Africa, the land with an abundance of different kinds and species of animals. There are many animals of the African wilderness, that call the continent of Africa home. This article will take you on an African safari with the following African animals list.
Africa is a unique land of varied traditions, culture, people, languages and geography. It is the second largest continent of the world. It is also the second most populous continent after Asia. The Mediterranean sea surrounds Africa to the north, the Red Sea and Suez canal to the northeast, the southwest surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the west bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
The equator passes through Africa making it the only continent that stretches from the northern temperate to the southern temperate zones. This has created an arid or desert region in the northern half and the central and southern half covered with the plains of savanna and a dense rainforest jungle region.
We have all mostly seen wild animals as zoo inhabitants or in television documentaries, but never in their natural habitat. Africa has been blessed with a variety of beautiful animal species such as the carnivores, herbivores, snakes, primates, aquatic animals like crocodiles and amphibians, etc.
The following table contains African animals list along with a short description of the animal. Safari means ‘journey’ or ‘long trip’ in Swahili, thus, let us begin with a long journey of African animal list.
List of African Animals
The list of African animals is very long and in this AnimalSake article I have tried to cover as many animals possible. The following animal list will help you recognize most of the great animals of Africa.
Animal Name ~ African Name
Aardvark ~ Erdvark
Aardvark is a nocturnal animal, found all over Africa in dry and wet climates. These animals feed on termites, thus have a long sticky tongue. They have poor eyesight and large powerful claws on their feet for digging. Aardvark has an almost hairless body, short neck and short legs.
Aardwolf ~ Aardwolf
Aardwolf is a small mammal, that looks similar to the striped hyena. The only surviving species of the subfamily Protelinae, lives in the eastern and northeastern Africa. It feeds on insects unlike hyenas.
Addax are large antelopes that weigh up to 300 pounds. They have a sand colored coat in summer and grayish brown in winter. These antelopes are white colored on their legs, hips, belly, ears and facial markings. They have thin, back slanted horns with a spiral twist of up to three turns on both sexes. Addax are adapted to withstand extreme heat and drink very little water. They seem to draw water they need from the dew and the plants they eat.
Addra Gazelle ~ Nanger dama
Addra gazelle takes the crown for being the tallest and the largest gazelles in the world. They have a small head compared to their body, with narrow muzzle eyes. They have reddish-chestnut neck, back and flanks with distinctive white spot just below the throat. The horns are curved flat to the back with upturned tips in both sexes. They are natives of southern Morocco and are found from Senegal to Sudan.
African Gray Parrot
These parrots are very talkative, intelligent birds. African gray parrot can easily learn hundreds of words and other sounds. They live in western and central Africa in lowland forests, clearings and savannas. They feed on seeds, berries, nuts and fruits.
Baboon ~ Nyani
Baboons are medium-sized primates found in east Africa, generally in the forested area and commonly known to wander off to the African plains. These are ground dwelling monkeys and live together in troops. They have an omnivorous diet which is mainly vegetarian. They occasionally prey on insects, fish, shellfish, hares, birds, monkeys and even small antelopes.
Bat-eared Fox ~ Mbweha masikio
These are small African foxes known for their enormous ears. Their ears help shed the excessive heat and keep the fox cool. Bat-eared foxes are sandy gray in color with lighter fur on their belly and dark fur around the eyes, muzzle, back of the ears, feet and tail. They feed on harvester termites and insects like grasshoppers, scorpions, spiders, rodents, lizards, fruits and eggs.
Beisa Oryx ~ Choroa
These are non-jumping antelopes, found in the arid areas of Somalia and eastern Africa. Beisa Oryx can tolerate long periods of heat by raising their body temperatures to up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit. This causes the heat to leave their bodies for the surrounding cooler air. Thus, allowing minimum loss of water due to sweating or evaporation.
