Mammals
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.

Hyraxes

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

Alcelaphinae

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.

Aepycerotinae

This small subfamily includes the Impala.

Aepyceros melampus, 'Impala'.

Bovinae

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

(Mburo, Uganda)

Giraffa camelopardalis, 'Giraffe'. Usually considered one species, with many different isolated sub-species across the sub-Saharan African continent. However, taxonomy varies, with some suggesting up to eight different species.

(Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, South Africa)

'Giraffe' are the tallest animal on the planet. They are the tallest ruminant, being able to access foliage other hoofed animas cannot. The tend to feed on the leaves, fruits and flowers of Acacia trees. They tend to drink regularly, at least every three days. They live in the more open savanna habitats.

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


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