1. Tragelaphini – spiral-horned antelope

1. Tragelaphini - spiral-horned antelope

Bushbuck

The Cape bushbuck , also  known as imbabala is a common, medium-sized and a widespread species of antelope in sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in a wide range of habitats, such as rain forestsmontane forests, forest-savanna mosaic, savanna, bushveld, and woodland. Its stands around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh from 45 to 80 kg. They are generally solitary, territorial browsers.

Although rarely seen, as it spends most of its time deep in the thick bush, there are around 1 million in Africa

Common Eland

 The common eland (southern eland or eland antelope) is a large-sized savannah and plains antelope from East and Southern Africa. An adult male is around 1.6 m  tall at the shoulder (females are 20 cm  shorter) and can weigh up to 942 kg with a typical range of 500–600 kg. Only the giant eland is (on average bigger). It was described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766. Population of 136,000, can form herds of 500

Common Eland

Giant Eland

Giant Eland

The giant eland, (also known as Lord Derby’s eland and greater eland) is an open-forest and savanna antelope.

 It was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (87–114 in). There are two subspeciesT. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.

The giant eland is a herbivore, living in small mixed gender herds consisting of 15–25 members. Giant elands have large home ranges. They can run at up to 70 km/h.  They mostly inhabit broad-leafed savannas and woodlands and are listed as vulnerable and have a wild population of 12,000-14,000

Greater Kudu

The greater kudu  is a large woodland antelope, you can see its distribution on the map. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation, and poaching. 

The spiral horns are impressive, and grow at one curl every 3 years – they are fully grown at 7 and a half years with 2 and a half turns. Three subspecies have been agreed (one described has been rejected) :

 

  • T. s. strepsiceros – southern parts of the range from southern Kenya to Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa
  • T. s. chora – northeastern Africa from northern Kenya through Ethiopia to eastern Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea
  • T. s. cottoni – Chad and western Sudan
They are listed as near threatened with 118,000 in the wild
Greater Kudu

Lesser Kudu

Lesser Kudu

The lesser kudu  is a medium-sized bushland antelope found in East Africa.  It was first scientifically described by English zoologist Edward Blyth (1869).It stands around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh from 45 to 80 kg. They are generally solitary, territorial browsers.

While currently rated not threatened, its population is decreasing. It currently stands at 100,000, but it is loosing territory to humans

Common Bongo (and mountain Bongo)

The bongo  is a large, mostly nocturnal, forest-dwelling antelope, native to sub-Saharan Africa. Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes, and long slightly spiralled horns. It is the only member of its family in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics. They are the third-largest antelope in the world.

The Common (western or lowland bongo), faces an ongoing population decline, and the IUCN considers it to be Near Threatened.

The mountain bongo (or eastern) of Kenya, has a coat even more vibrant than the common version. The mountain bongo is only found in the wild in a few mountain regions of central Kenya. This bongo is classified by the IUCN  as Critically Endangered (where it breeds readily). (this is not on the map above). Only 100 live wild, split between 4 areas of Kenya

Common Bongo

Nyala

Nyala

The Nyala is a spiral horned species

 found in Southern Africa. The nyala is mainly active in the early morning and the late afternoon. It generally browses during the day if temperatures are 20–30 °C  and during the night in the rainy season. The nyala feeds upon foliage, fruits and grasses, and requires sufficient fresh water. It is a very shy animal, and prefers water holes to the river bank. Not territorial, they are very cautious creatures. They live in single-sex or mixed family groups of up to 10 individuals, but old males live alone. They inhabit thickets within dense and dry savanna woodlands. The main predators of the nyala are lion, leopard and African wild dog, while baboons and raptorial birds prey on juveniles. Males and females are sexually mature at 18 and 11–12 months of age respectively, though they are socially immature until five years old. They have one calf after 7 months of gestation. Its population is stable, with the greatest threat coming from habitat loss as humans expand. There are thought to be 36500 and the population is stable.

