Guest Post by Chris Mears.
Africa is awe-inspiring beauty wherever you decide to safari, but our main reason for travel on the continent is ultimately concerned with wildlife.
Unfortunately, poaching and the destructive behaviour of we humans is having a massive impact on the lifespan and population of many well-loved creatures, leading to some becoming vulnerable or even endangered.
Here are just a few that you can expect to find in Africa, yet in ever-dwindling numbers, and the ideal place to spot them.
Rhino – The Black Rhino, seems to be the preferred option for poachers, and is highly endangered across Africa with its numbers dropping rapidly year on year.
Classified as near threatened by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the White Rhino population stands at around 20,600. Divided into Southern and Northern species there are now only seven of the latter left in the world. Try the Hluhulwe-Umfolozi Park home to Operation Rhino for a glimpse of one of the best loved Big Five.
Acacia Africa is currently supporting Save The Rhino International, the tour operator’s new brochure featuring the organization’s logo. The adventure specialist has already made a sizeable donation, its aim to stem the extinction of the threatened species.
The Cheetah usually makes it onto everybody’s must see list, but one of the fastest land mammals is also steadily making its way onto the endangered one.
Humans encroaching onto its habitat, poaching and the high mortality rate of their cubs are making them less and less easier to spot.
Currently seen as vulnerable the best place to spy these big cats is in Namibia, the country home to the greatest numbers, with a population now standing at 2,500.
My personal favourite, the African Wild Dog is the continent’s most endangered carnivore. They hunt in packs of six to 20, but their small population and destruction of their various habitats is increasingly putting them on the danger list.
Try Botswana and the Kruger in South Africa if you want to get a bite of the action.
Lions also fall onto the vulnerable list but there are two supportive projects in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
While they are not yet considered to be endangered the Zambian Tourism minister has recently banned the hunting of wild cats in the hope that they can stem the destruction of one of the continent’s most sought after creatures.
After your game drive why not go walking with lions in Zambia – and play your part in a successful conservation project?
For your chance to capture one of these animals on camera you can now sign up to Acacia Africa’s 18th birthday giveaway. Closing date for entries 25 April.