Trypanosomes are important disease agents of humans, livestock and cold-blooded species, including fish. The cellular morphology of trypanosomes is central to their motility, adaptation to the host's environments and pathogenesis. However, visualizing the behaviour of trypanosomes resident in a live vertebrate host has remained unexplored. In this study, we describe an infection model of zebrafish (Danio rerio) with Trypanosoma carassii. By combining high spatio-temporal resolution microscopy with the transparency of live zebrafish, we describe in detail the swimming behaviour of trypanosomes in blood and tissues of a vertebrate host. Besides the conventional tumbling and directional swimming, T. carassii can change direction through a 'whip-like' motion or by swimming backward. Further, the posterior end can act as an anchoring site in vivo. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a vertebrate infection model that allows detailed imaging of trypanosome swimming behaviour in vivo in a natural host environment.