Abundance of Wildlife in Africa

As we have recently booked a trip back to Africa — something that we wish to do as often as possible — we have started to get into 'the zone', which has resulted in us watching movies about or set in Africa, as well as African wildlife documentaries.

While watching one documentary over the weekend, I came to the realisation that we have seen so many species of wildlife during our trips to Africa.

One of Africa's unique traits is the abundance of different species of wildlife that can be seen in the open with very little effort.  The African continent is home of many large animals, many of which can be seen incidentally.

Some, like the African leopard, are more elusive and can be very difficult to find, but other animals such as elephants and the many varieties of antelope can be easily spotted without much effort.

This is vastly different to Australia, in which there are nowhere near as many large land-based animals, and in which many species of wildlife are small, nocturnal or both.

Just being in Africa and seeing so many species of wildlife is special, and something to be appreciated.  While for many, a safari in Africa is about little more than seeing the so-called Big Five (or seeing the big cats more specifically), seeing such an abundance of wildlife other than the more popular species is still an awesome experience, which, sadly, many people will never encounter.

I remember being excited to see an impala for the first time in Africa.  These antelopes are everywhere, but when seeing one for the very first time, it is new and exciting.  By the second day, the novelty wears off, but it is still fantastic to see even common, populous animals in nature.

I had to go back through my archives to recall all of the species of wildlife that we have seen, and it turned out to be quite a comprehensive variety.

Here is the list of wildlife species we have seen in Africa (South Africa and Kenya, specifically):

  1. Aardwolf
  2. African fish eagle
  3. Agama
  4. Baboon
  5. Banded mongoose
  6. Black-bellied bustard
  7. Blesbok
  8. Blue-headed tree agama
  9. Bushbuck
  10. Cape buffalo
  11. Cheetah
  12. Crocodile
  13. Dik-dik
  14. Dung beetle
  15. Eland
  16. Elephant
  17. Genet
  18. Giraffe
  19. Grant's gazelle
  20. Grassland pipit
  21. Grey crowned crane
  22. Hammerkop
  23. Hartebeest
  24. Helmeted guineafowl
  25. Hildebrandt's starling
  26. Hippopotamus
  27. Impala
  28. Jackal
  29. Kudu
  30. Leopard
  31. Leopard tortoise
  32. Lilac-breasted roller
  33. Lion
  34. Long-tailed widowbird
  35. Marabou stork
  36. Martial eagle
  37. Nyala
  38. Ostrich
  39. Oxpecker
  40. Pied kingfisher
  41. Porcupine
  42. Red-necked francolin
  43. Reedbuck
  44. Rock hyrax
  45. Rosy-breasted longclaw
  46. Saddle-billed stork
  47. Secretarybird
  48. Short-tailed eagle
  49. Southern yellow-billed hornbill
  50. Spotted hyena
  51. Starling
  52. Stork
  53. Tawny eagle
  54. Thomson's gazelle
  55. Topi
  56. Tree python
  57. Vervet monkey
  58. Wahlberg's eagle
  59. Warthog
  60. Waterbuck
  61. White-backed vulture
  62. White rhinoceros
  63. Wildebeest
  64. Woodland kingfisher
  65. Yellow mongoose
  66. Zebra

There may be more that we have seen and not necessarily identified or recorded, and on our next trip, we may see other species that we have not previously encountered.

Published on Monday, 2 May, 2022.