African Animals Facts, Spoor & Habits

Wild African animals with Picture Slide Shows, Facts, Behaviour and Track ( spoor) identification

The continent of Africa is host to the most diverse and extensive wildlife show on earth with an amazing variety of animals

  • Buffalo (syncerus caffer)
    Member of that prestigious club – the Big 5. A big and bold bovine, with the old bulls nicknamed the “dagga boys” and one of the most dangerous animals when wounded
  • Cheetah (acinonyx jubatus)
    The “greyhound” of cats, accelerating from 0 – 70 km p/h in two seconds. Purrs like a domestic cat, the “tear” streak is thought to shield against suns glare
  • Eland (taurotragus oryx)
    Of mystical importance to the San as depicted in rock paintings, eland can be domesticated and milked but not farmed because of their tendency to leap fences.
  • Oryx gazella
    Oryx or unicorn? With a coat of many colours, these handsome antelope are the perfect desert adapted animal able to withstand high temperatures and sourcing moisture from tubers and bulbs
  • Giraffe camelopardalis
    the “cranes” of Africa, tall, graceful and stately, standing at 5.5 metres. Their seemingly quiet nature belies the fact that they can kill a lion with a good kick
  • Hippopotamus amphibius
    The Greek "hippos" meaning horse and in fact these animals were once called river horses or sea cows. Aggressive with noisy displays of grunts, bellows and the characteristic yawns
  • Hyena (crocuta crocuta)
    No laughing matter, are they cats or dogs, male or female? Excellent hunters with success rate of 75% there are many myths and false ideas about Africa’s giggling cat
  • Impala (aepyceros melampus)
    Fleet of foot, leaping and pronking, this medium size antelope is found throughout southern Africa. From the Zulu language, impala meaning gazelle, impala have acute hearing, smell and sight
  • Kudu (tragelaphus strepsiceros)
    Large majestic antelope who can clear a 3metre fence from a standing position. The beautiful spiral horns can be used as a wind instrument e.g. the Jewish shofar
  • Lion (panthera leo)
    The sociable cat, cultural icons, predator extraordinaire and top of the MUST SEE animals for visitors to Africa. Roaring their intent, male lions roar louder than the females
  • Nyala (tragelaphus angasii)
    Nyala – dubbed the “shifty” one owing to their shy nature, preferring dense bush. Handsome with the males having lyre-shaped horns. Interestingly when alarmed females issue a dog like bark
  • White rhinoceros (ceratotherium simum)
    Square-lipped (White) and Hook-Lipped (Black) are the two dominant species of rhinos found in Southern Africa. Today there is a huge international push towards saving this magnificent creature
  • Roan (hippotragus equinus)
    Roan antelope are the second largest antelope found in Africa and a matriarchal society - at the forefront when threatened. Named roan from their colouring of reddish brown coat
  • Sable antelope
    Another handsome antelope with its black glossy coat. Both sexes have backward arching horns. Although predators include lion, they seldom attack an adult owing to their size and fighting prowess
  • Waterbuck (kobus ellipsiprymnus) antelope
    Large water dependent antelope with trademark white ring on its rump. Stories surround this distinctive mark, but the ring is a “follow me” sign for other members of the herd
  • Wildebeest (connochaetes taurinus)
    The migration antelope moving more than 1000 miles each year. The most famous being the Sergenti migration. Wildebeest or gnu are often dubbed the clowns of the savanna
  • Zebra (equus burchellii)
    Zebra are relatives of the horse family, a gregarious animal moving in herds of 20 or more. When running at speed, their black and white stripes confuse and distract predators

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