Blue Monkey ~ Choroa
These monkeys are noticeably blue as suggested by their name. Blue monkeys have little hair on their face, that gives them the blue appearance sometimes. They are native to the central and east Africa, from the upper Congo basin to the Great Rift Valley. They are also found in Angola and Zambia. They eat fruits and leaves but will not shy away from eating slow-moving invertebrates.
The Bongo are nocturnal antelopes of reddish-orange color with white stripes running vertically along the body. This hoofed animal is the largest species of antelope and the only antelope species which has horns on both the males and females. They are found in central, east and west Africa, inhabiting the dense woodlands and on mountains with altitudes up to 4,000 meters above the sea level.
Bonobo are the largest primates found only in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are also known as pygmy chimpanzee and the dwarf chimpanzee as they are very closely related to the chimpanzee. The bonobo is known to share 98% of the DNA with humans. They are omnivorous animals that feed on fruits, leaves, flowers, beak and seeds mainly. If they get a chance, they also feed on honey, eggs, insects, small mammals and reptiles.
Bontebok are medium-sized antelopes. They have a convex forehead and an elongated muzzle. They have a level back and developed limbs. They have a glossy coat of chestnut-brown, dark neck and hindquarters. There are purple-black blotches on their sides and upper limbs. Bontebok have 14-15 inches long horns in both sexes that are ‘S’ shaped, angular, curved and ringed, except for the tips.
Water buffalo are said to have originated in Asia and have been domesticated world-wide. The wild Asian Buffalo is said to be an endangered animal. These are herbivores and spend most of their time submerged in water. There are large herds of water buffaloes found in Africa.
Burchell’s Zebra ~ Bontsebra
Zebras are common zebrid animals with black and white strips to confuse the predators. They are found to the north of Orange river system, southern Botswana, Etosha and the Kaokoveld, Swaziland and Kwazulu-Natal.
Bushbaby or Galago ~ Komba
These little night monkeys of Africa are native to continental Africa and can be seen exclusively in the night. Bushbabies have good night vision and acute sense of hearing. They have strong hind limbs and long tails that help them provide balance. Their second toe of the hind foot has a ‘toilet’ claw that helps in grooming. They feed on insects, small animals, fruits and tree gums.
Bushbuck ~ Bosbok
These are pretty looking antelopes with striped back and spotted flanks. Bushbuck have straight twisted horns that are brown to black and a white spot on the cheek and two patches on the neck and throat. They are found in the forest savanna mosaics and bush savanna forest and woodland.
Bushpig ~ Bosvark
These are pigs that live in the Somalia, eastern and southern former Zaire, Cape Province and Natal in South Africa. Bushpigs have also been introduced in Madagascar, Comoro and Mayotte Islands. They resemble the domestic pigs and have small eyes, blunt snout and tufted ears. Their diet consists of roots, crops and even newborn lambs.
Camel ~ Ngamia
Undoubtedly known as the ‘ship of the desert’, camels are anatomically made to survive for long periods in deserts. They have a hump on their back that helps them store water and food. They can run up to a speed of 25 mph for long stretches. They can survive without food and water for many days and drink over 100 liters of water in one go. Their body is also highly adaptable to the extremely hot climate during the day and the freezing temperatures of night in the deserts.
Caracal ~ Rooikat
These are commonly known as the African Lynx, although, it is a fact that they are not a lynx cat. They are medium-sized cats and can leap up into the air to successfully hunt down flying birds. These flying acrobats are dark red, gray or golden sand in color. Their ears are black with tufts. Caracal hunt rodents, birds, including ostriches, antelopes, gazelles and rabbits. They are found in the African savannas and tropical grasslands and deserts.
Cheetah ~ Duma
These slender build, long spotted white-tipped tail, spotted coat with single black spot carnivore is referred as the ‘greyhound of cats’. These are the only members of the cat family with non-retractable claws. Cheetah’s have a characteristic ‘tear mark’ running from the inner corner of both their eyes. The smallest cat of Africa can reach a speed of 80 km/hour in less than 3 seconds. Cheetahs are classified as an endangered species due to their dwindling habitat and high mortality rate of the cubs. They are found only in the southern parts of Africa and are extinct outside the African land.
