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)

Buffalo

member of that prestigious club – the Big 5, a big and bold bovine./ The old bulls are nicknamed “the dagga boys” and are one of the most dangerous animals when wounded.

Animal Guide Rhino

Black and White Rhinos

another member of the Big 5 Club, highly endangered species. Of the 5 different species two can be found in Africa. The name rhinoceros means “nose horn”.

elephants at waterhole hwange national park

Elephants

one of Africa’s giants and the biggest land mammal on earth. Their trunk is a specialized feature used as a hand, a nose, an extra food, a tool for gathering food or siphoning water.

Lions of Hwange

Lions

caught napping in Etosha, this fine young king. Very difficult to see in thick bush but come night fall listen for their calls – an iconic sounds of Africa.

Leopard

Leopard

solitary, elusive, an efficient killer with a beautiful spotted coat of rosettes. Their night vision is seven times more powerful than a human.

Hyena (crocuta crocuta)

Hyena

no laughing matter – are they cats or dogs, male or female? Excellent hunters with success rates of 75%, there are many myths and false ideas about Africa’s giggling cat.

Cheetah (acinonyx jubatus)

Cheetah

the “greyhound” of cats, accelerating from 0 – 70 kmp/h in two seonds, purrs like a domestic cat. The “tear” streak is thought to shield against the suns glare.

wild dogs pack

Wild Dogs

Similar in size to the Alsatian dog, African wild dog have large rounded ears, long legs, bushy tail and black muzzle.

Oryx gazella

Gemsbok

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.

Eland (taurotragus oryx)

Eland

of mystical importance to the San as depicted in rock paintings, eland can be domesticated and milked but not farmed due to their tendency to leap fences..

Kudu (tragelaphus strepsiceros)

Kudu

a large majestic antelope who can clear a 3 metre fence from a standing position. The beautiful spiral horns can be used as a wind instrument e.g. the Jewish shofar.

Waterbuck

Waterbuck

one of the larger antelopes with a coarse grey brown coat. The males only have horns which are heavily ringed curving backwards and then slightly forward.

Animal Guide

Wildebeest

a medium size antelope with both sexes having horns. Often called the “clown of the bush”. Each year the phenomenon which is the annual wildebeest migration takes places in the Serengeti.

Zebra Herd

Zebra

a common antelope species, with stripes designed for camouflage and identifying one another. At the approach of a predator they will snort and grunt to warn the herd of danger.

Giraffe camelopardalis

Giraffe

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. Giraffes live for approx. 25 years in the wild.

Hippopotamus amphibius

Hippopotamus

from the Greek word “hippos” meaning horse, these animals were once called river horse or sea cows. Aggressive with noisy displays of grants, bellows and the characteristic yawns.

Sable Hwange National Park

Sable

handsome and regal looking with a glossy black coat, horns are long and arch backwards. Both male and female have horns.

Roan Animal facts

Roan

closely related to the Sable, a magnificent specimen with back curved horns and one of Africa’s matriarchal antelopes. Often seen in Hwange Park and Namibian parks.

Nyala

Nyala

found mainly in dense bush, riverside thickets and fringes of forests, the nyala is a medium sized antelope. The male has a charcoal gray coat .

impala herd

Impala

common antelope species found throughout southern Africa. The picture denotes the male keeping a close watch over his harem. Come “rutting” time he will be a very busy antelope keeping interlopers out.

Animal Guide

Primates

including Vervet and Samango monkeys, Baboons, Bushbaby.

impala herd

Small Animals

covering honey badger, caracal, civet, genet, jackal, African wild cat.

Animal Guide

Warthogs

quite often seen but difficult to photograph, these animals are courageous little creatures. Rolling in mud baths to protect their skin form the sun, their snouts and tusks are used to get at tubers.

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