The African animal landscape

When people ask what travelers do when in central or southern Africa, a common response is experience an African safari. Knowing that this may be the only trip to the region for some of our trip participants, it was decided early on to plan into this initial trip to Africa at least one safari game drive. Through Roy’s Safaris, a travel company in Tanzania, we will be spending almost our entire Tanzania portion doing just that.

We will arrive in Tanzania on Friday, March 9th, and spend the next three days doing game drives, visiting a coffee farm-house, and learning how Tanzania is working on preserving its wildlife while moving forward as a country. During our time spent there, sights such as these giraffes and zebras will be quite common.

Within wildlife game parks, giraffes and zebras typically graze and live together. The giraffe, with their long necks, can see danger at a further distance than the zebra, which is often the same size as a horse. However, zebras are able to tell tremors in the ground better from animal movement. Thus, when one type of animal starts acting spooked, the other will follow suit and move quickly out of the area – hoping that they move from danger rather towards it.

 Monkeys are another common sight within Africa. They are not mere little creatures that pose no problems though. Instead, they are often known for being risk takers and stealing food from picnics, people’s cars, and even the occasional kitchen.

The elephant fills one of the largest presences within the African vegetation. They often travel in packs, with the babies surrounded not only by their mothers but also by other elephant adults. When feeling threatened, elephants will begin trumpeting, moving their nose up and down, flapping their ears, and stomping as they move deliberately closer to whatever they are trying to threaten.

 And one cannot forget the “king of the jungle” – the lion. Most lions hide during the day, as do other nocturnal animals such as the leopard. This makes them really difficult to spot during daylight hours. However, our group will go on a dawn/sunrise game drive – which allows us the opportunity to see these animals in the wild before they settle in their hiding spots for the day.

Our African animal landscape will be full of animals such as these, as we travel around the Ngorongoro Crater and the Tarangire National Park. I hope you enjoy following our trip blog through our experiences – as we will be updating it with photos, stories, and locations continuously while we are abroad.

Photos courtesy of Graduate Assistant for International Programs Karolyn Wojtowicz, on her previous safari experiences in South Africa

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