Chimpanzee ~ Sokwe mtu
The chimps come under the group of some of the largest primates. They are closely related to humans, gorillas and the orangutans. Chimpanzees are highly intelligent and sophisticated primates and are known to make tools to help themselves gather food. They are omnivorous animals and can work together as a team when gathering or hunting food.
Civet ~ Fungo
Civet are small arboreal animals found in the savannas, Madagascar in Africa. They have long bodies and a long furry tail. They have white muzzle with a black band around their, eyes like a mask. They secrete a musky odor.
Colobus Monkey ~ Mbega
These old world monkeys are native to Africa. They are named ‘colobus’ as it is Greek for ‘the cut short’. This is because they have a stump in place of their thumb. They are found in Kenya and inland high-country areas. Colobus monkey’s are basically leaf eaters and spend most of their time on the tree tops.
These oldest surviving creatures that have outlived even dinosaurs are over 200 million years old. Crocodiles inhabit the tropical waters of Africa. They feed on fish, reptiles and mammals and the size of their prey depends on the size of the crocodile. Crocodiles swallow stones from the banks of the river as it helps them in digestion, buoyancy in water and even helps them swim deeper. A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out and can regrow new teeth quickly throughout its life!
These sweet looking small antelopes are found in east Africa, Angola and Namibia. They are so named because they make a sound ‘dik dik’ when alarmed. Dik-dik have a gray or brownish coat and an elongated snout. They have hair on the crown, that form an upright tuft which conceals the short ringed horns of the male dik-dik.
Duiker ~ Duiker
These are medium-sized antelopes, that are found in sub-Saharan Africa and the Serengeti. Duiker are solitary animals and very hard to spot. These elusive animals have slightly arched body and the front legs are shorter than the hind legs. They are browsers rather than grazers and eat leaves, shoots, seeds, buds and bark as well as eat insects and carrion and are even known to stalk and capture rodents or small birds.
Eland ~ Eland
These heavy weight antelopes with a weight that can reach a ton, are found in the plains of east and south Africa. Eland are excellent jumpers and can scale a height of up to 1.5 meters. They feed on grass, herbs, tree leaves, bushes and succulent fruits.
African Elephant ~ Tembo
These largest mammals on earth have managed to survive after the world ban on ivory trade in 1989. There dwindling population has managed to stay afloat in the northern Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tanzania and Lake Manyara.
These giants have excellent memory and intelligence. African elephants are characterized by their large heads and two large ears that cover their shoulders to radiate heat. They have a large muscular tusk and prominent tusks developed in both sexes.
It has been observed that the elephants, especially the males have an aversion to rhinoceros. They are found to have murdered rhinoceros at first sight.
These are small species of canine found in the Sahara desert. Fennec fox have long ears, that can be half the size of their body! They have thick fur that keeps them cool during the day and warm in the nights. They have an omnivorous diet and feed on rodents, insects, plants and fruits. They also eat small reptiles and eggs. Their sandy colored coat helps to keep them camouflaged during hunting. They are basically nocturnal animals.
These are the largest members of the pig family. Forest hogs live in the west and central Africa, Rwenzori Mountains, Mount Kenya and the Ethiopian Highlands. These herbivores are nocturnal creatures.
These look a little like a mix between a cat, monkey or mink. But the fossa is related to mongoose and civet. They are the most powerful predators of the Madagascar islands. They have a cat-like body and a long tail. This helps them balance when jumping from one branch to another. These animals are very good runners too. Their diet basically consist of lemurs, but can hunt anything from a small mouse to a wild pig.
