There are significant gaps in our knowledge of Africa’s total count of wildlife species. Figures are estimations.
The most important species to originate from Africa is, of course, humans. Our species homo sapiens (modern human), originated in Ethiopia around 200,000 years ago. Man migrated out of Africa approximately 50,000 years ago, spreading across the rest of the world and travelling incredible distances on foot.
In some rural areas, old traditions and ways still survive. Music, masks and time honoured ceremonies honour Ancient Africa.
So many of the most magnificent beasts hail from Africa. The continents Noah’s ark of wildlife fascinates almost every traveller that has been lucky enough to go on safari. Four of the fastest land animals live in Africa and the largest living land animal – the African elephant.
Imagine having a blue tongue 45cm long like a giraffe. The trunk of a big bull elephant could suck up to 10l of water. The roar of a lion could be heard up to an incredible 8 kilometres away.
Besides having the most ungulates of any continent (buffalo, impala, kudu, oryx, dik-dik, oribi and gerenuk, to name a few), the second largest landmass in the world boasts:
- 64 species of primates
- Four great apes – western and eastern gorilla, common chimpanzee, bonobo
- 60 species of carnivores including hyenas, lions, cheetah, serval and honey badger
It’s thought between 10-20% of the global count of insects are found in Africa. The tiniest butterfly is called the ‘Dwarf Blue Butterfly’ and located in South Africa. The largest and heaviest beetle in the world, the Goliath beetle hails from Cameroon. There are fascinating reptiles to learn about which include the Goliath frog from Cameroon, the biggest frog on our planet. Madagascar has half of the worlds’ population of chameleons, including the smallest and the biggest.
Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Encompassing the best highlights and wildernesses on the continent: Vic Falls and the Zambezi River, Botswana and the Okavango Delta, the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.
South Africa, Namibia
A dynamic, vibrant country South Africa has a diverse range of landscapes, wildlife and cultures. Namibia is a close neighbour, dominated by desert and a cold sea with a harsh coastline where many ships have perished.
Modern man, homo sapiens, hails from Central East Africa. The area, as defined by geography, includes Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, South Sudan and Somalia.