Mountain Nyala

 The mountain Nyala (also known as the Balbok) is a large antelope found in high altitude woodlands in just a small part of central Ethiopia. The coat is grey to brown, marked with two to five poorly defined white strips extending from the back to the underside, and a row of six to ten white spots. White markings are present on the face, throat and legs as well. Males have a short dark erect crest, about 10 cm (3.9 in) high, running along the middle of the back. Only males possess horns.

The mountain nyala are shy and elusive towards human beings. They form small temporary herds. Males are not territorial. Primarily a browser. They will grazing occasionally. Males and females are sexually mature at 2 years old.. Gestation lasts for eight to nine months, after which a single calf is born. The lifespan of a mountain nyala is around 15 to 20 years.

Found in mountain woodland -between 3000m and 4000m. Human settlement and large livestock population have forced the animal to occupy heath forests at an altitude of above 3,400 m (11,200 ft). Mountain nyala are endemic to the Ethiopian highlands east of the Rift Valley. As much as half of the population live within 200 square km (77 sq mi) area of Gaysay, in the northern part of the Bale Mountains National Park. The mountain nyala has been classified under the Endangered category of the  (IUCN). Their influence on Ethiopian culture is notable, with the mountain nyala being featured on the obverse of Ethiopian ten cents coins.

Mountain Nyala

Situnga Antelope

Situnga

The sitatunga  (or marshbuck)is a swamp-dwelling medium-sized antelope found throughout central Africa (see the map to the right. The sitatunga is mostly confined to swampy and marshy habitats. Here they occur in tall and dense vegetation as well as seasonal swamps, marshy clearings in forests, riparian thickets and mangrove swamps.

The scientific name of the sitatunga is Tragelaphus spekii. The species was first described by the English explorer John Hanning Speke in 1863.

It is listed as least concern with 170,000-200,000, and are found in 25 countries. However 40% live outside reserves, so the situation could get worse fast.

Note: these animals have been dealt with in less detail than others. Should you be interested in finding out if I have written on these animals or what exactly I said, you can find a list of articles about each below its information.

Eastern tree Hyrax

Eastern tree hyrax

Eastern tree hyrax is the most localized of the tree hyrax species, only found in places within a narrow band of lowland and montane forests in Kenya and Tanzania and close-by islands. A solitary species, it lives in tree cavities, and communicates with others, through scent marking and high pitched calls. 

They are classed as near threatened by the IUCN, with poaching being a big threat, particularly on Mount Kilimanjaro and throughout the Eastern arc mountains.

As we connect with people, any destinations will be listed below

Southern Tree Hyrax

Southern Tree Hyrax

Photo credit: Charles J Sharp

Southern Tree Hyrax

Southern tree hyrax It is found in temperate forests, subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, moist savanna, and rocky areas.

It may be found at elevations up to 4,500m across a wide range of countries, which include Angola, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.. It is largely nocturnal. The males call is an alarming series of shrieks.

It is listed as least concern.

While these are often a species that you just see, when you stop by a pile of rocks, tourism is likely to help give these curious little mammals some value. I will add links below the news section (though it may take time for it to have any articles listed), as I make them.

As we make connections for places to see these animals they will be added below.

Red panda

Red Panda

Recent genetic analysis has shown that the red panda is not in fact a small bear, but instead has a closer relationship to raccoons, mustelids (badgers otters and the like) and skunks. However, what is even more fascinating, is that the next closest related family is in fact the pinipeds (seals sealions and similar) and only after this, do we find the giant panda amongst the other bears.

What is fascinating, though, is that this is the original panda. The red panda was discovered and named in 1825, while the giant panda was only discovered in 1869. I cannot find any articles on it, but I suspect that the red panda was also long-known about in China before its discovery as well.

It is not closely related to the giant panda, which is a bear, though they do share a number of features such as elongated wrist bones or “false thumbs” used for grasping bamboo (so-called convergent evolution; where distantly related species evolve the same features, because it allows each to survive well in the wild – eating what they eat (or similar). The evolutionary lineage of the red panda (Ailuridae) goes back as far as 18-25 million years ago, and there are a variety of fossils in this lineage, found in Europe and North America.