These are lizards that are small to medium size and over 2000 different species are found all over the world. They are found in different habitats and are commonly found near the Equator, Southern hemisphere and warm regions in the North. Their diet consists of insects and worms. Larger gecko species hunt small birds, reptiles and small mammals like mice. Certain gecko species are known to eat small amount of plants like moss.
Genet ~ Kanu
These are cat-like animals although, are not related to cats. Genet have pointed nose, banded tails, spotted coat, large ears and a small head. These carnivores emit a strong musky odor to mark their territory. These creatures are exclusively found in Africa and are nocturnal.
These are small rodent like animals, similar to a mouse and the hamster. Gerbil have a long tail that can be shed if it gets trapped. This is a unique self-defense mechanism. They have sharp claws to dig underground tunnels and hide into the sand in case of emergency. They live underground mostly and come out for food and water.
Gerenuk or Waller’s Gazelle ~ Swala twiga
These are long-necked species of antelope that are the only members of the genus Litocranius. The Waller’s Gazelle are found in the dry shrubs and steppe in East Africa. They have small heads with big eyes and ears. Gerenuk males have horns and muscular necks.
Giraffe ~ Twiga
These are the tallest mammals on earth. Giraffe have the longest neck with 7 vertebrates and has a 50 cm tongue. They have spots covering the entire body that help camouflage it in the African wilderness.
Gembsok Oryx ~ Choroa
These are large antelopes with striking black and white marks seen on their face and legs. Gembsok oryx have black stripes and a short powerful neck. They have a clipped mane and a horse like flowing tail. They have straight, long and lance-like horns that are ringed on the lower one-third portion only. Both sexes have horns. They are found in a wide range of habitat in South Africa.
Gorilla ~ Sokwe
These are largest primates in the world with the male silverbacks being twice the size of the female gorilla. There are two species of gorillas found in Africa. One species are found in the volcanic mountains of Virunga in Central Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The other mountain gorilla species is found in the Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Gorillas are listed as the critically endangered species, due to human encroachment and illegal poaching.
Greater Kudu ~ Tandala mkubwa
These are beige, orange-colored gazelles with a white belly. Greater Kudu are found in northern Tanzania, southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenyan coast to Lake Victoria.
Grant’s Gazelle ~ Swala granti
These are antelopes with spirally twisted horns and have 4 to 12 strips ruining vertically down the kudu body. Grant’s gazelle are found on the eastern and southern mixed shrub woodland and savanna plains of eastern and southern Africa.
Ground Squirrel ~ Kindi
These squirrels have the ability to rise on their hind legs and stand erect. Ground squirrels live in large colonies and have a complex social structure.
Grysbok ~ Dondoro
These are shy and solitary antelopes that are found in eastern Africa, Transvaal. Caprivi Strip, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Lake Vitoria.
Hare ~ Sunguru
Hare or the Spring hare are currently listed on the most vulnerable animal list. These are the inhabitants of South Africa and are known as Springhaas. They feed on plants and eat insects.
Hedgehog ~ Kalunguyeye
Hedgehogs have been known to be the oldest living mammals on earth and have changed very little genetically and physically over the years. Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures and their bodies are covered with spikes. The hedgehog is known to curl up into a spiky ball that helps them scare off predators.
Hippopotamus ~ Kiboko
These heavy weight animals are a resident of the Serengeti rivers. Although, they look quiet and peaceful, these are one of the many dangerous animals of Africa. The white hippopotamus is known as the second largest mammal after elephant. Hippos are herbivorous animals found floating (actually standing or lying at the bottom) on shallow waters and water holes.
Honey Badger ~ Nyegere
These are the only species of the genus Mellivora. The Guinness Book of Records have named the badger as the most fearless animal. A documentary by the National Geographic captured a badger on camera stealing the food off a puff adder’s mouth and relishing the meal in front of the hissing snake!
