Wildlife Index

African Buffalo
African Buffalo

The thicker the male buffalo's horns, the more likely they are to be at the top of the herd hierarchy. African Buffalo will often kneel down and rub their necks and heads on the ground in a display of aggression to establish dominance.

African Elephant
African Elephant

Elephant calves often suck on their trunks for comfort, similar to a human baby sucking on a pacifier or thumb. The trunk has more than 40,000 different muscles used to breathe, smell, touch, drink, eat, communicate, and even function as a built in snorkel. Elephants have incredible memories - in times of drought, the matriarch can lead her herd to places where she thinks there might be food or water because she was there once decades ago.

African Starling
African Starling

Starlings have varied and complex songs, and may copy sounds from their surroundings, including animal noises, car alarms, and human speech. The birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls.

African Swift
African Swift

Swifts are creatures of the air, meaning they typically do not land between one breeding season and the next. Because they are totally dependent on airborne prey they are very susceptible to bad weather during the breeding season, when a lack of food often results in chicks starving to death.

Banded Mongoose
Banded Mongoose

When a predator approaches banded mongooses, they bunch together and move as a group, creating the appearance of a single large animal. The individuals in front may even stand on their hind legs and make snapping lunges toward the predator.

Bat-Eared Fox
Bat-Eared Fox

The bat-eared fox diet consists mainly of insects such as ants and termites in the rainy season and mice in the dry season. In addition to raising their young in dens, bat-eared foxes use self-dug dens for shelter from extreme temperatures and winds. They also lie under acacia trees in South Africa to seek shade during the day.

Black Rhinoceros
Black Rhinoceros

Rhinos have a symbiotic relationship with oxpeckers. The oxpecker eats ticks and insects that it finds on the rhinoceros. The oxpecker gets food and the rhino gets a free grooming session. A win-win for all!

Black-Backed Jackal
Black-Backed Jackal

Black-backed jackals are highly vocal. Best known for their high wailing calls – often given in the early evening, when one individual answers another until an unearthly chorus builds up – they also utter a repeated yapping when tailing a predator; a call that sometimes betrays an irritated lion or leopard.

Black-Capped Social Weaver
Black-Capped Social Weaver

Unlike other weavers who build their nests in the breeding season, Social Weavers use and maintain the nests throughout the year. They nest in colonies as small as 10 individuals and up to 400-500 birds. Their nests are instantly recognizable, massive and resembling huge apartment blocks.

Blue Wildebeest
Blue Wildebeest

Wildebeest's main defense from predators is living in a group. Nowhere is this more evident than during the Great Migration - the largest herd movement of animals on the planet. Over 1.2 million wildebeest move in a constant cycle through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in search of nutritious grass and water.

Caracal
Caracal

The caracal cat can jump over 10 feet high in the air. Caracals are solitary animals, and social interactions are limited to periods of mating, except for mothers with kittens.

Central African Warthog
Central African Warthog

Warthogs use burrows for shelter and when entering, the hogs back in. This enables them to defend themselves. In the mornings, warthogs burst out of their burrows at top speed to get a running start on any predators that may be lurking nearby.

Chacma Grey Baboon
Chacma Grey Baboon

Baboons are omnivorous – they eat meat as well as plants. They are a social species, living in family groups called troops. A large troop can comprise as many as 100 family members, although most troops are smaller.

Cheetah
Cheetah

Cheetahs are diurnal, which means they hunt during the day and rely on tall grasses to hide when on the hunt. They mostly hunt in either the late morning or early evening. Cheetah tails acts as a rudder on a boat to help them steer and maneuver while moving at top speed.

Dwarf Mongoose
Dwarf Mongoose

The mound you see the dwarf mongooses in is a termite mound. Termite mounds are the termite version of an ant hill, with a notable difference - they can be up to twelve feet tall! They are made of dirt, termite saliva and dung. The termites create their own environment that is best suited to them. After they become abandoned, other species like the dwarf mongooses take over and turn it into their own dens.

East Afrcan Oryx
East Afrcan Oryx

East African Oryx are believed to be where the unicorn myth originated. Oryx are known to be very strong and can actually take down lions with their long horns.

