Synonymous with wildlife, Africa is perhaps best known around the world for its diverse landscapes and the habitats they offer. For most of us, when we think of African landscapes we think of the savannas where lions, zebras and elephants roam the plains. But we are also aware of the various other animals, birds and wildlife that dominate Africa, and so we take a look at the best ways to see all of
Africa’s natural worlds.
Starting with the drier steppe and savanna landscapes, we head to East African countries from Kenya down to South Africa. There are many nature reserves which aim to conserve local wildlife including typical African animals such as the ‘Big Five’; elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo and rhinos. The most famous, of course, are the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and the Etosha National Reserve in Namibia, both best explored by guided vehicle safari. There are many game, nature and national parks and reserves throughout the whole of Africa, where giraffes, wildebeest, cheetahs, antelopes and gazelles are found, especially in the drier landscapes.
By heading to wetter areas such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana other native animals become abundant. The Okavango Delta is surrounded by a parched landscape, therefore attracting a wealth of water-loving wildlife including crocodiles, fish and birds as well as a high number of herbivores and predators. Safaris here are usually carried out in traditional canoes or water-boats which glide through the labyrinth of waterways.
The luscious landscapes of Guinea, Congo and Zaire and some areas of drier countries like the Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe provide forested habitats for a different range of animals. Here, specially adapted forest gorillas and monkeys, elephants, river hogs and numerous rodents, frogs, bats, insects and birds all reside in these denser and wetter locations, which are best explored on foot with the help of local guides to keep you safe and to lead you to known habitats.
Of course another way to get up close and personal with African wildlife is to visit on a wildlife volunteer programme. Amanzi Travel specialise in various tailor-made volunteer projects throughout Africa working with all different types of wildlife, helping to conserve and rehabilitate animals for a sustainable future.
Make a difference – volunteer in Africa!