How often have you enjoyed seeing animals stroll majestically in the forests? Most of you are probably thinking of the times you’ve seen it on National Geographic. What if I tell you that you can experience that in reality?
Africa is the best place for wildlife tourism. It is home to a wide variety of unique animals and has an abundance of game reserves and national parks to spot animals in their natural habitat. The Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, is one of the most visited national parks in the country. Getting familiar with the wildlife before your trip to Africa will ensure an unparalleled experience!
The ferocious big five [Best time – May to September]
Most people who safari in Africa hope to see the “Big 5”. The Big Five refers to five of Africa’s greatest wild animals – Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino, each with its own special traits. They were originally named so because they were the animals that were most dangerous and difficult to hunt. Of course, hunting is not allowed today! Africa is the only place where you can encounter such animals so closely in their natural environment. Imagine seeing giant elephants drinking water from a lake, a lion attacking its prey or a leopad sitting on the branch of a tree. That’s what you’ll see on a safari on a usual day. Thrilling much? If you’re going to Africa, your trip would be incomplete if you do not spot these 5 animals!
The not-so-ferocious mammals [Best time – May to September]
The “Big 5” are the most ferocious, but they are not the only animals in Africa! There are other animals that you shouldn’t miss on your wildlife tour. The sight of zebras grazing, cheetahs speeding through the forest, hippopotamuses taking a dip in the water with their bulky physique and giraffes trying to reach high branches with their long necks are common in Africa, while they are seen only in television shows in most other places. So, take your time to experience the most from the tour. Don’t just run behind the “big 5”. And don’t forget to take lots of pictures so that you can show off to your friends when you come back home!
Reptiles [Best time – April to June]
Africa also hosts a variety of reptiles. The Nile Crocodile is Africa’s largest living reptile. Other than crocodiles, you will find many types of turtles, snakes and lizards. Remember those days in school when one student spots a chameleon on a tree and all the others run out of class to see it? All of us still get excited when we spot a chameleon. Chameleons are reptiles too and they are found in large numbers in Madagascar. Madagascar is home to about half the world’s species of chameleons! So, you can play a game of ‘who can spot the maximum number of chameleons?’ with your fellow tourists. Yaay! That’s a good reason for you to visit Madagascar, isn’t it?
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Birds [Best time – December to April]
We can’t leave out the birds when we talk about wildlife. Some birds show elegance, some show beauty while others show strength. There are birds of all colours and sizes and each one is interesting in its own way. Africa has a beautiful population of birds that you wouldn’t want to miss! The Grey Crowned Crane in Africa is one of the most beautiful birds in the world. South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania are few of the African countries that are part of the list of countries with maximum bird population. If you love bird watching, you are in for a treat!
Marine life [Best time – June to November]
No, I’m not done yet! We haven’t discussed the “Marine Big 5”! The five marine animals that are popular in Africa are whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins! Those of you who thought that penguins can be spotted only in Antarctica, you’re wrong! You can find penguin colonies in the southern African waters! Of course, you’ve always wanted to see the flightless birds! Here’s the chance! Also Namibia has the largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere! And who doesn’t like dolphins? You know that dolphins are one of the friendliest animals but did you know that they are the most intelligent and happy creatures in the world? Find out for yourself in Africa!
Insects [Best time – November to April]
Sounds weird? Insects are regarded more of a nuisance, right? But Africa is different. They are proud of the beautiful insects that breed in their country. Relax, I’m talking about butterflies. Africa has a large population of butterflies. Hotspots for butterflies include the Congolian forests and the Guinean forest. South Africa has the largest proportion of a particular type of butterfly and is also home to the Dwarf Blue Butterfly, the smallest butterfly in the world that is smaller than the size of a regular human thumb! Can you imagine anything cuter than that? Definitely not the Goliath Beetle, which is the world’s largest and heaviest beetle native to Africa! It can weigh as much as 100 grams!
This is not all. Not only does Africa have a diverse population of wildlife, it also has amazing beaches, caves and gardens. Africa has various places of historical and cultural significance too, like the Robben Island, the ruins of the Kingdom of Mapungubwe and the Castle of Good Hope. The rich culture adds to all this and makes Africa an incredible tourist destination. Just drop us a Postcard to tick Africa off your bucket list!
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