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10 endangered animals you might see on a safari – In Kenya

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10 endangered animals you might see on a safari

Being one of Africa’s top tourist attractions, Kenya is home to a broad range of flora and animals, with a high quantity of species diversity. A safari in Kenya offers lots of adventure and some of Africa’s best wildlife viewing opportunities.

However, as the population expands, so does urbanization and resource demand. People are still yearning for more land to settle and produce, and the illicit wildlife trade is still going strong. Many animals are threatened by these activities, with some on the point of extinction.

Thankfully actions have been taken to protect some of these endangered animals. Conservation organizations like Lewa and Ol pejeta, based on sustainability and education, have contributed to providing safe havens for endangered creatures.

Most of the endangered animals are pretty rare to see. However, with the right pointers, one may have some luck spotting some of these animals. Here are 19 endangered animals you might see on a safari.

Grevy’s Zebra

Most of us are more familiar with the plains zebra, which can be seen in good numbers in most national parks. The Grevy’s zebra was also once widespread; sadly, they are currently endangered. The Grevy’s are part of the zebra species and one of the largest wild equids.

The Grevy’s Zebra is distinguished by its peculiar narrow stripes, as distinct as human fingerprints. Grevy’s are typically taller and have more prominent ears than other breeds. Unlike the water-dependent plains zebra, the Grevy’s can go for several days without drinking, and it is well adapted to semi-arid and desert environments with lesser vegetation. 

The Grevy’s Zebra is mainly found in Laikipia County’s Mugie Conservancy. The Mugie Conservancy has successfully preserved and increased the numbers of Grevy’s zebra. You can also spot Grevy’s at Lewa conservancy. A safari incorporating the Laikipia region and northern Samburu will ensure good sightings of these beautiful creatures.

Grevy’s Zebras

The Black Rhino

While most of the Big 5 may be seen in Kenya’s National Parks, rhinos are increasingly challenging to locate. The black rhino is The lesser of the two African rhino species. Black rhinos have a hooked upper lip, distinguishing them from white rhinos with a square lip. Black rhinos are browsers, and their pointed lip aids in consuming leaves from bushes and trees.

Populations of Black rhinos declined in the twentieth century due to European hunters and settlers. Only about 5000 black rhinos live in the wild, making them severely endangered. However, Anti-poaching squads have helped curb poaching and the illegal wildlife trade across the country.

The best place to see the Black rhinos is in Lewa wildlife conservancy in northern Kenya, the Ol pejeta conservancy in Laikipia, Meru national park, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Nairobi national park.

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White rhino

White rhinos are the second-largest land mammal. Also known as the Square-lipped rhinoceros, there are two genetically different subspecies; the northern and the southern white rhino. Although actions have been taken against white rhino poaching since the 1960s, they are still one of the most endangered animals in Kenya.

White rhinos can be spotted in Ol pejeta conservancy and Lake Nakuru national park.

White rhino

Wild Dog

Wild dogs are scarce to see in Kenya. Not that they do not exist in Kenya, but their populations are under threat from human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction, and also outbreaks of diseases. Wild dogs are known for their ideal predator character; great physical strength, sharp intelligence, exceptional vision, and speed.

Spotting a wild dog on your safari is one of the most thrilling experiences. The best place to see a wild dog is in Samburu national park and the Laikipia region.

Lesser Kudu

The lesser kudu is a forest antelope. As its name suggests, the Lesser Kudu is smaller than the Greater Kudu. They have 11-15 vertical white stripes on their bodies and large white patches on their necks and chests.

The lesser kudu is a browser and eats a wide variety of plant materials, including the fleshy leaves of succulent plants and the leaves. Additionally, they are timid and very alert, making them difficult to spot. Spot a lesser kudu on your safari in Marsabit and Tsavo National park.

Female Lesser Kudu
Female Lesser Kudu

Thomson’s Gazelle

Thomson’s Gazelles are small gazelles with light-brown coats with dark stripes running down their sides. They also have a white patch on their rumps extending underneath the tail and ridged horns that curve backward.

Thomson’s are often confused with Grant’s gazelles. Thomson’s Gazelles are victims of hunting and are often found on ranches and farmlands. Their habitat is also being encroached on, which adds them to the list of endangered animals in the country.

Thomson’s Gazelle can be seen in Masai Mara National Reserve.

Hirola  Antelope

The Hirola, also known as the Hunters Antelope, are medium-sized, slender antelopes weighing between 80 and 118k. They have a body length of between 1.2 and 2 meters and a tail length between 10 and 60 cm.

Hirola have distinctive inverted white ‘chevron’ between the eyes with white “spectacles” around the eyes and white ears with black ear tips. They also have a yellowish-brown coat with a pale underside; some males have a grey coloration.

The best place to see Hunter’s Antelope is Garissa and Tsavo East National park.

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Rothschild’s Giraffes

The giraffe is the world’s tallest land mammal, and the Rothschild’s giraffe is one of the tallest subspecies, growing up to 6m tall. The Rothschild’s giraffe, also known as the Baringo (after lake Baringo), is the Northern giraffe’s subspecies.

Its coloring is unique compared to other giraffes as their markings stop halfway down their legs. The Rothschild’s Giraffe is classified as endangered as its population decreased drastically.
The best place to see Rothschild’s Giraffe is at the Giraffe Manor in Nairobi and Lake Nakuru National Park.

Jackson’s hartebeest

Jackson’s hartebeest is a large African antelope. In appearance, it is pretty large, weighing approximately 200kgs. Unlike the normal antelopes, Jackson’s hartebeest has a short neck, long forehead, and unusually formed horns.

Both males and females have horns, although the female’s horns are slightly smaller in size. A safari in the Laikipia region in Mugie conservancy will ensure you see Jackson’s hartebeest.

Bat-Eared Fox

The Bat-Eared fox has abnormally large ears in proportion to its head, just like a bat. Their bodies are yellow-brown, with a light throat and underbelly. Their legs are relatively short. The Bat-Eared Fox is distinguished from other foxes by their teeth; they have more teeth than most placental mammals (46 to 50).

Human development has encroached on their habitats, putting their numbers at risk, making them one of Africa’s most endangered creatures. Spot a Bat-Eared Fox on a safari in Masai Mara National Reserve.


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10 endangered animals you might see on a safari – In Kenya
2022-05-03T05:16:29+00:00
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