Flap Necked Chameleon
Flap Necked Chameleon

Chameleons can move their eyes separately, with each eye having a field of 180 degrees. This means that they can see 360 degrees! This is a particularly large species of chameleon, reaching a total length of 14 inches.

Masai Giraffe
Masai Giraffe

Giraffes only sleep for 30 minutes per night - the shortest sleep in the entire animal kingdom. The average length of a giraffe’s tongue is 20 inches. It is blue in color and has an extremely leathery texture. This design helps the giraffe to pluck leaves off the thorniest bushes without causing themselves harm. When they give birth, the baby drops 6 feet to the ground, but they are able to stand up and walk away unscathed.

Graphium Antheus Butterfly
Graphium Antheus Butterfly

Found in tropical and sub-Saharan Africa, the wingspan of this butterfly is 65–70 mm in males and 70–75 mm in females. The flight period is year-round, peaking from November to December.

Great White Pelican
Great White Pelican

The Great White Pelican's legs are short and strong with fully webbed toes that allow it to propel itself in water and to take off from the surface of the water. They are powerful fliers and often travel in flocks in a V-formation to reduce drag for the group.

Helmeted Guineafowl
Helmeted Guineafowl

Helmeted Guineafowl are perfectly capable of flying, but most choose not to. They actually prefer to walk everywhere. It is possible for them to walk up to six miles a day. Guineafowl ‘egg dump’, which means they sometimes lay eggs in other guineafowl nests, therefore giving them the job of incubation…sneaky! And a bit lazy.

Hippopotamus
Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus is the world’s largest deadliest land mammal. They have a 98% kill rate when rushing a human. They are remarkably fast on land and tend to leave the water at dusk to graze. Although hippos can hold their breath for approximately seven minutes, most adult hippos resurface every three to five minutes to breathe. This is an automatic process – even sleeping hippos surface to breathe without waking.

Impala
Impala

Impalas are the highest jumper among the antelope, with the ability to leap 3 times their height. Although impalas tend to be fairly social for most of the year, they break off into subgroups during the rut, or mating season.

Kori Bustard
Kori Bustard

Kori bustards are one of the few species of birds that drink water using a sucking motion rather than scooping.
Kori bustards are not migratory birds. They will leave their home ground only when water and food sources become scarce.

Lappet-faced Vulture
Lappet-faced Vulture

The lappet-faced vulture is one of the most aggressive African birds. It possesses one of the strongest beaks, usually arriving last to the carcass due to its ability to tear off skin, tendons, and ligaments that are too tough for smaller scavengers. In fact, they are able to strip a small antelope carcass to the bone within 20 minutes.

Leopard
Leopard

Leopards are very solitary and spend most of their time alone. They each have their own territory, and leave scratches on trees, urine scent marks, and feces to warn other leopards to stay away. Males and females will cross territories, but only to mate.

Lesser Flamingo
Lesser Flamingo

The bright pink color of flamingos comes from beta carotene, a red-orange pigment that's found in high numbers within the shrimp that flamingos eat. Flamingos have a unique way of hunting - they will use their feet to stir up mud and then scoop up a beak full of the mud along with water. The beaks are highly specialized as they will filter out the muddy water after straining out the algae and shrimp in the mud.

Lion
Lion

Lions sleep for an average of 20 hours a day. Although in the cat family, they cannot purr. A lion’s roar can be heard from up to 5 miles away and helps to establish territories as well as maintain strong bonds between pride members.

Marabou Stork
Marabou Stork

Marabou Storks possess hollow leg and toe bones. In such a large bird, this is an important adaptation for flight. It is sometimes called the "undertaker bird" due to its shape from behind: cloak-like wings and back, skinny white legs, and sometimes a large white mass of "hair."

Martial Eagle
Martial Eagle

Martial Eagles are the largest of the African eagles and incredibly powerful, capable of knocking an adult man off his feet. This eagle's eyesight is over three times more acute than humans, spotting prey from 3 miles away.

Masai Ostrich
Masai Ostrich

Ostriches are the largest bird in the world and the fastest 2-legged runner in the Animal Kingdom, reaching speeds of over 45 miles per hour. Ostriches have three stomachs.

