For a lot of people who decide to visit Africa their main interest is to view the Wildlife. No other continent offers the same opportunities to see such diverse spectrum of wildlife often in very close proximity.
Learning a little about the animals you may see before you travel will enhance your wildlife viewing experience greatly.
Most people who safari in Africa hope to see the "BIG 5". The Big Five refers to five of Africa's greatest wild animals - Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino.
Some interesting facts about African Wildlife
There are over 1,100 different species of mammals in Africa and over 2,600 species of birds.
Four of the five fastest land animals live in Africa - fastest is the cheetah at 70 mph, wildebeest, lion and Thomson's gazelle all about 50 mph.
Having a wingspan of only ½", the smallest butterfly in the world is found in South Africa. It is know as the Dwarf Blue Butterfly.
Madagascar is the home of the worlds largest as well as the smallest chameleons! Almost half of the worlds chameleon species live on the island of Madagascar.
The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.
An elephant can weigh 6 - 7 tons and has no natural enemies.
An elephant drinks up to 160 liters of water per day.
An African elephant possesses such "manual" dexterity in his/her trunk tip that he/she can actually turn the pages of a book with it.
The only place where shoals of fresh water sardines are found is in Lake Tanganyika.
The world's biggest frog is found in the Cameroon. Named the goliath frog, their body can be one-foot long.
The tongue of a giraffe can be as long as 45cm.
Giraffes have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as humans, seven in total, but much larger.
Giraffes are 6ft tall when they are born.
It's thought that the Giraffes neck has grown so long due to the males mating battles. During battle they whip each other with their necks and heads, the winner and eventual mate usually being the one landing the harder blows, enhanced by a slightly longer neck.
The world's largest and heaviest beetle, the Goliath Beetle is found in tropical Africa. It can reach a length of 5 inches and weigh up to ¼ lb.
The Gorilla is the largest of the living primates, male gorillas weigh up to 200kg, yet are shy and retiring vegetarians.
Lions are unique in that they are the only cats to live in groups (prides). They are the largest member of the cat family and the largest of all the African carnivores. They are are the top predator in any African ecosystem where they live. The roar of a lion can be heard over 8 kilometers away.
The Nile crocodile is Africa's largest living reptile - growing to an average length of 5m.
South Africa has a penguin colony, which thrives thanks to the cold Antarctic currents on the west coast near the Cape.
The largest seal colony in the southern hemisphere is at Cape Cross in Namibia.