There’s something about seeing an animal in its natural habitat that makes you want to stick your head out of a 4x4 to catch a glimpse. Everyone rushes to one side, almost tipping the safari jeep over, to see an elephant waving its trunk or a lion yawning.
Kenya is not only home to dozens of safaris but also displays an extraordinary array of wildlife. Here are some of the animals you could see on safari.
Elephants – One thing that distinguishes African elephants from Asian elephants are their ears. Many say African elephants’ ears are in the shape of their continent. They’re also larger and have curved, sunken backs in comparison to Asian elephants.
Grevy’s Zebra – This rare group of zebra’s is only found in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. They’re distinguished from other zebra species by their behaviour. Unlike the others, they do not have a solid social structure and herds can change on a daily basis. There are also “bachelor herds” that don’t have any females or solitary males.
Eland – The bulky eland is the world’s largest and slowest antelope. The average weight of this species ranges from 590 to 680 kilograms and the shoulders reach a width of about 178 centimetres. But it’s a rather peaceful herbivore, with man being its biggest predator. Despite their weight, they can jump upwards of 2.4 metres from a standstill.
Wildebeest – How do the hunky wildebeests attract females? They put on “perfume.” To be exact, they roll in their urine and dung, then run around shaking their heads. When they’re not doing that, the males form their own groups and the female form herds with their young. During their migration in search of grassier plains, millions of wildebeest can be seen.
Hamerkop – Also known as the hammerhead bird or hammer-headed Stork. While its name is referential to its appearance, the hamerkop is also a great builder. Its nest, made of sticks, can reach up to 1.8 metres across to 1.2 metres high. The nest also has an entrance opening and a narrow tunnel that leads to a mud-lined chamber. These birds can be found in Sub-Saharan Africa, southwestern Arabia and Madagascar.
Sacred Ibis – Native to Sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Iraq, these birds have also been introduced into Europe. They can be spotted by their wingspan which ranges from 112 to 122 centimetres. Their unique long and curved beak is designed to help them dig for food from the ground or gather fish and amphibians from the waters. They may also eat the eggs of some birds.
Hippopotamus – Talk about hungry, hungry hippos. After spending around 16 hours a day keeping cool in the water, hippos can travel up to 10 kilometres in one night for food, which is about 36 kilograms of grass. They are one of the largest living land mammals and weigh anywhere from 1,134 to 1,361 kilograms.
Mudskipper – Ever heard of the term “land fish?” The mudskipper is a fish that can actually live on land. They are able to fill their large gill chambers with water, creating their own personal oxygen tank for use when on land. They can also intake air from their skin. Their strong, muscular fins have adapted to help them “skip” and move about on land. A small creature, it varies from seven to 25 centimetres. Geographically, they’re found in the coastal waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.