The badger then managed to kill the snake and began eating it too. But unfortunately collapsed, as it was bitten by the venomous adder. Amazingly, the badger came back to life after two hours miraculously and finished his leftover adder meal and went back on with his normal duties!
Hyenas (Spotted) ~ Gevlekte hiёna
These scrawny looking animals are not scavengers. It is an old misconception, when in fact, hyenas are intelligent creatures that hunt down prey in very organized and cooperative packs. These highly successful predators that can even bring down a buffalo, turn into scavengers only when necessary. They are found in the savannas and deserts of Africa.
Hyenas (Striped) ~ Fisi
Spotted hyenas are mostly scavengers. These are not very social animals but follow some social norms. They are found in the tropical savanna, grasslands, semi-deserts, scrub-lands and woodlands of Africa.
Hyrax ~ Pimbi
These shy, nocturnal creatures are the closest living relatives of the elephant. They look a bit like guinea pigs and a little like rabbit. But they have their teeth, toes and skull structure that matches the elephant. If you catch a glimpse of the hyrax, watch out for the grooming claw on the inner back feet. It is helpful for picking through its hair and even scratching an itch!
Impala ~ Swala pala
These are world champions that may give high-jump champions a run for their money in the Olympics. These natural jumpers can jump up to 10 meters long. Impala are the top fairer in the list of most beautiful and graceful antelopes list. These gregarious creatures are found in herds and are reddish-brown in color with lighter flanks and a white underbelly.
Jackal ~ Bweha
The black-backed jackal is so named due to the black and silver fur on its back. Jackals are found in the woodlands, scrub lands, savanna and bushes all over Africa. They have an omnivorous diet that includes impala, antelopes, fur seal cubs, gazelle, guinea fowl, insects, rodents, lizards, snakes, fruits. Berries and even goats and carrion.
Klipspringer ~ Mbuzi Maw
The ‘rock jumper’ in Afrikaans, is a small antelope living in the Cape of Good Hope, East Africa and Ethiopia. They have a thick ‘salt and pepper’ patterned coat with a shade of olive. Klipspringer never drinks water as they feed on succulent plants that provide them with water to survive.
These are semi-aquatic antelopes that are found in a herd of several hundred. Lechwe antelope grazes in knee-deep water of the flood plains. They are found in Botswana, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Africa, Namibia, Angola, Okavango Delta, Kafue Flats and Bangweulu Swamps.
These are natives of Madagascar islands in the east coast of Africa. They have large reflective eyes, furry, pointed ears and long tails. Lemur are known for their wailing screams. They have a diet consisting of berries, nuts, leaves, inspects and spiders.
Leopard ~ Chui
These solitary and highly cautious predators are natives of the Serengeti. Leopards are nocturnal, arboreal and highly skilled climbers. These predators are very successful hunters and can reach the neck of their prey before the prey realizes what struck it.
Lesser Kudu ~ Tandala Ndogo
These are forest antelopes where the males are gray-brown in color and the females are chestnut in color. Lesser Kudu are found in East Africa.
Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest ~ Kongoni
Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest are found in West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa. The males have a dark brown color and the females are yellow-brown in color. They have horns in both sexes that curve outwards and then forwards and finally ending in the backward direction.
African Lion ~ Simba
Undoubtedly the king of the jungle, they are the pride of African wilderness. African lions are seen in the Serengeti region of Africa. The male lions are known for their magnificent manes that truly make them the kings of the jungle. They have the best night vision and hunt at nights. Most of the hunts are carried out by the lioness in the pride and the male lion, enjoys the hard-earned meal of the lioness.
Also known as the hissing cockroach, is found on the island of Madagascar in the eastern coast of Africa. These are wingless cockroaches and are in no way similar to their other relative cockroaches. These feed on vegetative material on the forest floor and are very popular as pets.
The black mamba is one of the most venomous snakes and is ranked at number 42 in the list of world’s most dangerous snakes. It can reach a speed of 20 km/h and stick a person with it poisonous neurotoxins. A bite from the mamba can kill a full-grown man in just 20 minutes. But, fortunately there are very few incidences of black mamba strikes in the Africa.
