The world is full of interesting and surprising things. When you go an African safari, you can sometimes find yourself treated to some of the most incredible and strange animal species anywhere in the world. We covered all sorts of interesting creatures, but we aren’t done yet! Go far beyond rhinos, hippos and giraffes, and take a look at some of these amazing, unique and interesting creatures.
One of the most adorable and unusual looking animals there are, the lemur originates from Madagascar. They were the source of many ghost stories in ancient times. They are nocturnal and their eyes shine brightly in the darkness. These animals feed mostly on fruits, flowers and foliage and use their strong musk for communication, territory marking and attraction. Lemurs can be found across Africa but largely live in forests where there is plenty of food.
Porcupines are the largest rodents in Africa. They are both attractive and intimidating at the same time, with their bristling coat of barbed quills. However, they are strict herbivores who feed on leaves and cabbage. Their quills do not shed or shoot out for defense, despite popular myth, but fall off when they shake their coat. Porcupines can be found all over the drier parts of Africa.
This is a truly bizarre looking nocturnal creature. The aye aye have big eyes, huge ears and a bristly coat. They are found in Madagascar and are considered a bad omen by the natives. This means they are unfortunately often killed on sight. They live in woods and bushes and have long claws which are used to burrow through woods and to dig for the insect larvae upon which they feed.
Found in the Pacific Ocean off the East African coast, these animals look kind of like marine-adapted hippos. They use paddling forelimbs and a whale-like tail to move through the water and are related to the elephant. Dugongs are often called sea cows as they graze on undersea grasses. They can live up to 73 years, but are unfortunately approaching extinction, threatened by hunting for their meat, skin and oils.
These creatures look like dinosaurs but are actually mammals. Unfortunately, they are right on the brink of extinction. Only a few are left in the wild. They have a scaly body with armor made of the same substance as human hair and fingernails. When they are in danger, they roll up into a football-like shape. Pangolins feed on insects and use a long, sticky tongue to reach and gather them. They are nocturnal and dig holes not only for food, but for nesting and sleeping as well.
Africa is home to some of the most incredible, unusual and bizarre animals in the entire world. Nothing makes a safari trip like catching sight of a creature that you never dreamed even in your wildest fantasies. It is unfortunate that so many of these critters have been hunted to near extinction, but that means now is the time to take a trip to see them! Check out our safari trips page, and book your trip to this exotic continent today.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa