boat.

Thankfully it wasn’t anything dangerous and was instead a tiny Adelie penguin.

In the video, it can be seen elegantly hopping out of the water onto the side of the raft.

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