The worlds largest monkey is found in western central Africa, southern Cameroon, Gabon and the Congo. Mandrill have brightly colored face which is the distinctive feature of this monkey. The nose and the nostrils are red in color, the cheeks are wide blue in color and have six longitudinal grooves that are purple in color on each side. The rump has a similar color pattern.
The famous character from the animated kid movie “The Lion King”, meerkats were made world-famous by the character Timon. Meerkats actually spend most of their time underground, in large burrows. They live in a large group called a ‘mob’ or ‘gang’. They love grooming and spend time playing among the family.
Mongoose ~ Nguchiro
These are small rodent-like mammals that looks like a meerkat or weasel. They are known to eat both animals and plants. They are known to be immune to the venom of snakes and are thought to fight fierce battles with snakes. They have a long face, long body, short legs and little round ears. Mongoose lives in burrows it digs up or in holes abandoned by other small burrowing animals.
These lizards are also known as bayawak or goanna. These are carnivorous lizards and feed on eggs, small reptiles, fish, birds and small mammals. There are some monitor lizard species that are known to eat fruits and vegetation. Monitor lizards are thought to be very intelligent with some experts claiming that they can recognize numbers up to 6!
Nyala ~ Njala
These are medium-sized antelopes with 3 to 14 vertical stripes on their body sides. The males or rams have a fringe of long hair known as ‘dewlap’ hanging from it’s under body. The horns of the ram are slightly spiral, curving outward after the first turn. The horns end with a white tip. Nyala females too have vertical stripes on a chestnut colored body.
These are the last surviving relatives of giraffe. These elusive animals look more like a zebra than a giraffe. They are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These herbivores have red-brown coat of fur. Okapi have white stripes on their legs. These animals are diurnal and forage through the forest searching for food. These animals are highly alert and will run away when they hear a human approaching. They are so secretive that they were not known to the world till the 1900s.
Oribi ~ Taya
These are small and graceful antelopes found in the sub-Saharan Africa. Their back and upper chest is yellow to orange brown in color. They have white chest, throat, belly, chin and rump. Oribi can be easily distinguished with the white crescent-shaped band of fur above their eye.
Ostrich ~ Mbuni
These are the largest and the heaviest birds on earth. Ostrich also take away the title of fastest birds in the world. But these are wingless and flightless birds and run when chased or threatened. They weigh more than 100 kg, thus adding another reason for not being able to fly. They have a very powerful kick that can prove to be deadly for many mammals. They have an omnivorous diet consisting of leaves, grass, seeds, roots, flowers,berries, insects and an occasional small mammal or reptile.
Otter ~ Fisi Maji
These are small mammals found in North Africa and can live in both land and water. Otter’s mainly eat plankton and fish and can hunt for amphibians, birds and small mammals.
Pangolin ~ Kakakuona
Pangolin are ant eaters and have a long sticky tongue to catch ants. They have no teeth. There body is covered with large scales that turns into an armor when they roll into a ball for protection against predators.
Patas ~ Kima
Patas are ground dwelling monkeys found in parts of West Africa and East Africa. They live mostly in the open savannas and semi-deserts. They have a tail that reaches a length of 75 cm and can run up to speeds of 55 km/h. Thus, making Patas the fastest primates.
Porcupine ~ Nunlgununlgu
These take away the crown for the world’s largest rodents. Porcupine are thought to be from the same family of hedgehogs, but their DNA is found to be not as old as the hedgehogs. They are found in parts of Africa and feed on insects, small reptiles and eggs. They have a coat of long spikes that helps protect in times of danger. Their spikes are longer than the hedgehog and are known to be poisonous.
