Oprah Winfrey had a few close encounters with wild animals on her recent trip to Tanzania.

The 59-year-old talk show host-turned-actress was invited to the Serengeti National Park by Paul Tudor Jones and his wife, Sonia, where the group nearly got trampled to death by an elephant.

Speaking on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' yesterday (01.08.13), Oprah said: ''We had literally just gotten into the truck because we'd gone for this walk ... And then we saw some elephants doing their elephant-waterhole thing. One was a little irritated.''

David then showed a clip Oprah had filmed, which showed the animal moving towards them. Their guide, Alf, clapped his hands and eventually scared the elephant enough to make it back off.

Oprah also feared for her life when she came face to face with two female lions and their cubs.

She said: ''Before I even put the luggage down, they were like, 'Do you want to go for a walk?'... So we did go for a walk with a guy, Alf, carrying a shotgun six feet ahead ... And then there's another guy behind you in a truck, following you.

''This is what I'm thinking the whole time, 'What kind of walk is this?' Because what if the lion is between the shotgun and then truck; there's nothing you can do.

''So we pulled in and just laying in the grass are the lions sleeping, the mothers. Then they say 'the cubs are over here hiding in the bushes'. No thank you.''