"South African Wildlife" South Africa Travelogue by Deefstes
South Africa Travel Guide: 11,841 reviews and 27,852 photos
The logical start in a series on South African mammals I suppose would be the Big Five.
In Africa these five animals are regarded the ultimates.
1. African Elephant (Loxodonta Africana)
No need explaining why this magnifficent animal makes the top 5.
2. Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
These bovine creatures look very placid but can be extremely dangerous - especially when wounded.
3. Leopard (Panthera pardus)
My personal favourite of all animals. The Leopard is such a graceful animal and you can't not be moved when you see one in the wild. You don't get to see one all that often either so it adds to the thrill.
4. Lion (Panthera leo)
The Lion is regarded the king of the animal kingdom. Once you see how strong and fierce they are you'll understand why.
5. Lioness (Panthera leo)
The females do most of the hunting and the males get the first meal. Do you think we'd be able to implement such a system in human sociology?
6. White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)
There are two sorts of Rhino. The White Rhino is the bigger of the two and the Black Rhino the scarcer (hence the picture of a White Rhino).
Here are some of the larger antelopes of South Africa.
1. Grey Rhebok (Pelea capreolus)
Yes and you thought it was a trainer. There's a slight difference in spelling though.
2. Mountain Reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula)
A close relative to the Grey Rhebok
3. Reedbuck (Redunca arundinum)
A close relative to the Mountain Reedbuck - and the Grey Rhebok
4. Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)
5. Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus)
6. Eland (Taurotragus oryx)
The Eland is the largest of all antelopes and they are truly enormous. You can cut the same amount of meat from one Eland than you would from two cows.
7. Blesbuck (Damaliscus phillipsi)
8. Bontebuck (Damaliscus dorcas)
9. Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
10. Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus)
These are the beauties of the South African bushveld.
1. Common Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia)
2. Bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus)
One of my personal favourites
3. Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus)
4. Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)
5. Springbok (Antidorcas marsuplialis)
Our official mammal (and Rugby team mascot).
6. Impala (Aepyceros melampus)
By far the most common of all antelopes (especially when visiting the Kruger National Park)
Here are some of the animals you get to see quite often.
1. Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
Named after the camel and the leopard (in latin that is). They're gorgeous and a real treat to see.
2. Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
Also known as a Gnu these funny looking beasts are a real African hallmark.
3. Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)
4. Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus)
5. Burchell's Zebra (Equus burchellii)
You quite often see these in numbers grazing alongside the Blue Wildebeest.
6. Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra)
Not quite as common as the Burchell's Zebra but just as funky. Bonus marks for the person who can point out the identification features. Hint: look at the belly and the rump.
Here are some more fairly common mammals of South Africa.
1. Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
These strange creatures have rather weak hind legs but amazingly strong jaws. Apparently they can bite clean through a Buffalo's femur.
2. Tree Squirrel (Paraxerus cepapi)
One of the common squirrels of the bushveld.
3. Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus)
No, this is not a self-portrait - despite the striking resemblances.
4. Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
A real nuisance to sheep farmers but a beautiful canine.
5. Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops)
These little buggers can become a real nuissance.
6. Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
Better known as a Dassie locally. They look like ROUS's (Rodents Of Unusual Size) but are in reality the closest relative of the Elephant. Yes, it's ridiculous but it is actually the truth.
Some animals you see often, others you see very rarely. Having a camera at the ready whenever you do is often just a sheer luck shot but here are some pictures of some animals that I was fortunate enough to snap.
1. Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)
OK, not really that rare but still, I had to go on a pelagic trip to get this picture.
2. Egyptian Freetailed Bat (Tadarida aegyptiaca)
I actually managed to catch this one. Otherwise I would have had no way of identifying it. Bats are generally despised but let me tell you, they are adorable little creatures.
3. Small Grey Mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta)
In the arid west of the country this one isn't really rare either. Personally I've only seen it once though.
4. Subantarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus tropicalis)
A massively rare species for South Africa. They inhabit the subantarctic islands and occasionally wander as far afield as South Africa, South America or New Zealand.
5. Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatilis)
OK sorry, this one isn't that rare but I had to fill up the page. At least, it's not as common as the Cape Hare.
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