World Wildlife Day

Meet the unsung heroes of Africa
by Cordula Pfluegl
2 min read

Wildlife is deep at the heart of travel in Africa, from a breathtaking sunrise safari experience to the constant gentle tweet of the birds flying overhead. The renowned Big 5 in Africa speak for themselves, but there are endless interesting and rare African wildlife that we believe deserve appreciation everyday but especially on World Wildlife day. From second tongues to being covered in scales, let us shed light on some remarkable, under-appreciated wildlife you can find in Africa.

 

1. Honeybadger

The Honey Badger is known as the most fearless creature of African wildlife. Considering their small size, and the competition that they are up against, we reckon they deserve more appreciation. They can even shrug off venomous bites by cobras and Puff Addas due to a natural immunity derived from a diet of scorpions and venomous snakes. Not many can say that!

 

2. Aardvark

What makes the Aardvark unique is that there genuinely is no animal like them on earth. Covering most of Africa, the Aardvark’s closest living relatives are elephant shrews. Sitting alone in the evolutionary web, the nocturnal ‘earth pig’ has a sensitive long nose that seeks out insects.

 

3. Okapi

Talking about African wildlife, the elusive and shy Okapi has held a mythical status for many years. It’s even being described as the ‘African Unicorn’. With its zebra striped legs and a head like a giraffe, this remarkable animal is the deserving National Symbol of the DRC. Definitely deserves appreciation this World Wildlife Day! 

 

4. Grey crowned crane

One of our favourite wildlife birds in Africa is the Grey Crowned Crane. These birds, standing over a metre tall, can be found gracefully walking around wetlands. Their crown is magnificent and can be recognized as an important symbol for many African countries.

 

5. Galago

The wide-eyed fluffy Galago, known to many as the ‘bush baby’, can be found leaping from branch to branch in many countries in Africa. What is not known to many, and what has got them on this list, is that they have not one, but two tongues. The second is located below the first and its sole purpose is for grooming, which you will catch them doing a lot in the wild!

Ok, how cute are bushbabies? Scientists recently described a previously unknown species of bushbaby dubbed the Angolan dwarf galago (Galagoides kumbirensis sp. nov.)—a tiny, 6-inch-long nocturnal primate native to the forests of Angola in West Africa. The team used recorded vocalizations, among other methods, to help them distinguish the new species (not pictured) from known bushbaby species. . . . ?: Graham Duggan (Flickr) (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) . . . Journal Reference: Svensson MS, Bersacola E, Mills MSL, et al. A giant among dwarfs: a new species of galago (Primates: Galagidae) from Angola. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2017;00:1–14. doi:10.1002/ajpa.23175. . . . #zoologyforkids #goodnews #scienceisfun #bushbaby #discovery #primate #galago #research #science #cuteanimal #cute #nocturnal #Africa #zoology #wildlife #wildlifephotography #nature #PlanetEarth #Earth #instanature #instagood

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6. Uganda Shoebill

Uganda is home to the best safari sightings of the Shoebill Stork. You can find these wonderful birds with their recognizable pre-historic beak and expression in the swamps of Uganda, a twitchers paradise. Come and visit these birds alongside the famous chimpanzees and gorillas.

bird #birdsofinstagram#schuhschnabel#vogelparkwalsrode#shoebill

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7. Pangolin

Not only are Pangolins the only animal on earth covered in scales, they also have tongues up to 40cm long. That’s longer than their body length! Without the vicious teeth and jaw of the honey badger, the innocent Pangolin rolls up into a ball of its scales for protection from predators. What’s not to love?

 

2017 World Wildlife Day is celebrated under the theme “Listen to the Young Voices.” Learn more here.

 

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