It is the wildlife that has made Africa safari tour package one of the best vacation plans for travellers in the African continent. While the culture and heritage have always astonished the crowd, wildlife is something that is the key to tourism.
Wilderness in Africa has always amazed the travellers with diverse species and some unique traits. The continent is blessed with vast savannah and flora that supports a large group of wilds in the remote and dense region. Somewhere with the increasing interference of humans in the wilds like poaching, deforestation and tourism, the wilderness has been exploited to adverse resulting in loss of habitat and extinction of wildlife. There are conservation programs that are initiated for the protection of some endangered species through preserving their habitat and imposing fine or penalty for killing. The National parks of Africa are continuously working to save the environment of the most endangered wilds. While conservation is one way, educational tours and safari are organized to better understand these wild and their wilderness for Africa package.
African Wild Dog
The African Wild Dogs are the most endangered and famous wilds of the African terrains. When it comes to spotting a wild dog, one can usually find a pack with around 40 African wild dogs at a time or else they are difficult to sight. These endangered wilds are characterized by the black spots on their body due to which they are known as Painted Hunting Dog.
Cape Hunting Dog or African wild dogs are the social carnivores that indeed are an essential part of the African savannah. With a speed of 44km per hour, these creatures can be heard making some chittering noise, distinct from the domestic dogs we hear each day. The main threats to them are road accidents, livestock farmers, infectious diseases and habitat division. The African wild dogs can be spotted in Mana Pools National Park, Hwange National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa Linyanti Concession and Selinda Concession during Africa safari tour package.
The only wolf species of Africa, Ethiopian wolf has been declared the rarest species of Africa in 2004. Characterized by the rusty red colour and jackal and dog-like appearance, the wolf is endemic to Ethiopia and therefore is known as Ethiopian wolf.
Records state that the number of wolfs existing in this world is around 500 and the major reason behind their extinction is habitats loss due to agriculture or commercial farming and human interference for development. Despite being endangered and endemic to Ethiopia, spotting these wolves can be easier in Bale Mountain National Park.
One of the most popular species one can spot in Cape Town for South Africa vacation package, the African Penguins are the most endangered creature. While a large population of these penguins can be found in Cape Town, Boulder’s bay, still the climate change and oil spill have killed thousands of penguins in recent years.
The penguins wear a dapper black coat with white plumage while their voice is nothing less than the harsh cry of jack-ass. Today only 52,000 mature African penguins are recorded while their population is declining each year at a rapid rate.
Black Rhino is the most endangered species of Africa while one of the subspecies is already extinct. It is due to popular demand of the horn, Black Rhino is endangered and on a continuous verge of extinction. Poaching in the wilds savannah of Africa have killed a large population of Rhino and the recent study claims that only 5000 or less Black Rhino species is living in the conservation parks of Africa.
The black rhino is an essential part of African wilds making it one of the popular big five for South Africa safari tours. While habitat loss has made a great impact in the population of Black Rhino, conservation programs in Ol Pejeta Conservancy have been set up reduce or stop poaching in and around the African National Parks.
A distinct species from the plains zebra, Grevy’s Zebras are listed as the endangered African wilds since 1968 and till now there has been no rise in their population. The estimated population of these unique zebra is around 750 making them critically endangered.
What makes the Grevy’s Zebra different from the plain Zebra species is their narrow stripes and a white belly. These are the first species of Zebra to evolve after the asses having black dorsal stripe and round ears. The major reason behind the decrease in population of Grevy’s Zebra is the degradation of habitat and scarcity of water, hunting and infectious diseases.
The Grevy’s Zebra can be spotted during Africa safari tour in regions of Kenya like Tsavo National Park and Kenya game parks safari.
It is the spot that makes African Rothschild’s Giraffe different from the rest of the species. A slight difference in the colour and pattern can be spotted only when you observe the two different species closely. This is one of the most popular wild species people love seeing during the safari tours but it is due to the loss of habitat that has made them an endangered wild species of Africa.
In 2010, the population of Africa giraffe was recorded as 670 individuals but the rise in their population is too slow to make them still an endangered animal preserved in the wilderness of Africa. The species were earlier found in regions like Kenya, Uganda and Sudan but today seeing the populations of Rothschild’s Giraffe is possible in regions of western Kenya and northern Ugandaduring Africa safari tour packages.
The closest relative to humans, Chimpanzee share 98% of human genes making them like-human wild species. Today Chimps are limited to certain regions of Africa making them one of the endangered wilds of Africa. There are only 150,000 chimpanzees left in the world that can be spotted in the wildlife reserves of Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Earlier the populations were dwelling in Burkina Faso, Gambia, Benin and Togo where they are extinct now.
Conservation steps have been taking for them but habitat loss and the demand for bushmeat have increased the threat. Another threat the chimps possess is human infectious disease and interference of human in the forest area for wood and mining. There are tours organized to make humans aware of these species and better understand the behaviour and habitat to create awareness through Chimpanzee trekking for Africa tour package.
The shy and small animal Pangolin is one of the endangered and illegally trafficked species. These are the gentle creatures with scales or plates in their body who fed on insects like an ant. It is believed that the scales or plates of Pangolins have medicinal values and in Chinese traditional remedy these are used for treating lactation difficulties and arthritis without any proven benefit.
Coming to conservation and keeping a track record about the population of these endangered species, it is difficult to estimate the number present today as Pangolins are nocturnal and private making the censor hard. The species have limited their region and can be seen in during South Africa safari tour in Tswalu Private Game Reserve.
The subspecies of Gorilla, Mountain Gorilla are found only in two regions of Africa, Uganda and Rwanda. Today the Mountain Gorillas are the critically endangered species standing on the verge of being extinct. The major cause behind the extinction of these species is human conflict, loss of habitat that can be due to deforestation or civil wars.
Mountain Gorillas are not seen in any zoo as the youngsters are not able to survive the journey away from their parents. There are tours organized in Uganda and Rwanda as Gorilla trekking in the two famous national parks Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Volcanoes National Park. With their less population and extinction form almost every other destination, these are the most popular tours travellers get for their Africa tour package.
Once listed as vulnerable, Cheetah today is the critically endangered species of Africa. One of the big cats, Cheetah is known for its hunting and speed that can reach 60mph in 3 seconds. With their lean body, smaller as compared to lion and leopard, the cheetah can be distinguished by their body stripes and structure.
Cheetah possesses a great danger from farmers or humans, who kill them to protect their livestock. Programs are being organized in Africa to protect these endangered cats whose population is counted around 10 000-15 000 adults. The national parks of Africa and game reserves house these endangered wild cats that can be seen during safari for your Africa holiday package.