Without a doubt one of the major attractions to Southern Africa is the wildlife safari. Whether it’s a 5 day budget safari in Kruger National Park or a camping overland safari from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, there is a plenty of wondrous wildlife to see in some of the most beautiful and unique locations in the world. On the top of most people list of wildlife to spot the big five, but don’t forget that there is a whole world of other animals to be found in Southern and East Africa. Many rare species of wildlife can only be found in in these remote regions and sadly some are even endangered. We have put together a list of our top favourite 5 endangered animals might come across while on a safari or overland tour with us.
The cheetah is known as the fastest land animal in the world. It is part of the cat family and is closely related to bobcats and pumas. The biggest threat to this beautiful cat is humans infringing on the habitat of these amazing animals. A cheetah can have a roaming habitat of up to 3000 square kilometres and with human cities expanding they are constantly competing with new roads, buildings and farmland.
There are only about 7100 cheetahs left in the world.
The Wild Dog
Also known as the painted hunting dog, the wild dog is up at the top of our list of endangered animals in Africa. They are very social animals, living in large packs but very elusive. To come across a pack of wild dogs in the wild is a very rare special experience that few people have enjoyed. The major threat to wild dogs is attacks from farmers protecting their live stock and disease.
There are about 5000 wild dogs left in the world of which only about 1000 are fully grown.
The Black Rhino
The Black rhino is distinguished by its hooked upper lip and two large horns which they use to dig for food and protection. Even though Rhinos are protected by law they are under constant threat of poaching in order to obtain their horns.
There are only about 4000 black rhinos left in the world with three subspecies declared extinct in 2011.
The Mountain Gorilla
With only two populations of Mountain Gorillas left on the planet these beautiful creatures are at high risk of going extinct. Despite conservation efforts leading to increased growth in the population over recent years, these gentle giants are far from safe. Poaching, habitat loss and war are major reason for the mountain gorillas decline.
There are only about 800 mountain Gorillas left in the world.
The Blue Crane
The Blue Crane is the national bird of south Africa. While their population is much larger than the other animals on this list, they are an endangered species due to their numbers decreasing by 90% over the last two decades. The biggest threat to these majestic birds is habitat loss, collision with electric wires and poisoning.
There are only about 26000 blue cranes left.
At the end of the day, human interference the major cause for all these animals being on the endangered list. Luckily there are a lot of organisations, parks and governments dedicating their time to protect these animals. It would truly be a sad day if any of this special creatures were to go extinct.
Many of our budget safaris offer you the chance to spot these rare animals in their natural habitats. The permit fees are used towards their conservation which hopefully one day will result in us being able to remove them from this list.
Ask to us today about when and where to go in order to catch a glimpse of these unique and elusive animals.