guereza-colobus

There is no doubt that Africa is home to some of the most majestic wildlife species in the world. As the second largest continent in the world, Africa has one thousand and one reasons to make you visit her. From Safaris to beautiful Islands and wildlife in their natural habitat, to diverse cultures and colourful attires.

In this post, I have listed 10 animals you can only find when you visit the beautiful continent called Africa.

  1. The guereza colobus
The guereza colobus

The guereza is a large black monkey with a white mantle, or ornamentation, and a tail tuft. They are old World monkeys with widespread distribution across Central Africa. They are also known as mantled colobus, eastern black-and-white colobus, magistrate colobus.

One unique characteristcs of the guereza colobus is that they take turns sleeping so that at least one individual can act as “lookout” for potential predators, who include crowned hawks, chimpanzees, and leopards.

2. Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

The Grey Crowned Crane can be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya to southeastern South Africa. They are non-migratory, but undertake variable local and seasonal movements and are most abundant in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The Grey Crowned Crane is also known as the national bird of Uganda.

Singles, pairs, and flocks prefer wetlands, flooded grasslands, and man-made water bodies, but they can range widely through other open habitats when foraging. Resident but may be locally nomadic in response to rain.

3. African Wild Dog

African Wild Dogs credit: Britannica

The African Wild Dog also known as the African painted dog is a wild canine mostly native to the Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. The largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa (especially Tanzania and northern Mozambique).

Wild dogs are social animals that gather in packs of around ten dogs, but some packs number more than 40. They are opportunistic predators that hunt medium-sized ruminants, such as gazelles. They can run as fast as 44 miles per hour in a sprint.

4. The African Elephant

The African Elephant credit: Britannica

This is the largest land animal on earth. The African Elephant walk in herds that wander through 37 countries in Africa. They are easily recognized by their trunk that is used for communication and handling objects. And their large ears allow them to radiate excess heat.

An African Elephant can weigh up to 9 tons and stand 3 to 4 metres (10 to 13 feet) at the shoulder. Elephants are herbivores and only eat grasses, herbs, fruit, plants and trees. Their healthy, vegetarian diet is obviously good for them as the average elephant has a life span of around 70 odd years, a bit like we do.

The most sophisticated part of the elephant anatomy is the trunk. The trunk is used for breathing, drinking, sensing the environment and eating. It is also used to collect dust or grass for spraying onto themselves, presumably for protection against insect bites and the sun. If danger is suspected, elephants raise and swivel the trunk as if it were “an olfactory periscope,” possibly sniffing the air for information.

5. The African Civet

The African Civet credit: wikipedia

The African Civet is a large species of Civet found across sub-Saharan Africa. It is most well known for the musk that it secretes to mark its territory (called Civetone), which has been used in the manufacturing of perfumes for centuries, and its striking black and white markings, make the African Civet one of the easiest Civet species to identify.

Despite their cat-like appearance and behaviours, the African Civets are not felines at all but are in fact, more closely related to other small carnivores including Weasels and Mongooses.

6. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus

Native to the Sub-Saharan Africa, the Hippopotamus or Hippos are the third-largest living land mammal, after elephants and white rhinos. Despite their large and bulky appearance, they have adaptations to their semi-aquatic environments allowing them to move swiftly on both water and land. Their feet have four-webbed toes that splay out to distribute weight evenly and therefore adequately support them on land, and their short legs provide powerful propulsion through the water. 

7. The Okapi

The Okapi

The Okapi also known as the forest giraffeCongolese giraffe, or zebra giraffe is totally endermic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Okapi is an elusive, herbivorous animal that is found in a small pocket of tropical mountain forest in central Africa. Despite its Deer-like appearance the Okapi is actually one of the last remaining ancestors of the Giraffe, which is the tallest animal on Earth. Along with having a relatively long neck compared to its body size, the most striking feature of the Okapi is the horizontal stripes that are particularly visible on their behinds and give this animal an almost Zebra-like appearance.

8. Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffes are native to about 15 African countries. They are the tallest animals in the world, thanks to their towering legs and long necks. A giraffe’s legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet . These long legs allow giraffes to run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances and cruise comfortably at 10 miles an hour over longer distances.

Giraffes usually inhabit savannahs and woodlands. Their food source is leaves, fruits, and flowers of woody plants, primarily acacia species, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach. One very unique characteristics of giraffes is that they have elastic blood vessels and uniquely adapted valves that help offset the sudden buildup of blood (to prevent fainting) when their heads are raised, lowered, or swung quickly.

9. The dik-dik

The dik-dik

The dik-diks are dwarf antelopes that vary in color depending on their habitat but are typically yellowish-gray to reddish-brown on its back and grayish-white on their belly. Only the males have horns, which are corrugated, backward-slanted spikes 7.5 cm (3 inches) long. 

Dik-diks are nocturnal animals endermic to Africa. They are the most vulnerable preys in the wild and thereby very important to the food chain.

10. The warthog

The warthog

The warthog is a member of the swine family but appear slightly different from the domestic pigs. They have large, flat heads covered with “warts,” which are actually protective bumps. The females of the species are quite social and live out their lives in family groups called sounders.

Though they look vicious, on the contrary, they generally prefer to run away from predators rather than fight.  They like to wallow in the mud like its domesticated cousins. They submerge themselves both to cool down and to avoid insects. Warthogs also enjoy a symbiotic relationship with oxpeckers to aid them with insect relief. These tiny birds ride on the animal’s back and eat the bugs that are bothering them.

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