Lions, gorillas, giraffes, zebras, cheetahs—for many people who plan an African safari vacation, an encounter with these creatures in their natural habitat is the sole purpose of the trip. While Africa’s most iconic animals are incredible and worth the visit, there are many other creatures that you might not have heard of that are also amazing to see. The characteristic that makes Africa one of the most astonishing places on earth is its diversity—diverse landscape, diverse people and diverse animals. You will not find all of these creatures in a zoo back home, nor will you find them all across Africa itself, but they are unique and worth your time to try and find. Here are some of the most under-appreciated animals of Africa.
The Galago, AKA “Bush Baby”
The Bush Baby is more well-known than others. This is the cute, cuddly creature that draws passers-by at zoos throughout the world with its large eyes and sweet demeanor. Some people even keep them as pets. However, they might not be the first animal on your bucket list of encounters while you travel through your African safari. What makes the Bush Baby so unique is its double tongue. This creature has a second tongue under the first that is specifically used for grooming.
This creature has been the star of popular children’s shows, but it rarely gets to be the star of an African safari vacation. Many people do not realize that the Aardvark is more unique than just its creative looks. In fact, there is no other animal like the Aardvark anywhere in Africa—or the entire planet! That is right, it is alone in its genus and is the only animal in its order.
Thanks to one blockbuster hit, people throughout the world have fallen in love with the Lemur, and even recognize them when they are seen on an African safari. What many people do not know is that hints in the early evolutionary history of these small primates point to some incredible findings. For example, the lemur was once as large as an adult gorilla! As time passed, the Lemur species was forced to adapt to living in trees and eating less food, which led to a significant shrinkage in their stature.
If you are hoping to find the most bizarre creature that Africa houses, the Okapi should be at the top of your list. It is so unique that many referred to it as the “African Unicorn” until 1901—because its existence was doubted. The Okapi is brilliantly colored with very distinctive markings and produces an infrasonic call around 14 hertz. This call cannot be heard by predators or humans.
Plan Your African Safari Vacation
Going on an African safari vacation is your perfect opportunity to see some of the most unique and incredible animals on the planet. Be sure to keep an eye out for the most under-appreciated while you are on your trip. If you would like more information, visit our safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa