The vast plains of Africa and the dense jungle is the home to a wide population of animals that roam freely on the African land. The vast reserves, sanctuaries and protected areas have resulted in a decrease in poaching and hunting of the wild animals. Although, the illegal killings have not stopped completely, there is a significant decrease in the poaching. African safari has become a dream holiday of every traveler. A look at the king of the jungle hunting down his prey, the Great Wildebeest Migration, a herd of elephants lead by the matriarch cow, has become the standard picture in the minds of people who think about Africa and the African safari. The Serengeti, Sahara, Kilimanjaro are synonyms to Africa and the African animal list. Common African animals:
The term 'Big Five' coined by hunters refers to five of Africa's greatest wild animals, the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. They can be found at Kruger national park South Africa, Masai Mara national park Kenya, Pilanesberg national park South Africa, rhino sanctuary and Murchison falls national park Uganda, Serengeti national park Tanzania. They include:
Lions - King of Beasts
mention a safari to Africa, and one animal springs immediately to mind - lion! This, the so-called King of Beasts, is on everybody's list of animals to see. This fascination is no doubt due to the size and awesome power of this large cat, and its hunting prowess.
The African elephant - Gardeners of the Savannah
The African Elephant is the largest land mammal and perhaps the continent's most charismatic creature. Elephants have the potential to greatly modify the vegetation of landscapes, destroy the crops of subsistence farmers as well as create wealth through their valuable ivory tusks. Today, visitors to Africa's wildlife reserves and wilderness areas are captivated by the power and grace of these magnificent animals and by their apparent sensitivity and compassion.
WHITE RHINOCEROS - Great Grazer
Perhaps the first thing people wonder about the white rhinoceros is why it has its name. It is certainly not white in colour and actually has the same skin tone as its cousin, the black rhino. In fact, the name is thought to have been derived from the Dutch word "weid" meaning "wide" in reference to the animal's broad, wide mouth.
BLACK RHINOCEROS - Black Beauty
The Black Rhinoceros has a hooked, prehensile nose, carrying its head high on its shoulders, as opposed to the low-hanging head and hump-shoulders of its relative, the grazing White Rhino. Predominantly a browser of short woody trees and shrubs, the Black Rhinoceros uses its pointed upper lip to grasp leaves and twigs, employing its double horns to dig roots or break branches too far out of reach. Its grey, wrinkled skin varies in colour due to the mud and dust in which it frequently wallows to cool down and protect against flies and sun. The two species of African rhino are similar in height, averaging about 1.6m at the shoulder, but the Black Rhinoceros has roughly half the mass of a White Rhinoceros, weighing in at a demure 1000
Buffalo - Flanks of Ebony, Horns of Steel
A large herd of buffalo is an unforgettable sight. Heads raised, horns glinting, massive fringed ears and noses twitching in search of danger. Closely related to the domestic cow, the African buffalo is one of the most successful and perhaps ecologically important mammals on the African continent. Buffalo are completely dependent upon surface water, so are absent from arid and semi-arid regions but are widespread and common in savannah, woodland and forest environments.
Leopard - Prince of Darkness
Few animals possess the mysterious aura of the leopard. 'Prince of
Darkness' and 'Silent Hunter' are frequent epithets for this traditionally
elusive cat. Like the lion, the leopard has been held in awe by generations
of people across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Although an infrequent
man-killer, leopards elicit fear and dread among rural people whose
domestic animals may be at risk to these cunning predators.
The primates include the most familiar of the placental mammals, because they include us, Homo sapiens. Primates also include familiar animals, such as the chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys, as well as the somewhat less familiar lemurs, lorises, galagos, pottos, sifakas, indris, aye-ayes, and tarsiers.
Gorillas are large, quiet, shy apes that live in Africa. They are the largest of the primates. They are ground-dwelling and predominantly herbivorous. They inhabit the forests of central Africa. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of a human, between 95 and 99% depending on what is counted, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species. They live in small groups including one silverback (adult male), a few females, and their young. They can be found in Uganda at Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park, in Rwanda at Parc National des Volcans (PNV), and Democratic Republic of Congo at National Parc des Virunga.
Chimpanzees are great apes that are closely related to humans. These intelligent primates live in a variety of environments in western and central Africa. Because of the rapid deforestation of their habitats, chimpanzees are an endangered species. Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, sharing more than 98 percent of our genetic blueprint. Humans and chimps are also thought to share a common ancestor who lived some four to eight million years ago. They can be found at Kibaale Forest National Park and Semuliki National Park in Uganda, Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, and Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.
Monkeys are primates (an order of intelligent mammals that also includes apes and people). There are about 125 species of monkeys. A group of monkeys is called a troop. Monkeys live in forests, grasslands, high plains, and mountain habitats. Many monkeys are arboreal (spending most of their lives in trees); others (like baboons and macaques) live mostly on the ground. They include patas monkey, vervet monkey, blue monkey, red tailed monkey, de brazza’s monkey, L’Hoests monkey, grey cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus, red colobus, and many others. They are common in most of Africa’s national parks.
These are heavily built and mainly terrestrial, can be distinguished from any other monkey by their larger size and distinctive dog like head. Baboons are omnivorous and highly adaptable for which reason they are most wide spread primate in Africa. Four types of baboon live in sub Saharan Africa.
The big Cats
These include cheetahs, leopards, lions, and other small cats like caracal, canids, jackals, bat eared fox, African hunting dog and many others. These are common in most of Africa’s national parks.
They include; Hyenas, antelopes, bushbuck, waterbuck, wildebeest, sitatunga, oribi, hippopotamus, African buffalo, giraffe, burchell’s zebra, swine, mongooses, aardwolf, warthog, klipspringer, impala, topi, hartebeest, kudus, waterbuck, and many others. They can be seen at most of the national parks in Africa.
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