There is nothing quite like taking an African safari to get you in touch with the natural world. Many parts of the continent are still practically untouched, and you can see many astonishing species of wildlife. From majestic elephants to mighty lions, the continent of Africa teems with fascinating animals. Here are a few that you might see on the best safari Africa can provide.
When many people think of Africa, lions are the first species that comes to mind. Lions can be found in many of the major wildlife parks in Africa, including the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara. Since lions are social cats that live in large groups of as many as 20 individuals, they are often easier to spot than other big cats.
Leopards, for example, are another big cat that is native to Africa, but these elusive predators are much more difficult to see than lions. They tend to be solitary and spend much of their time in trees looking for prey or resting. They are also nocturnal, so spotting a leopard during the day is quite a feat.
The third big cat that lives in Africa is the cheetah. This is the fastest of all land animals, capable of reaching speeds up to 60 miles per hour at a spring. Cheetahs can be found in East Africa, particularly in the country of Tanzania. However, they are rare, with only about 12,000 remaining in the wild.
In addition to these predators, Africa offers many other species of wildlife. For example, the African elephant is the largest land animal on Earth. A full-grown male elephant can stand as tall as 14 feet and weigh more than six tons. Elephants are highly social animals that live in matriarchal herds. Unfortunately, they are often the victims of poachers who kill them for their ivory tusks.
The rhinoceros is the second-largest animal in Africa. Two species of rhino can be found on the continent. The black rhino lives in eastern and central Africa, primarily in Kenya and Tanzania. Fewer than 4,000 black rhinos remain in the wild. The white rhino is more plentiful, with about 17,000 remaining in southern Africa.
Giraffes are the tallest land animal on Earth, reaching heights of up to 18 feet. These animals are highly visible with their spotted coats and enormous necks. Different populations of giraffes live throughout Africa, with the largest populations in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Namibia.
Africa is also home to three species of great apes. The gorilla, the chimpanzee, and the bonobo all call Africa home. These animals are our closest relatives and live in the dense rain forests of Western Africa. Unfortunately, many of them are quite endangered and are often killed by hunters.
These are some of the most memorable animals that you can see on a trip to Africa. When you sign up for the best safari Africa has to offer, you will be able to see these animals in their native habitats.