Nile Crocodile
Nile Crocodile

Crocodiles have the strongest bite in the animal kingdom, and the Nile Crocodile is no different. It's bite can exert a force 8 times more powerful than that of a great white shark and 15 times more than a Rottweiler’s.

Olive Baboon
Olive Baboon

Olive Baboons have cheek pouches where they can store food as they forage. The baboons meticulously groom each other’s fur, picking out insects and preventing hair from getting into wounds. This is not only hygienic, it’s also used to create bonds between the animals, and they find it relaxing.

Plains Zebra
Plains Zebra

Zebras are preyed upon by lions and spotted hyenas, Nile crocodiles and, to a lesser extent, cheetahs and African wild dogs. They only sleep in large groups and they sleep standing up, both defensive measures. A group of zebras is called a ‘Dazzle.'

Red-Billed Oxpecker
Red-Billed Oxpecker

The Red-Billed Oxpecker's names come from their habit of perching on large mammals such as cattle or rhinoceroses, and eating ticks, botfly larvae, and other parasites. Field observations in rhinos have shown oxpeckers warning the nearsighted rhino from danger.

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture
Ruppell's Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vultures have been recorded flying as high as 36,000 feet off the ground, the same height at which most airplanes fly. Their wingspan can reach 8 feet.

Saddle-Billed Cattle Egret
Saddle-Billed Cattle Egret

Saddled-Billed Cattle Egrets eat insects and often ride on cattle like the buffalo, eating ticks off of their backs. It is a symbiotic relationship: the larger animals draw a lot of bugs and they can’t get rid of them, and it provides a great food source to the birds, so it’s a win win.

Secretary Bird
Secretary Bird

Secretary birds peck at their prey to kill it or stomp on it with their feet. These birds can hunt and kill snakes – even poisonous ones. Secretary birds have thick scales on their legs to protect them from snake bites. They also puff their feathers out when killing a snake to confuse the animal. The snake might try to bite the feathers instead of the bird.

Southern Ostrich
Southern Ostrich

When threatened ostriches run, their powerful, long legs can be formidable weapons, capable of killing a human or a potential predator like a lion with a forward kick. Contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in sand to avoid danger

Spotted Hyena
Spotted Hyena

Hyenas are more closely related to cats than dogs. Hyena dung turns white when it dries due to the large amount of calcium found in the bones that they eat.

Thomson's Gazelle
Thomson's Gazelle

Gazelles can reach speeds up to 60mph miles per hour in short bursts and can sustain speeds of 30-40 mph. Thomson's gazelle is named after the Scottish explorer Joseph Thomson; the first recorded use of the name dates to 1897. Another common name for the gazelle is "tommy."

Trombidiidae
Trombidiidae

The adult red velvet mites have velvety hair on their bodies that act as feelers. The larvae of the red velvet mites are primarily parasites, which survive by feeding on their hosts.

Vervet Monkey
Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkeys are arboreal monkeys, which means that they spend much of their lives in the trees. Because they are arboreal, you are likely to find Vervet Monkeys climbing and jumping in the forests and wooded areas near rivers and streams.

White Rhinoceros
White Rhinoceros

While the white rhino is substantially larger than the black rhino, the black rhino is much more likely to charge you. The white rhinos have a square wider lip while the black rhinos have the hooked lip. This aids in their different habitats. White Rhinos feed on the grasses while black rhinos feed on leaves, branches and other brush.

White-Headed Vulture
White-Headed Vulture

Though the White-Headed Vulture feeds frequently on carrion, it is known to equally often hunt live prey to supplement its diet. This bird, with its strong talons unusual to members of the vulture family, is capable of tackling prey as large as flamingos, though it will also feed on small animals such as lizards.

Yellow-Throated Sandgrouse
Yellow-Throated Sandgrouse

Once the Sandgrouse's eggs hatch, the chicks are jointly cared for by the parents. The female usually brings them water through her soaked belly feathers. Chicks can feed themselves soon but may need several months to learn foraging techniques from their parents. They will be under parental care until they become independent.