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African Elephant

The African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) photo taken in Kariba, Zimbabwe

White Rhinoceros

Square-lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) photo taken in South Africa

Painted African Wild Dog

Painted Hunting Dog, African Hunting Dog or Cape Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus)

Burchell's Zebra

The Plains Zebra or or Burchell's Zebra (Equus quagga, formerly Equus burchelli)


The Leopard (Panthera pardus pardus)

Digital Cameras

Digital Cameras

what is the Best Digital Camera to take on Safari?

Safari Holiday Shop

Safari Holiday Shop

Over 650 safari package holidays available online or you can design your own.

Birdwatching Holidays

Birdwatching Holidays

Safari holidays, with an emphasis on the birds

Guide to Safari Mammals of Africa

Home > Flora & Fauna  > African Mammals

In this guide to the mammals of Africa I will focus on the wildlife that you are most likely to encounter on your safari holiday. These guides are not intended to be the ultimate resource to African mammals, but rather focus on some on some of their more interesting aspects and facts, things you may not know and some things that may surprise you. I will also answer the most commonly asked questions that I hear from my guests whilst on safari.

These wildlife guides will also point out some of the best place in Africa to see each animal.

Some Interesting African Mammals:

African Names of Animals

Did you know that a Lion is called Shumba in Shona or Simba in Swahili? For a fairly comprehensive list take a look at my African Names of Animals

African Mammal Books

Below are a few books that I often use not only for personal use, but as a reference tool for looking up more indepth information on a particular animal. All are highly recommended if you want to know more than just identifying a mammal:

The Behavior Guide to African Mammals
Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates
The Safari Companion: Guide to Watching African Mammals Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa
The Behavior Guide to African Mammals The Safari Companion: Guide to Watching African Mammals Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa
Highly Recommended
The Behavior Guide to African Mammals is as different from a conventional field guide as motion pictures are from a snapshot. Whether we are able to look at them face to face, on television, or in the hundreds of illustrations provided here by Daniel Otte, this guide allows us to understand what animals do and what their behavior means. Drawing on his own extensive fieldwork and on the research of many other scientists, Richard Estes describes and explains the behavior of four major groups of mammals. Estes's remarkably informative guide is as up-to-date for the zoologist as it is accessible for the interested onlooker.
Highly Recommended
Possibly the best field guide to observing and understanding the behavior of African mammals and an indispensable tool for anyone traveling to Africa. The Safari Companion enables you to recognise and interpret visible behavioral activities, such as courtship rituals, territorial marking, aggression, and care of young. Each account includes a behavioral table in which the unique actions of the hoofed mammals, carnivores, and primates are described for easy reference. In addition, useful maps show the major national boundaries, vegetation zones, and game parks as well as tips on wildlife photography, a list of organizations working to protect African wildlife, and advice on where and when to see the animals.
More than just a field guide, this is the definitive photographic guide to the mammals of southern Africa. Standing in contrast to guides that emphasize only Africa s larger mammals, it covers the diversity of small mammals: golden moles, sengis, hedgehogs and shrews, bats, hares and rabbits, and rodents. Including major biotic zones, mammal identification, conservation and management in Africa. Mammal families and subfamilies, color-coded to facilitate their location within the text. Identification is based on 470 excellent photographs emphasizing distinguishing features, along with 275 distribution maps. The 350 species accounts cover description, distribution, habitat, behavior, food, and reproduction.
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Best Cameras for Safari Digital Cameras for Safari

My guide to the best digital cameras for travel and wildlife photography. Including the best camera to take on Safari, bird photography and where you can buy cheap digital cameras >> more

Safari Clothing Advice Safari Jacket

Advice on what clothing you should bring with you on your Safari adventure in Africa. Including clothing colours materials, safari hats and shoes. >> more

African Mammals

Steiner Safari BinocularsAfter your camera, a good pair of binoculars is crucial in getting the most out of your Safari Holiday. So what is a good pair of binoculars? Here is my binocular guide and recommendations >> Binocular Reviews



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