a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
The African savannas are famous for the incredible diversity, size and spectacle of their mammals...
This diverse order includes lemurs, monkeys, apes, and of course us!
Chlorocebus pygerythrus, 'Vervet Monkey', (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).
These are the antelope with 'long faces'.
Wildebeest (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).
This small subfamily includes the Impala.
Aepyceros melampus, 'Impala'.
These are larger and 'spiral horned'.
Syncerus caffer, 'Cape Buffalo' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa). Because of their grumpy disposition, the African Buffalo has never been domesticated, in contrast to the Asian Water Buffalo.
Tragelaphus angasii, '(Lowland) Nyala' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi-Park, South Africa). They are among the most sexually dimorphic of all antelope; the male (pictured) has horns (with yellow tips), a shaggy appearance and dark colours, while the female (and young male) is lighter brown, more obvious white stripes, no horns, and quite slim (pictured below). They are usually seen on the edge of the more thickly forested areas within the savanna. They are reported to follow troops of baboons or vervet monkeys, feeding on the fruit they knock down out of the trees.
Female and young male Nyala are lighter brown with more obvious white stripes, and have no horns.
Giraffa camelopardalis, 'Giraffe' (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).
White Rhino (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).
Mungos mungo, 'Banded Mongoose' (Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda).
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.