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Elephants are social. The members of a group are related. The older female, her sisters perhaps, their daughters, and so on. Young males are part of the group until they become rambunctious, usually between the ages of 8-11 males then lead a semi-solitary life for their next fifty years or so.
The big animals are alway sought out -well, I guess that really is the big and scary animals; we can’t forget the cats, dogs, snakes and other that give us a chill. Certainly elephants are high on everyone’s list. They are stunning to look at, social, and groups can be identified and studied over time.
Hippos and Rhinos, though not closely related, are both big and blocky in appearance. The Hippo is easy to see during the day as they remain rather stationary in some wTer hole, pond, lake, or river. They come onto land in the late afternoon to feed on grasses. Southern Africa has had little rain for two years now and many animals have suffered. As hippos need wTer to nurture their grasses as well as for daytime lounging they can be impacted by drought conditions.
Birds, birders, and birding could make Africa a prime destination without big mammals. The bird above is one of the rollers; the Purple Roller. The gaudy Lilacbreasted Roller is more easily seen and remembered as it shows it’s metallic blue wing patches.
Then there are the hornbills; a bizarre, busy, attractive, odd-looking feature of almost every game drive. The Red-billed Hornbill is one of the more common species. There are hornbills both larger and smaller than this one.
Birds of prey are very common in Africa. There are grassland, savanna land, acacia forest, and montane forest raptors of all sizes, filling all niches. The African Fish Eagle shown here is very common near water. It and the American Bald Eagle re in the same Genus, that is they are closely related (derived from a common ancestor).