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My Favorite African Animals

Updated on November 30, 2013

My Favorite African Animals

The variety of species that exists on different planets illustrates how wonderful nature is. Sometimes I wonder if there are as many animals as there are people. During my stay in Africa I was opportune to see a lot of these creatures and hear various fascinating tales that are associated with each of them. All of them presented something different, but as with everything in life I have my favorites from the buck.

I only made my list based on the African animals I have seen so far. So expect slight changes to this list as I discover more of these cuties.

African Elephant

The African elephant is the largest land mammal in existence today. Africa is the habitat of two of the three species of elephant in existence. The “adult” elephant is so powerful that it can’t be overpowered by any animal in the jungle including the Lion (the king of the jungle).

The common sound the elephant makes is like that of a trumpet. Surprisingly, its heavy feet don’t give away its presence. In fact, the elephant can walk almost silently if it wishes to do so. The lifespan of the elephant is between 60 and 70 years. They are herbivores, so strive in an environment where there is plenty of grass to graze. One alarming stats about the elephant is that one elephant drinks approximately 225 liters of water. Ever wondered why the world’s water level is dropping?

There are so many proverbs centered on the physical attributes of the elephant. The most common one is, “When two elephants fight, the grasses suffer.”

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Lion

The lion is a carnivorous animal. The males weigh around 190 kg while the females who do most of the hunting weigh 130kg. The females can be distinguished from their male counterparts by the presence of the manes in the later. The lion prefers hunting zebra, giraffes, rats, hippos and young elephants. One of the facts about the lions that struck me is finding out that they spend 20 hours sleeping and a paltry 4 hours hunting and eating each day.

The most common folklores you would hear about the lion is that of it being outwitted by the little and seemingly weak tortoise. Such stories are predominantly used to teach kids that physical appearance can sometimes be deceptive and that there is no challenge that cannot be surmounted.

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Hippopotamus

The Hippo is an amphibious creature which weighs around 3 ½ tons and lives in rivers and swamps. The average lifespan of a hippo is about 50 years, but they are usually more susceptible to diseases than other wild animals. They move very slowly in water and are almost undetectable. The hippo grazes for about 4 hours each night.

Gazelle

The gazelle which is a medium sized antelope is a herbivorous animal that is known for its pace. The lifespan of the gazelle is between 10 to 12 years and the Thomas's gazelle can run at a speed of 64 km an hour. Despite its speed the gazelle is a regular on almost all carnivorous animal's table. Like the Lion, the gazelle is mentioned in many African folklores.

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