East Africa

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On your next Kenya & Tanzania safari, be sure to carefully scan the surfaces of rivers and lakes for hints of hippos gliding in the depths below. These giants may lumber about a bit clumsily on the land, but once they are in the water they find a natural grace that is best explained by example. Whenever your safari exploration leads you along the river banks in Africa, you should watch for these creatures.

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Most of the time agama lizards are pretty inconspicuous creatures that are brown or gray in color. However, when mating season rolls around, the males turn brilliant shades of red and blue to catch the attention of their female counterparts. This unique quality has earned them many nicknames from “Rainbow Lizards” to “Spiderman Lizards.”

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Superb starlings are some of the most colorful birds endemic to northeast Africa, but you will likely hear these birds long before you can spot them in the bushes of the Serengeti. The songbirds are very vocal and have a variety of different calls they use to communicate with one another. They likely need to be so loud to be heard above the group, as the starlings live in large flocks that can number well into the thousands.

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Fischer's lovebirds are a delightful treat for birders planning a Tanzania wildlife safari. These colorful birds are typically seen in pairs, as they mate for life and stay close by the side of their partner. You will not likely see lovebirds mingling with other parrot species. While they have much love for one another, lovebirds tend to get into trouble with other parrots.

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Lions, hippos and zebras are all classic animals that can be found in Africa, but travelers on IE’s East Africa wildlife safaris have the opportunity to glimpse some creatures that are less well known and quite unique. One example is the dik dik, a small creature that resembles a miniature deer or antelope.

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Vulturine guineafowl are found throughout East Africa, and these birds are the largest and most colorful guineafowl species. Their unique plumage makes it easy to spot the birds in the dry grasslands and plains on your Kenya and Tanzania safari. The birds, which stand just over two feet tall, have large bodies similar to the shape of emus and quails, but their near-featherless heads, bold red eyes and long necks make it obvious they belong in the same class as vultures.

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In February, researchers conducted a 10-day census of carnivores in the ecosystems of Amboseli and Kilimanjaro National Parks on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. The African Wildlife Fund, Kenya Wildlife Service and Tanzania Wildlife Division are working together to collect information on a number of large carnivore species living in this region of East Africa.

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International Expeditions’ Kenya & Tanzania safari affords you the chance to see some of the world’s most iconic creatures, from elephants and giraffes to hippos and many different bird species. The lilac-breasted roller is one of the most colorful creatures flying soaring above East Africa, and its stunning hues make this bird a great addition to any birding list.

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Ruma National Park recently welcomed a new group of familiar residents. This month, 20 black rhinos were reintroduced to the Kenyan wildlife reserve, a move which aims to attract more travelers interested in going on a custom Kenya and Tanzania safari.

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Red colobus monkeys, native to East Africa, are extremely rare, so travelers going on a Kenya and Tanzania safari should familiarize themselves with the monkeys so they know what to look out for. Most prominently, colobus moneys do not have thumbs like other monkeys, explaining how they got their name which comes from the Greek word for "mutilated." These primates tend to stick to the trees and travel in groups of five to 10, so if you're lucky enough to spot one overhead, watch for more.

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