So what has happened in recent times? They were known to be found in  two different places, one of them lives in the Himalayas and the other in China. What has been discovered in recent times, is that these are not only subspecies, but separate species – and are thought to have split 250,000 years ago. However, while this is clearly true, it may well need to be forgotten – there are only 10,000 red pandas left in the wild as the top possible estimate, some suggest that there are actually only 2500 – we may have no choice in conserving both species, but have to interbreed them to help just one mixed group of red pandas, rather than loosing all red pandas from the wild. They live in coniferous forests as well as temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, favouring steep slopes with dense bamboo cover close to water sources. Most of its nutrients come from bamboo stems and leaves,

Support for these wild populations is essential. The best way to help justify their long term survival, is for local people to see them as a financial gift. This can happen quickly, with not that many people going there.

Below is a video for each, below that is a list of any articles which mention this fascinating creature, and below that, we will add any links that  will help you see these animals in the wild.

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Hyrax

Rock hyrax

Hyrax

The Hyrax is a family of species. All falling in the Order Hyracoidea, and the family Pracaviidae. While their look would not suggest it, this family is very closely related to the elephant

Within this family, there are 3 Genus, 2 with just one species, and one with 4. You will see labeled pictures below. Click on any to find out more.

                          Heterohyrax                                                                                                                                                 Dendrohyrax

                         Procavia

It should be noted, that the Benin tree hyrax was only decided in recent years, as such it is still debated as to whether it is a separate species, or just subspecies.

As many as 50 subspecies have been described. As destinations for these different species start to get added, I will add these to the grid above. As with all species on this website, we are eager to work with people on the ground, to allow tourism to see this species. given how well hyraxes do outside reserves, it may well be a species easier seen in areas of local population. Get in touch if you have a destination to list (link at the top of the main page. While fascinating to watch (we watched one eat a whole banana skin) they are often overlooked. They have less status than lions and elephants, but can also be found in more places

Yellow-spotted hyrax, has a recognized 25 subspecies, though given the vast range of this species, this is perhaps not a surprise. They generally live in rocky areas and rock Kojes, that can be seen littered across savannah

It is (in some areas) hunted by humans, which has caused local problems. They are browsers, eating leaves twigs and other edible things it comes across (I have seen one eat a banana skin.

It is listed as least concern

 

Southern tree hyrax It is  found in temperate forests, subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, moist savanna, and rocky areas.

It may be found at elevations up to 4,500m across a wide range of countries. It is largely nocturnal. The males call is an alarming series of shrieks.

It is listed as least concern.

Western tree hyrax, also known as the western tree dassie or Beecroft tree hyrax,

Western tree hyraxes tend to be solitary, and only occasionally are found in groups of two or three. They are nocturnal and generally feed at night. It has been noted that this species is an especially adept climber. The gestation period is about eight months with a litter size one or two young.

It is listed as least concern

Rock or cape hyrax has 5 recognized subspecies, again, unsurprising given its vast range. Generally having a hide within a natural rock cavity, Rock hyraxes are social animals that live in colonies of up to 50 individuals. They sleep in one group, and start the day, warming up in the sun

They are also listed as least concern

Eastern tree hyrax is the most localized of the tree hyrax species, only found in places within a narrow band of lowland and montane forests in Kenya and Tanzania and close-by islands. A solitary species, it lives in tree cavities, and communicates with others, through scent marking and high pitched calls. 

They are classed as near threatened by the IUCN, with poaching being a big threat, particularly on Mount Kilimanjaro and throughout the Eastern arc mountains.

Benin tree hyrax is found in the region between the Niger and Volta Rivers in West Africa, hence the name.

It can be distinguished from neighbouring Dendrohyrax dorsalis by its night-time barking vocalizations, its shorter and broader skull, and its lighter pelage.

