Africa is a continent full of beautiful scenery, rich culture and exotic wildlife. One of the world’s biggest tourists’ destinations for good reason, Africa is much more than its deluded depictions on TV. Tourists are able to take in some of the best that Africa’s lush jungles and vast deserts have to offer through excursions and safaris. Here are three of the biggest animals in Africa that can be seen on an African safari tour.
The African Bush Elephant
The African bush elephant is not only the biggest animal in Africa, but it is also the heaviest and largest living land animal in the world. Adult male elephants can reach up to an astounding 24.6 feet in length, 10.8 feet in height at the shoulder, and over six tons or 13,000 pounds. Adult female African bush elephants are a bit smaller, but still very impressive. These female elephants can reach 22.6 feet in length, 8.9 feet in height at the shoulder, and over three tons or 6,600 pounds. Because of their enormous size in adult life, these elephants generally have no natural predators.
The elephant is believed to have been named after the Greek word for ivory because of their exceptionally long tusks. African bush elephants live mainly in central and southern Africa. A very sociable animal, these elephants live in herds and family groups that can grow to over 1,000 elephants at a time. These nomadic animals are herbivorous, meaning they only consume plants and plant matter. Most of their diet consists of leaves and branches.
The tallest living animal in Africa and (unsurprisingly) the world as well, the giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal. An adult giraffe can grow to an overwhelming 20 feet tall. That’s approximately the same height as a two-story building. Male giraffes average a maximum weight of 3,500 pounds, and females average around 1,800 pounds. The giraffe’s neck makes up almost half of their height. Their necks can grow up to 6’7” in length. For a point of reference, NBA superstar basketball player LeBron James is 6’ 8” tall.
Newborn giraffes are even taller than most humans, and can stand and run usually within half an hour to 10 hours after birth. Giraffes usually sleep only for about 10 minutes to two hours a day standing up. This is the shortest sleep time requirement for any mammal. Giraffes are also very unique in that no two giraffes have the same spot pattern.
The ostrich is the largest bird in the world and can be found in the plains of Africa. Large male ostriches grow to 9.2 feet in height and can weigh up to 345 pounds. Ostriches are so large that their eggs even break records. Ostrich laid eggs can weigh up to three pounds and are the largest eggs in the world. The ostrich’s amazing size is made even more intimidating by its incredible speed. These large, flightless birds can run over 60 miles an hour, making them the fastest bird on land and the fastest two-legged animal in the world.
Africa’s incredible wildlife is truly a sight to be seen and enjoyed by everyone. Find out how Roho Ya Chui can get you a little closer to the beautiful African wild with the perfect African safari trip for you.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa