Tourists focus on the sightings of the Big Five and other popular animals. But there is a lot to see in the African wilderness. Here, we identify 10 unusual species sightings on safari. Most tourists spend less time looking out for these animals. Also, most of these animals are active at night. It is not usual to spot them during the day.
Pangolin is among the 10 unusual species sightings on safari. It has a scaly look. People think that pangolins are reptiles. But they are mammals. Its scales contain keratin, which makes up 20% of its weight. A pangolin has a long and broad tail. It has a small head. It lacks external years. It has a gizzard-like stomach. This helps to grind food because it has no teeth. It swallows sand and small stones to grind the food.
Pangolin weighs between 1.5 and 33 kg. The weight depends on the species. Its length varies from 30 to 152 cm. It can live up to 20 years. It eats insects. Humans, hyenas, and leopards are the main threats.
Pangolin is among the top 10 endangered animals in Africa. There is a belief that its scales can cure some diseases. The scales are also believed to have some magical power. Some people mix the scales with herbs to draw away evil spirits. Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy. Other tribes believe a pangolin is a sign of drought. They result in killing the animal. As a result, seeing a pangolin on safari is rare.
- African Civet
It is among the 10 unusual species sightings on safari. African Civets are related to genets and mongooses. They have short, dense, and grey fur. They have black spots that appear in rows on their bodies. They have black legs. Part of their tails is black. They have black markings on their face.
They are omnivorous animals. You can find them in open plains or forests. During day time, they prefer tall grasses. This type of habitat provides safety. Their main threats are leopards, hyenas, and lions. It is unusual to see them on safari.
- Honey Badger
Honey Badger has a dramatic white and black coat. This has given it a fearsome reputation. Some people feel Honey Badger is among the most dangerous animals in Kenya. It is listed among the fearless animals. It eats most of the things on earth. It can eat even poisonous animals such as porcupines and cobras. It is known for driving away and attacking animals such as lions, buffaloes, and hyenas. When in danger, they are known to attack humans. Seeing them on safari is a treat.
- Bat-eared Fox
These safari animals are mainly found in southern and east Africa. These areas have short-grass plains. They also have many beetles and termites. This is a perfect place for a Bat-eared Fox. It is rare to see the animal on safari.
- Melanistic Cat
It is one of the 10 unusual species sightings on safari. Melanistic Cats are not different species of big cats. They are big cats with dark coloring. Leopards and jaguars can be melanistic cats. In Africa, a black panther, or a leopard with dark furs has been spotted. In Kenya, the first black leopard was spotted in 2019 in Laikipia. Spotting these animals while on safari is a great treat.
It is one of the safari animals found in forests, deserts, and savannas. It has a reddish-gold coat. The underside, throat, and chin are white. It is one of the smaller wildcats in Africa. It is one of the most powerful hunters. They go after any animal they find. They hunt birds, small monkeys, rodents, and hyraxes among other animals. One of their threats is a loss of habitat. This is a result of agriculture. Humans are also a threat. They kill the animals because they hunt their livestock.
- African wild dog
It is one of the top 10 endangered animals in Africa. They live in grasslands, forests, and deserts. They have patterns on their bodies. As a result, they are often called painted dogs. You can find them in East Africa, especially in Kenya and Tanzania. You can also find them in South Africa. They are good runners. They hunt larger animals such as gazelles and wildebeests. They are rare. But when you see one, there are several others around. They live in packs.
It is among the most dangerous animals in Kenya. Serval is a wild cat. It is medium in size. Its coat has black spots. It has long legs and a neck. So, it can see over tall grasses. It has large ears. As a result, it has a great sense of hearing. Humans are a major threat. They sell the spotted coat in the black market. Sightings of serval on safari is a great treat.
It is one of the tallest antelopes. It has a long neck that adds to its height. You can find it in deserts and woodlands. You can spot one in Tanzania or Kenya. But they are rare.
- Aye Aye
It is an omnivorous mammal. It is related to apes and chimps. It is black or dark brown. It has a large bushy tail. It has big eyes, large ears, and slender fingers. It is found in Africa. Seeing it is a treat.
Now you know the 10 unusual species sightings in safari. Book your safari to see African wildlife including these rare species. Contact us to help you plan a great African wildlife adventure.