Animals that can only be found in Africa include the lemur, the mandrill and the wildebeest. The continent boasts a vast wildlife, which is spread across its deserts, savannahs, valleys and forests. Africa, in fact, is home to the largest land animal (the African elephant) as well as the tallest (the giraffe).
There are many fascinating animals in Africa, in different parts of the continent. Besides being beautiful, some of them are also dangerous, and include mammals, reptiles, birds and insects.
Because of its biodiversity, Africa is a popular place for researchers and safari enthusiasts. There are more than 1,100 species of mammals, 100,000 species of insects, 3,000 species of freshwater fish and more than 2,600 species of birds. Today, the continent is home to the overwhelming majority of the world's most wildlife-friendly countries.
Learn about some of the animals that can only be found in Africa below.
Animals that can only be found in Africa
An incredible antelope native to southern and eastern Africa. They inhabit savannas and rocky slopes. They are some of the antelopes with the largest horns in the world, present only on males. The horns can be up to 1 meter long.
They have a brown coloration and a white band between the eyes. They are sociable animals, living in groups of up to 25 members. Males only join the groups during the reproductive period. They feed on leaves, grass, fruit and flowers.
One of the animals that can only be found in Africa is the ostrich, the largest bird in the world. They reach up to 2.7 m and weigh up to 160 kg. They live in the savannas and desert lands of central and southern Africa. They can withstand high temperatures, and survive for an extended period without water.
They have strong legs and can run up to 70 km per hour. Each two-toed foot has very sharp claws, and their legs are strong enough to kill a human with a single kick. Ostriches live in groups of 10 or 12 members.
The only remaining relative of giraffes, present only in the rainforests of the Congo. Its most striking feature is the markings on its legs and rear, which make it look a bit like a zebra.
They are one of the most endangered animals in Africa, due to habitat loss and hunting. They can weigh between 180-310 kg and have long necks, although not like giraffes.
Their white markings help them hide in dense forests, and their tongue is long and can be up to 45cm long.
Galagos are small primates that live in forests throughout eastern Africa. Their dense fur is brown or gray. They have huge ears, which give them incredible hearing. They are nocturnal creatures, possessing great vision at night.
These little creatures are capable of great leaps: a single leap of a galago can reach up to 2.25 meters.
One of the animals that can only be found in Africa is the strange sandpiper. This impressive bird is only present in East African swamps. Habitat loss, unfortunately, is putting them at risk of extinction.
They reach 1 m in height and weigh between 4-6 kg. They are ambush predators, which means that they remain quiet until prey approaches, when they then make a strong attack using their beaks. Their diet consists of lizards, turtles, water snakes and mice.
One of the most beautiful African primates, with black and white fur and an impressive tail. They inhabit the deciduous forests of eastern and central-western Africa. It is a large species, reaching 6 m in length and weighing up to 13.5 kg.
They live in small groups of 3-15 individuals. They are active during the day and spend most of their time in the trees.
With 1 meter and 4 kg, they are one of the animals that can only be found in Africa, especially in its savannas, rivers and swamps, in the eastern and southern regions. Their most striking feature is the crest of golden feathers.
Both species of wildebeest are found only in Africa, in its forests and plains. 2.5m long and weighing 275kg, both males and females have horns and live in large groups.
One of the largest primate species, the mandrill lives in the tropical and subtropical forests of west-central Africa. They have a more colorful appearance than other species, especially on the face.
Males are larger and more colorful than females. They are extremely sociable creatures, living in groups of up to 200 members.
The lemur is a primate found only on the island of Madagascar, off the west coast of southern Africa. There are 30 species of lemur, all endemic to Madagascar. One of them weighs only 30 g, making it the smallest primate species in the world.
They spend most of their time in trees, and the tail of most species is longer than the rest of the body. They are social, living in large groups, and have excellent hearing and smell. They are among the most intelligent animals in the world, known for their use of tools and for being able to learn patterns.