Built for speed
The cheetah is the world's fastest land animal. They can run as fast as a car on the highway—up to 130 km/h. And they can reach that speed in just 3 seconds!
Ellies talk through vibrations
Elephants communicate in a variety of ways - including sounds like trumpet calls (some sounds are too low for people to hear), body language, touch and scent. They can also communicate through seismic signals - sounds that create vibrations in the ground - which they may detect through their bones.
With the ability to exert over 1,100 psi or around 9,000 newtons, spotted hyenas can crack open bones nearly 2 ½ inches in diameter.
Impala, or Afrikaans rooibok
The impala is one of the most common and most graceful of all Africa's antelopes.
A slender, agile creature, it can clear formidable obstacles and run at speeds faster than 60km/h.
Calves are weaned at four to seven months, and at 12 to 18 months, the calf is mature enough to have its own offspring. Impalas usually live to around 13 years in the wild.
Greater kudu may be distinguished from a similar species, the lesser kudu, by the presence of a throat mane.
Lions live in savannahs and grasslands, where some cover and plenty of water can be found.
The young calf, of usually 4 kg, does not accompany its mother for long periods during the day until it is about 4 months old. This means that the mother must leave the calf well hidden. When she visits and suckles the calf, she also eats its dung to remove any scent that remains which may attract predators.
Long jump, high jump
Impalas are fleet runners who can leap up to 10m in length and 3m in height.
The common waterbuck has a conspicuous white ring encircling a dark rump, while the defassa has wide white patches on either side of the rump.
A single calf is born, and is immediately concealed in cover for the first few weeks of its birth. The fawn then joins a nursery group within its mother's herd.
Baby giraffes are called calves. During birth, the calf will drop to the ground, since mother giraffes give birth standing up. The fall can be as far as 5 feet (1.5 m), according to National Geographic. New calves are quite large, at 6 feet tall (1.8 m), 45 to 68 kg.
What's a giraffe?
The giraffe is an African artiodactyl mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant.
Long distance everything
They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over longer distances.
Crouched to drink
With such a precariously long neck, giraffes have to crouch down to be able to reach the water's edge.
Giraffes only need to drink once every few days. Most of their water comes from all the plants they eat.
Resting their legs
Giraffes spend most of their lives standing up; they even sleep and give birth standing up.
A giraffe’s spots are much like human fingerprints. No two individual giraffes have exactly the same pattern.
Ready for your close-up?
The guide will get you close to the animals on this tour; photographic opportunities galore.
Males only reach their full size at 35-40 years - that's well over half their lifespan as wild elephants can live for up to 60-70 years.
Ellie knows the nose
Elephant trunks are perhaps the most sensitive organ found in any mammal - Asian elephants have been seen to pick up a peanut, shell it, blow the shell out and eat the nut.
Keep your eyes up & open
With so many varieties found endemically, and their love of spanning a web across a walk way...
Small family unit
Here you can see the adolescent male cub and his younger sister with mom checking from the back.
Lioness on a mission
Female lions are the main hunters. While they’re out looking for food, the males guard the pride’s territory and their young.
Lions are the only cats that live in groups.
Where there's 1, there's more
A group, or pride, can be up to 30 lions, depending on how much food and water is available.
An elephant’s skin is 2.5cm thick in most places. The folds and wrinkles in their skin can retain up to 10 times more water than flat skin does, which helps to cool them down.
Both male and female giraffes have two distinct, hair-covered horns called ossicones. Male giraffes use their horns to sometimes fight with other males.
A truly South African plant is the beautifully year-round blooming impala lily, or desert rose.
Often cast as being foolish and dull, perhaps due to the misunderstanding of their laugh or giggle vocalization, spotted hyenas show shocking signs of intelligence that rivals most wild animals in Africa.
When they get going, a hyena can top out at 64 km/h.
Make a nuisance
This elephant has had enough of the spotted hyena in front of him and wants to chase him away.
Ellie on the warpath
This elephant matriarch is determined to chase off this pack of wild dogs bothering her family.
The name comes from the Dutch "wyd" meaning wide. Misheard, the name became the "white" rhino.
Lions scent mark their territory, using their wee, to create a border.
Cheetahs have a pale yellow coat with black dots on the upper parts, and are white on the underbelly. Their faces are distinguished by prominent, black lines that curve from the inner corner of each eye to the outer corners of the mouth.
A lion’s roar can be heard up to eight kilometers away.
Wild dogs live in tightly knit social groups of between two and 27 individuals. They are strongly bonded. They’ll even look after injured dogs, bringing them food until they recover.
Even though they are much smaller than lion and leopards, wild dogs have a higher success rate when it comes to killing prey. Hunting at dawn and dusk, they work as a team and can bring down much larger animals, including antelope and wildebeest.
And what lovely teeth you have
Their tusks are enlarged canine teeth that protrude upwards from its mouth. There are two pairs: the shorter, lower pair are worn to a razor-sharp edge by rubbing against the longer, upper pair whenever the mouth is opened and closed. The upper pair can grow to 25cm. Warthog use their tusks for digging, fighting with rivals and defending themselves against predators. They have long been used as an alternative to ivory in ornamental carving.
Female zebras (mares, give birth every year or two, generally to a single foal, although twins foals are occasionally seen. Zebra foals can stand on their own just 20 minutes after birth, and are capable of running after about an hour.
Brand new face in the dazzle
Once mated, there is a gestation period of 12 to 13 months, and then the female gives birth to one newborn, or foal.
Zebras are born with their stripes, which appear brown and white at birth.
Come play mom!
A foal is well developed at birth and weighs an average of 32 kg.
Clean and pressed
Warthogs have been seen allowing banded mongoose and vervet monkeys to groom them in order to remove ticks from their hairless hides.
What's in a Name?
Their name comes from their ‘warts’ or protrusions on the sides of their face, these protrusions are a combination of bone and cartilage. It protects their face when they fight.
Calloused pads on warthogs’ wrists help protect them while they graze on bended forelegs. These pads form quite early in the development of the fetus.
Warthog sows may foster nurse piglets if they lose their own litter. This behavior is known as allosucking and is thought to be a sign of altruism, rather than mistaken identity or milk theft. It means that they are classed as ‘cooperative breeders’.
The wildebeest, also known as the gnu, is a large antelope measuring between 45 and 55 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 300 and 600 pounds.
Warthogs sleep underground at night in burrows that they steal from other animals such as aardvark. They don’t dig their own.
I gnu that!
Wildebeests measure between 5 and 8 feet in length and have a tail length of 14 to 22 inches.
Native to Africa, zebras are distinctive single-hoofed mammals that live in herds. There are several species of zebra found in the wild and each zebra's stripes is completely unique.