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Abundant Wildlife

Safari game-drive in Hwange Park - Abundant Wildlife | Southern African Safaris | Classic Africa

Africa is home to over 1,100 species of mammals and 2,600 bird species, many of them occurring in "safari Africa".

One of the reasons that safari Africa is so rich in faunal diversity is its relative climactic stability over the past 2.5 millions years, with no periods of extinction-causing glaciation. Intense competition for food in a relatively stable environment, over a long period of time, led to species specialization as found in few other places on earth, with the evolution of animals that could utilize both the grassland and woodland habitats that comprise the African savanna - it's not coincidental that man's earliest ancestors also evolved in this setting!

Biodiversity is even further expanded in East Africa by the proximity of tropical rainforests and savanna, providing visitors to this region the possibility of seeing 38 primate species in addition to the savanna wildlife - this includes the world's largest primate, the eastern mountain gorilla, which can be seen nowhere else on earth (they do not survive in captivity). Southern Africa's savanna areas are bordered to the west by the world's oldest desert, the Namib, featuring other-worldly landscapes and a range of specially adapted desert species.

Each of the countries in southern Africa, individually, is home to more species of mammal than North and South America combined; South Africa's 23,200 species of plant make it by far the richest country in the world in terms of floral diversity. Kenya, which is smaller than Texas, boasts more species of birds than the entire continent of Europe, and Tanzania hosts the largest movement of mammals on earth, with over 2 million herbivores participating in the "great migration". The list of comparisons goes on, but the point is clear - for the nature enthusiast, there is no region on earth that compares to safari Africa when it comes to the possibility of viewing a large volume and variety of rare and unique wildlife species.

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