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AFROTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Savanna

The African savannas are famous for the incredible diversity, size and spectacle of their mammals...

Order Proboscidea

African Elephant (image by Damon Ramsey)(Kazinga Channel, Uganda)

Loxodonta africana, 'African (Bush) Elephant'.

(Lake Mburo, Uganda)

Elephant scat. Big animal, big poo.


Order Primates

This diverse order includes lemurs, monkeys, apes, and of course us! 

Red Chilli Hideaway, Murchison Falls National Park

Family Cercopithecidae: Old World Monkeys

(Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa)

Chlorocebus pygerythrus, 'Vervet Monkey'.

(Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa)

'Vervet Monkey' in troop.

Order Rodentia

Family Sciuridae: Squirrels

(Mburo, Uganda)

Xerus erythropus, 'Striped Ground Squirrel'. Found in open habitats across sub-Saharan Africa.

Order Cetartiodactyla, Even-toed Ungulates and Cetacea

Family Bovidae: Cattle and Antelope


These are the antelope with 'long faces'.

"hey Gnu, why the long face?" (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa)

Connonchaetes taurinus, 'Blue Wildebeest'. Found in savanna in eastern and southern Africa. The closely related 'Black Wildebeest' is found in southern Africa.

(Mburo, Uganda)

Damaliscus lunatus jimela 'Topi'. A subspecies of the 'Common Tsessebe'. Distinguished from this species by overall rusty colour and darker patches on legs and nose.


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.

Family Suidae: Pigs

(Lake Mburo, Uganda)

Phacochoerus africanus, 'Common Warthog'. 

Family Giraffidae

Giraffa camelopardalis, 'Giraffe'  (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa). 

Order Perissodactyla, 'Odd-toed Ungulates (Hoofed) '

Family Equidae: Horses & Zebras

(Lake Mburo, Uganda)

Equus quagga, 'Common Zebra', 'Plains Zebra'. As suggested by the name, this is the most widespread and thus most commonly seen species of Zebra. Found in open habitats across southern and eastern Africa.

Family Rhinocerotidae, Rhinoceroses

White Rhino  (Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa).

Order Carnivora

Family Herpestidae: Mongoose

Mungos mungo, 'Banded Mongoose' (Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda).

To go back to the page on the African savanna

Throughout the virus I am working in Australia on and off as local borders close, mostly in the Kimberley with Coral Expeditions (May-September). If you can't go travelling until everything settles down, then until then, here I am doing online guided walks for Noble Caledonia and online lectures for Silversea.