This is a species that is not currently agreed. However, if/when it is, it has been assessed by the IUCN as being least concern

1. Tragelaphini – spiral-horned antelope

1. Tragelaphini - spiral-horned antelope

Bushbuck

The Cape bushbuck , also  known as imbabala is a common, medium-sized and a widespread species of antelope in sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in a wide range of habitats, such as rain forestsmontane forests, forest-savanna mosaic, savanna, bushveld, and woodland. Its stands around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh from 45 to 80 kg. They are generally solitary, territorial browsers.

Although rarely seen, as it spends most of its time deep in the thick bush, there are around 1 million in Africa

Select a shortcode

Common Eland

 The common eland (southern eland or eland antelope) is a large-sized savannah and plains antelope from East and Southern Africa. An adult male is around 1.6 m  tall at the shoulder (females are 20 cm  shorter) and can weigh up to 942 kg with a typical range of 500–600 kg. Only the giant eland is (on average bigger). It was described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766. Population of 136,000, can form herds of 500

Common Eland

Giant Eland

Giant Eland

The giant eland, (also known as Lord Derby’s eland and greater eland) is an open-forest and savanna antelope.

 It was described in 1847 by John Edward Gray. The giant eland is the largest species of antelope, with a body length ranging from 220–290 cm (87–114 in). There are two subspeciesT. d. derbianus and T. d. gigas.

The giant eland is a herbivore, living in small mixed gender herds consisting of 15–25 members. Giant elands have large home ranges. They can run at up to 70 km/h.  They mostly inhabit broad-leafed savannas and woodlands and are listed as vulnerable and have a wild population of 12,000-14,000

Greater Kudu

The greater kudu  is a large woodland antelope, you can see its distribution on the map. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation, and poaching. 

The spiral horns are impressive, and grow at one curl every 3 years – they are fully grown at 7 and a half years with 2 and a half turns. Three subspecies have been agreed (one described has been rejected) :

 

  • T. s. strepsiceros – southern parts of the range from southern Kenya to Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa
  • T. s. chora – northeastern Africa from northern Kenya through Ethiopia to eastern Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea
  • T. s. cottoni – Chad and western Sudan
They are listed as near threatened with 118,000 in the wild
Greater Kudu

Lesser Kudu

Lesser Kudu

The lesser kudu  is a medium-sized bushland antelope found in East Africa.  It was first scientifically described by English zoologist Edward Blyth (1869).It stands around 90 cm at the shoulder and weigh from 45 to 80 kg. They are generally solitary, territorial browsers.

While currently rated not threatened, its population is decreasing. It currently stands at 100,000, but it is loosing territory to humans

Common Bongo (and mountain Bongo)

The bongo  is a large, mostly nocturnal, forest-dwelling antelope, native to sub-Saharan Africa. Bongos are characterised by a striking reddish-brown coat, black and white markings, white-yellow stripes, and long slightly spiralled horns. It is the only member of its family in which both sexes have horns. Bongos have a complex social interaction and are found in African dense forest mosaics. They are the third-largest antelope in the world.

The Common (western or lowland bongo), faces an ongoing population decline, and the IUCN considers it to be Near Threatened.

The mountain bongo (or eastern) of Kenya, has a coat even more vibrant than the common version. The mountain bongo is only found in the wild in a few mountain regions of central Kenya. This bongo is classified by the IUCN  as Critically Endangered (where it breeds readily). (this is not on the map above). Only 100 live wild, split between 4 areas of Kenya

Common Bongo

Nyala

Nyala

The Nyala is a spiral horned species

 found in Southern Africa. The nyala is mainly active in the early morning and the late afternoon. It generally browses during the day if temperatures are 20–30 °C  and during the night in the rainy season. The nyala feeds upon foliage, fruits and grasses, and requires sufficient fresh water. It is a very shy animal, and prefers water holes to the river bank. Not territorial, they are very cautious creatures. They live in single-sex or mixed family groups of up to 10 individuals, but old males live alone. They inhabit thickets within dense and dry savanna woodlands. The main predators of the nyala are lion, leopard and African wild dog, while baboons and raptorial birds prey on juveniles. Males and females are sexually mature at 18 and 11–12 months of age respectively, though they are socially immature until five years old. They have one calf after 7 months of gestation. Its population is stable, with the greatest threat coming from habitat loss as humans expand. There are thought to be 36500 and the population is stable.

