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Leopards and elephants and rhinos, oh my

I’m back! For anyone wondering why I’ve been reposting old pieces for the last few weeks, it’s because my wife and I were enjoying a much-deserved holiday in South Africa. I’ll stick a link to some photos shortly, but for the moment, here’s some post-holiday geekery for you.

The trip was a wildlife extravaganza. We spent four days in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve (just south of Kruger), as well as whale-watching, various walks through national parks and four fabulous hours tracking wild meerkats. I’ll be sticking up details and photos over the coming weeks/months, but for now, here’s a full list of the species we saw.

I’ve restricted it to only those animals that we saw in the wild, and then only those that I could identify down to the species level (which explains why the bird list isn’t longer and why they’re all vertebrates). Asterisks denote species that I have photos of.

Mammals

  • Southern right whale, Eubalaena australis *
  • Leopard, Panthera pardus *
  • Spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta *
  • Meerkat, Suricata suricatta *
  • Slender mongoose, Galerella sanguinea
  • White-tailed mongoose, Ichneumia albicauda
  • Dwarf mongoose, Helogale parvula *
  • Cape fur seal, Arctocephalus pusillus
  • Rock hyrax, Procavia capensis *
  • African bush elephant, Loxodonta africana *
  • Chacma baboon, Papio cynocephalus *
  • Lesser bushbaby, Galago moholi
  • Hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius *
  • White rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum *
  • Plain’s zebra, Equus burchelli *
  • Warthog, Phacochoerus aethiopicus *
  • Giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis *
  • Cape buffalo, Syncerus caffer *
  • Nyala, Tragelaphus angasi *
  • Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros*
  • Bushbuck, Tragelaphus scriptus *
  • Eland, Taurotragus oryx *
  • Springbok, Antidorcas marsupalis
  • Common duiker, Sylvicapra grimmia
  • Steenbok Raphicerus campestris
  • Waterbuck, Kobus ellipsiprymnus
  • Impala, Aepyceros melampus *
  • Blue wildebeest, Connochaetes taurinus *
  • Bontebok, Damaliscus pygargus pygargus*
  • Striped mouse, Rhabdomys pumilio
  • Smith’s bush squirrel, Paraxerus cepapi*
  • Scrubhare, Lepus saxatilis

Birds

  • Ostrich, Struthio camelus *
  • African penguin, Spheniscus demersus *
  • White-breasted cormorant, Phalacrocorax lucidus *
  • Cape cormorant, Phalacrocorax capensis *
  • Grey heron, Ardea cinerea *
  • Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
  • Hadada ibis, Bostrychia hagedash *
  • Sacred ibis, Threskiornis aethiopicus
  • Egyptian goose, Alopochen aegyptiacus *
  • Yellow-billed kite, Milvus aegyptius *
  • African Fish eagle, Haliaeetus vocifer *
  • White-backed vulture, Gyps africanus *
  • Bateleur, Terathopius ecaudatus *
  • Gymnogene (African harrier-hawk), Polyboroides typus
  • Wahlberg’s eagle, Aquila wahlbergi *
  • Martial eagle, Polemaetus bellicosus *
  • Shelley’s francolin, Francolinus shelleyi
  • Helmeted guineafowl, Numida meleagris *
  • Blue crane, Grus paradisea *
  • Red-knobbed coot, Fulica cristata
  • Red-crested korhaan, Lophotis ruficrista
  • Blacksmith plover, Vanellus armatus *
  • Three-banded plover, Charadrius tricollaris *
  • Kelp gull, Larus dominicanus *
  • Hartlaub’s gull, Chroicocephalus hartlaubii
  • Spotted eagle-owl, Bubo africanus
  • European roller, Coracias garrulus
  • Southern Yellow-billed hornbill, Tockus leucomelas *
  • Black-collared barbet, Lybius torquatus *
  • Crested barbet, Trachyphonus vaillantii *
  • Cardinal woodpecker, Dendropicos fuscescens *
  • Yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava *
  • Malachite sunbird, Nectarinia famosa
  • Greater double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris afer *
  • Lesser double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris chalybeus
  • Eurasian golden oriole, Oriolus oriolus
  • Fiscal shrike, Lanius collaris
  • Magpie shrike, Corvinella melanoleuca *
  • Fork-tailed drongo, Dicrurus adsimilis
  • Cape crow, Corvus capensis *
  • Pied crow, Corvus albus
  • Red-winged starling, Onychognathus morio *
  • Cape glossy starling, Lamprotornis nitens
  • Yellow-billed oxpecker, Buphagus africanus *
  • Red bishop, Euplectes orix *
  • Cape weaver, Ploceus capensis *
  • Blue swallow, Hirundo atrocaerulea
  • Cape white-eye, Zosterops pallidus,
  • Lemon dove, Columba larvata

Reptiles and amphibians

  • Black girdled lizard, Cordylus niger *
  • Southern rock agama Agama atra *
  • Foamy nest frog, Chiromantis rufescens *
  • Leopard Tortoise, Geochelone pardalis