Puff Adder ~ Ubululu
This is another very poisonous snake of Africa. The puff adder is responsible for the most number of casualties due to snakebite. These snakes do not normally move away when someone passes by, and the bites result due to unknowing stepping over on the snake.
These are furry orange-colored antelopes are found in the Zambezi Valley and isolated pockets of Tanzania. Puku have thick, heavily ringed ‘V’ shaped horns. They are grazing species and are gregarious in nature.
Reedbuck ~ Tohe
These are shy and elusive antelopes. Reedbuck have a tendency to hide in a squatting position when they are in danger. They bolt out at the last-minute when danger approaches.
Rhinoceros ~ Kifaru
These are large mammals that are native to Africa and even Asia. There are five species of rhinos. Three of the rhino species are critically endangered species. The white rhinoceros is the largest species of rhinos and the black rhinos are native to Africa.
They are herbivores and eat grass, shoots, buds, fruits and leaves. They are extensively poached for their horns made up of keratin. Both the African rhino species and the Sumatran rhino have two horns. They are known for their aggressive nature and are often seen charging towards oncoming danger.
Roan ~ Bastergemsbok
These are the second largest antelopes of Africa. Roan have back-curved horns in both sexes. They avoid short grass and prefer open to lightly wooded grasslands. These animals have a horse-like appearance and black and white facial pattern with grayish brown to reddish ting of coat.
Sable Antelope ~ Swartwitpens
These are handsome looking antelopes with shiny black upper coat and white under body and thighs. They have black and white facial markings. Sable antelopes have a long, erect mane that runs from the top of the neck to the shoulder. There are transversely ridged and backward curving having long narrow horns in both sexes.
Serval ~ Mondo
These are medium-sized cats that are natives of central and southern Africa. They have a spotted pelt like a cheetah and fan-like sharp ears. These ears also help servals sense vibrations. Serval were excessively hunted for their fur and many species have become extinct. Servals have a diet of hares, birds, reptiles, frogs, fish and insects. They can leap very well and catch a bird in flight.
Cape Elephant Shrew
These look like small long-nosed mouse, but are not rodents or even related to rodents. These are true shrews classified under order Soricomorpha. They have five toes, whereas rodents have four toes.
Sitatunga ~ Nzohe
These are small aquatic antelopes. Sitatunga are very good swimmers and can hide underwater with their nostrils above the water surface. These nocturnal creatures have white bands on their body, with shaggy reddish-brown hair and long spiral horns only in males.
These are also known as ‘Steenbok’ or ‘Steinbuck’. They are small antelopes found in southern and eastern Africa. They look similar to Oribis. These antelopes have coat shade ranging from fawn to rufous or typically orange. They have white undersides, throat and chin. They have white ring around the eye. A black crescent shape is seen between the ears.
Suni ~ Paa
These are very small species of antelopes. They are found in south-east Africa. Suni are reddish-brown in color with a darker colored coat on their sides and legs. The coat on their belly, chin, throat and inner sides of legs is white. They have black rings around the eyes and above the hooves. They make barking and whistling sounds.
Thomson’s Gazelle ~ Swala Tomi
These are small gazelles inhabiting the Serengeti. They are named after an explorer, James Thomson. They have light brown coats and white undersides. They have a distinctive black stripe on their sides. They are known to display a bounding leap, known as ‘slotting’ or ‘pronking’. This unusual behavior helps startle predators and show off strength.
Topi ~ Nyamera
These are short black-tailed antelopes known to be the fastest of their kind. They are found in the Savannah and the floodplains of Sudan, Chad, Kenya, Tanzania and Southern Africa. Topi are famous for their solitary sentinel position. The animal stands for hours on a termite mound surveying the surrounding territory in this position.
The Topi, Impalas and the Giraffes are the only animals that are not found on the Ngorongoro Crater. They have a rusty-red color coat. Their legs and chest are black in color with a black strip running from the forehead to the tip of their nose.