Mountain Nyala

 The mountain Nyala (also known as the Balbok) is a large antelope found in high altitude woodlands in just a small part of central Ethiopia. The coat is grey to brown, marked with two to five poorly defined white strips extending from the back to the underside, and a row of six to ten white spots. White markings are present on the face, throat and legs as well. Males have a short dark erect crest, about 10 cm (3.9 in) high, running along the middle of the back. Only males possess horns.

The mountain nyala are shy and elusive towards human beings. They form small temporary herds. Males are not territorial. Primarily a browser. They will grazing occasionally. Males and females are sexually mature at 2 years old.. Gestation lasts for eight to nine months, after which a single calf is born. The lifespan of a mountain nyala is around 15 to 20 years.

Found in mountain woodland -between 3000m and 4000m. Human settlement and large livestock population have forced the animal to occupy heath forests at an altitude of above 3,400 m (11,200 ft). Mountain nyala are endemic to the Ethiopian highlands east of the Rift Valley. As much as half of the population live within 200 square km (77 sq mi) area of Gaysay, in the northern part of the Bale Mountains National Park. The mountain nyala has been classified under the Endangered category of the  (IUCN). Their influence on Ethiopian culture is notable, with the mountain nyala being featured on the obverse of Ethiopian ten cents coins.

Mountain Nyala

Situnga Antelope

Situnga

The sitatunga  (or marshbuck)is a swamp-dwelling medium-sized antelope found throughout central Africa (see the map to the right. The sitatunga is mostly confined to swampy and marshy habitats. Here they occur in tall and dense vegetation as well as seasonal swamps, marshy clearings in forests, riparian thickets and mangrove swamps.

The scientific name of the sitatunga is Tragelaphus spekii. The species was first described by the English explorer John Hanning Speke in 1863.

It is listed as least concern with 170,000-200,000, and are found in 25 countries. However 40% live outside reserves, so the situation could get worse fast.

Note: these animals have been dealt with in less detail than others. Should you be interested in finding out if I have written on these animals or what exactly I said, you can find a list of articles about each below its information.

Amazon River Dolphin

Amazon river dolphin by Oceancetaceen sometimes known as the Orinoco

Amazon Dolphin

The Amazon river dolphin, (other names include boto, bufeo or pink river dolphin), is a species of toothed whale endemic to South America and is classified in the family Iniidae. Three subspecies are currently recognized: Amazon river dolphin,, Bolivian river dolphin and the Orinoco river dolphin while position of Araguaian river dolphin  within the clade is still unclear The three subspecies are each found in a separate river basin (in order) the Amazon basin, the upper Madeira River in Bolivia, and the Orinoco basin.

The Amazon river dolphin is the largest species of river dolphin, with adult males reaching 185 kilograms (408 lb) in weight, and 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length. Adults acquire a pink colour, more prominent in males, giving it its nickname “pink river dolphin”. Sexual dimorphism is very evident, with males measuring 16% longer and weighing 55% more than females.

Like other toothed whales, they have a melon, an organ that is used for bio sonar. The dorsal fin, although short in height, is regarded as long, and the pectoral fins are also large. The fin size, unfused vertebrae, and its relative size allow for improved manoeuvrability when navigating flooded forests and capturing prey.

They have one of the widest ranging diets among toothed whales, and feed on up to 53 different species of fish, such as croakers, catfish, tetras and piranhas. They also consume other animals such as river turtles, aquatic frogs, and freshwater crabs. However, this is not particularly surprising, as there are so many forms of life in the Amazon rainforest, and plenty is likely to occasionally find themselves in the river.

In 2018, this species was classed as endangered, by the IUCN with a declining population. Threats include incidental catch in fishing lines, direct hunting for use as fish bait or predator control, damming, and pollution; as with many species, habitat loss and continued human development is becoming a greater threat.

While it is the only species of river dolphin kept in captivity, almost exclusively in Venezuela and Europe, it is difficult to train and often die very young, when kept in captivity..

