It is a good thing to take a safari when you have some knowledge on some animals you will encounter in the game parks and reserves. Here are some facts about the African Savannah Animals.
Did you know…….
- The big cats species and other large carnivorous are found in Africa, Asia, North, Central and South America representing a virtually global distribution. They are the most widely recognized and admired animals across the globe.
- Even though lions are known as ‘King of the Jungle’ they live in grasslands and plains and not the jungle.
- Male lions can eat about a third of their body weight at one sitting.
- Cheetahs do not roar like lions. However, they do have a range of other meaningful vocalizations such as purring, growling and contact calls that resemble bird-like chirping sounds.
- Leopards are super springy and can leap 6 meters forward through the air, the length of three adults lying head to toe.
- A herd of elephants is led by the oldest female known as the Matriarch. She determines when the others will eat, bathe, drink or rest.
- The African elephant has four nails on their front feet and three nails on their back feet.
- The black rhinos are actually Grey. They have pointed upper lips which they use to twist off low-growing branches of trees and shrubs.
- Rhinos have fantastic hearing and great sense of smell, but have terrible eyesight. They will struggle to spot something further than 30 meters away.
- Buffaloes have a poor eyesight and sense of hearing, but they have an excellent sense of smell and an exceptional memory. They can never forget someone who tried to harm them even 10 years ago.
- When buffaloes are ready to travel, they will stand and turn in the direction of the majority and the head female leads the herds to the winning direction.
Did you know….
- The male giraffe takes a mouthful of the female’s urine to determine if she is on heat or not before mating.
- An adult hippo needs to resurface every 3-5 minutes to breathe.
- Flamingos are not pink, they are born with Grey feathers which turn pink due to a natural pink dye called canthaxanthin that is obtained from their diet of blue-green algae.
- When a crocodile loses a tooth, it’s quickly replaced. They can go through 8,000 teeth over a lifetime.
- The ostrich has the largest eye of any land animals measuring almost 5 cm across and allowing predators to be seen at long distances.
- Zebras can rotate their ears in almost all directions, this ability is used to communicate their mood with other zebras.
- The Grevy Zebra is the largest of the wild equids distinguished by its unique stripes which are distinctive as human fingerprints. They are taller, have larger ears and have narrow stripes.
- Out of the 1.5 million wildebeests that migrate annually, it is estimated that 250,000 wildebeests do not survive due to predation, hunger, thirst and exhaustion.
- The hyrax is said to be the elephant’s closest living relative despite the huge difference in size and appearance.
- An eagle’s vision can reach up 4 to 5 times further than a person with perfect vision. It can spot a rabbit 3.2km away.
- Camels have three eyelids to protect themselves from blowing sand.
- Just like human beings, chimpanzees are prone to baldness and greying of hair as they grow older.
- Gorillas display many human-like behaviors and emotions such as laughter and sadness. They even make their own tools to help them survive in the forest. They share 98.3% of their genetics code with humans, making them our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos.
- While sleeping, the dolphin shuts down only half of the brain along with the opposite eye. The other half of the brain stays awake at low level alertness. The attentive side is used to watch for predators, obstacles or any other animals. It also signals when to rise to the surface for a fresh breath of air.
- Sand temperature determine the sex of the turtle that hatch. Low temperature results to female turtles while high temperatures results to male turtles.
Facts about Kenya’s tourist attractions….
- Kenya holds the world record for ‘Bird-watch’ with 342 species seen in 24 hours and 494 species seen in 48 hours.
- Kenyan Marine Parks and Reserves host another set of The Big Five; The dolphin, turtle, whale, shark and the dugong.
- Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. The name ‘Amboseli’ comes from a Maasai word meaning ‘salty dust’, it’s one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close.
- Shimba Hills National Reserve is one of the largest coastal forests in East Africa after Arabako Sokoke Forest. It is rich is flora and fauna and host the highest density of African elephant in Kenya.
- Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with its rugged glacier-clad summits, afro-alphine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes. The mountain is located in the equator where the sun rises and sets at almost the exact time each day, 5.30am and 5.30pm.
- The Kakamega forest is the only remnant in Kenya of the once great tropical rain forest that stretched across Central Africa.
- The Tsavo National Park offers magnificent game viewing in the world. Vast herds of dust-red elephants, fats pods of hippo, giant crocodiles, a fantasia of bird-life and some magical flora.
- Ruma National Park is Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for endangered roan antelope.
Information compiled courtesy of Kenya Wildlife Service