Vervet Monkey ~ Blou-aap
These are monkeys with gray coat having a yellow tinge. They have black face, hands, toes and tail tips. These agile climbers are forever foraging the forest for food. Vervet monkey are herbivores with a diet of fruits, flowers, seeds and leaves. They may sometimes eat spiders, grubs and locusts.
Warthog ~ Vlakvark
The ‘bestest best friend’ of the meerkat Timon in the movie “The Lion King’, famously known as Pumba, warthogs are a large species of pigs. Warthogs are found in the deserts and shrub-lands of Africa. They have two sets of tusks on their face. It helps them fight off predators and other warthog competitions. They have a diet of grass, fruit, berries, roots and insects. They may sometimes eat small mammals, birds and reptiles.
Waterbuck ~ Waterbok
These are big antelopes found in the western, eastern, central and southern Africa. These diurnal animals are so named due to their sweat glands that produce a waterproof fluid, that coats its body. They have a reddish-brown coat that darkens as the animal ages. Waterbucks have a ‘bib’ under their throat and white ring on their rumps. Although named waterbucks, these animals are not very keen about entering the water.
These are members of the horse family Equidae. They are found in the deserts and arid areas of northeastern Africa, Ethiopia and Somalia. Wild ass are thought to be the ancestors of the domestic donkeys.
African Wild Dog ~ Mbwa mwitu
They are an endangered species of dogs found in Botswana and the Zambezi valley. They are known to be very intelligent and social animals. They use their sense of sight and not smell to catch prey. They pay no attention to the wind direction while hunting and use no cover.
Wild Cat ~ Vaalbokat
These are small, nocturnal cats that hunt small mammals, birds and other small creatures. The wild cat is extremely timid and lives a solitary life.
Wildebeest or Gnu ~ Nyumbu
These animals have a population of about 1.7 to 2 million. Gnu are found all over the Serengeti ecosystem. These large bearded antelopes are weird-looking and thought to be a cross between a cow, horse and a goat! The Great Migration of the wildebeest has made Serengeti world-famous.
The geographical diversity has resulted in a vast and varied population of African animals. 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. The National Geographic has helped introduce the world with the harsh and difficult, yet interesting and intriguing life of the African fauna. 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 led 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.
I have just named a few African animals in my African animal list. There many beautiful birds like Cape Shelduck Bird, Cape Teal, White-bellied Stork, White-breasted Cormorant, White-eyed Pochard, White-faced Whistling Duck, etc. found in Africa. Fascinating insects like the mealworm beetle, harvestman, house cricket, honeybee, butterflies, land snail, fire ant and many others that roam the African wilderness. This list of African animals was just a glimpse at the various members of wild Africa. The African continent is abundant with a rich and varied wildlife.
We humans tend to become a tad too selfish and forget that other living beings also own the planet just as much as we do. Hunting animals for their fur, tusks, horns or any other body part is totally inhumane and insensitive act. God has created other life forms which are related to each other and even humans in the large cycle of life.
When one member of the animal kingdom is lost forever, many other dependent species are in danger of becoming extinct animals. It is a race against time that will help us preserve nature’s bounty for our future generations to admire.
Many of these wild inhabitants of Africa are on the verge of extinction or are already extinct. Illegal poaching, hunting and human encroachment is stripping Africa of its wild beauty. A lot of collective effort and struggles have gone in to preserve the wildlife by bringing up sanctuaries, preserves, national parks and game reserves.
We should not act in a cold-blooded manner and endanger the life of any beautiful animal, bird, insect, amphibian, marine creatures. This is our planet and as the most advanced and evolved species of the planet, let’s take the responsibility of helping and conserving other members of our beautiful planet. It is not just the endangered wild animals of Africa, but the flora and fauna all over the world that needs our protection.
The old ado of ‘live and let live’ should be applied by all of us. As I end my ‘Safari’ of African animals list, I part with this old message, “Shoot with a camera, not with a gun”!