East Africa

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The cheetah is an attractive cat found over much of the savannah regions of Africa but also in some of the desert areas of Africa and the Mideast. The cheetah is the fastest land animal on Earth. To witness their incredible speed during a hunt is a sight to behold and will amaze even the most seasoned scientist, naturalist and guide. 

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Warthogs are certainly one of Africa’s most bizarre creatures. At first glance, the warthog looks somewhat like a pig of “some sort.” However, when viewed closely or through binoculars, they are actually much stranger than just a type of pig. 

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It is Friday March 15 and that means I am finally on my way. Where? I am about to go sleep under canvas in the Serengeti! Wildlife viewing in the Serengeti ecosystem - with its famed Great Migration - is tremendous! Nowhere on Earth is there a sight rivaling the spectacle of 1.5 million hoofed animals on the march. The Serengeti has the highest concentration of large mammals on this planet and is famous for its 2,500 lions, the highest concentration found anywhere!

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If you've seen the movie “The Ghost and the Darkness,” you’ll know the strength and ferocity of the African lion when they are so inclined to harm people. This movie is based on a true historical event that took place in the Tsavo area during the late 1800’s. Two male lions killed 130 people over a period of nine months. Of course, with modern transportation and weapons, this type of long-term killing of people by an animal predator is a thing of the past. Today, there certainly are many human deaths caused by lions in Africa and tigers in India, but they are isolated instances.

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The hamerkop (scopus umbretta) is a small bird standing about two feet tall that is often thought to belong to the stork or heron family, but is distinctly different than both of these species. These unique birds can be found in sub-Saharan Africa, so you may spot them on your next East Africa safari.

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The plains zebra or Burchell's zebra is one of Africa’s iconic species and the population size is generally accepted to be around a half a million animals. The plains zebra is found from Kenya southward to Botswana and west from there to Northern Namibia. The plains zebra in the south are somewhat different in that each black striped appears to be shadowed in the white.

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Everyone knows lions are the kings of the jungle, but their reign is in danger of coming to an end. These majestic cats once roamed all over Eurasia and Africa, but these days their empire has been restricted mainly to sub-Saharan Africa.

The fall of the lion empire

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The animals found in Africa are often unlike any other creatures in the world, and this goes for birds as well as mammals. The grey crowned crane is a shining example of distinct African birds, as its unusual features make it stand out in the African wetlands and the minds of travelers who see and hear the bird in action.

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