Life expectancy of the Amazon river dolphin in the wild is unknown, but in captivity, the longevity of healthy individuals has been recorded at between 10 and 30 years. However, a 1986 study of the average longevity of this species in captivity in the United States is only 33 months. An individual named Baby at the  Duisburg Zoo, Germany, lived at least 46 years, spending 45 years, 9 months at the zoo.

Below you will find any news articles on Amazon dolphin (though articles with both words also get sucked in). Also  we will add any information on where you can go to see these in the wild, beneath both of these.

Agile Mangabey

Agile Mangabey

The agile mangabey is an Old World monkey of the white-eyelid mangabey group found in swampy forests of Central Africa in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, and DR Congo.

Until 1978, it was considered a subspecies of the Tana River mangabey. More recently, the golden-bellied mangabey  has been considered a separate species instead of a subspecies of the agile mangabey.

Similar to other mangabeys, they are active during the day. Although generally tree-living, they do spend a significant portion of their time (12–22%) on the ground, especially during the dry season. It is often heard first, and males have a loud, species-specific call that is believed to be used to space themselves out – in a similar way that wolves operate with howls. Other calls are also used to maintain group cohesion and warn of predators. Group size can be as high as 18 members, led by a single dominant male. Group meetings can be friendly and may involve exchange of members.

Adult males not in groups often travel singly.

Fruit makes up a major portion of the agile mangabey diet. They are known to eat at least 42 different species of fruit. Their tooth structure and powerful jaws allows them to open tough pods and fruits that many other monkeys can not access. Agile mangabeys eat from a number of dominant swamp-forest trees, including Irvingia, Sugar plums when they are fruiting. They also eat fresh leaf shoots from Raffia palm when fruits are scarce. Grass and mushrooms, Invertebrates, bird’s eggs and some vertebrate prey, such as rodents.

As we find links, to help you book to see this species, the links will be added at the bottom of the page.

Primate family tree main and great and lesser apes

Primate family tree

The primates are in some ways one of the most successful families. It is true that many are now endangered, however, unfortunately, that is as a result of the run-away success of the most successful member of the primate family us! Having left the rainforests behind, we have been reducing their coverage dramatically over the last few centuries. 

The sad thing, is that while we have pushed many of our closest cousins towards extinction, the loss of forests may well cost us dearly in the future as well. As a species, we need to pull together to meet this challenge. in order to jump to the various families, click on the family of interest above – though all can also be reached by scrolling down.

Great Apes

Great ape Family split is thought to have split from its nearest relative – the gibbon family, around 17 million years ago.

4 million years later the Orangutan family split from the gorilla line and the human/chimp line.

3 million years after this (so around 10 million years ago) the gorilla family split from the Homo (humans) and Pan

Finally the human line (homo) split from the Pan line 5-6 million years ago.

It should be noted, that chimpanzees and Bonobos split from a common ancestor just 1.8 million years ago. This occurred as the two populations ceased to be able to have contact with each other – the Congo rive formed between 1.5 and 2 million years ago.

For more information on each species, click on their photo and this will take you to their page

It should be noted that while I have grouped eastern western and skywalker gibbon together, there is some contention that the skywalker gibbon should be in its own genus, having diverged around half a million years aog

Gibbons

Allens swamp monkey

Allens swamp monkey

The Allens swamp monkey is found in the Congo basin in central Africa. They are concentrated in lowland forests of this region, including Cameroon, Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – as the name suggests, they inhabit swampy forests.

Given where they choose to live, they are currently listed as least concern, however, the population is declining, as a result of a mixture of hunting for the bushmeat trade, and habitat loss. While it is also hunted by raptors, snakes and bonobos, this hunting relies on the availability of the monkey, which means that as populations decrease there is less hunting, unfortunately we humans have overcome this natural method to stop extinction.

Below is a list of articles on this site which have been published on this site, and below this is a camera trap video of this monkey in the wild. Below both of these, we will add any links to places where this species can be seen in the wild, which will help the survival of this species.

See Animals Wild