Every country in the world, selects a single animal, to act as the representative symbol of the values of the nation and its people.Now, we all know that the continent of Africa is rich in wildlife. Almost every wild animal can be found on this interesting continent; from the hunters to the herbivore’s, the endangered and the rare. So, wouldn’t it be interesting to know which animals, the countries within Africa, have selected as their national animal?After all, the national animal is a big deal; it exudes characteristics that a country wants to mirror and be remembered by. With so many fascinating choices, how do these countries choose, and more importantly, which animal have they settled on, and why?Since most countries want to be seen as powerful and strong, you’d think they’d all have opted for the lion, or perhaps the leopard, but surprisingly enough, this isn’t the case. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five national animals, and where to find them!
Namibia is one of the most captivating places, in Africa. It’s one of the most untouched locations, as the majority of the landscape is desert. While Namibia is a hit with the tourists, because of it’s majestic open spaces and overwhelmingly large, red dunes, it also boasts rich culture, and unusual game, which makes it a must-see destination! One can find the likes of ostrich, springbok, hyena, and oryx, roaming the plains of Namibia, and the country has chosen the oryx as their national animal! The antelope has unusual colourings; sporting a solid tan colour, with black stripes along its underbelly, face, and legs. It has two long, narrow (and deadly) horns, which are, of course, used as a defense mechanism. The Oryx represents courage, elegance, and pride, and is proudly represented on the coat of arms, of Namibia.Where to find them: The Oryx, or ‘Gemsbok’ as it’s sometimes called, can be found in Etosha National Park, as well as the open plains of the Namib desert.
There is one word that perfectly describes the beautiful country of South Africa, and that is; diversity. Not only are the landscapes diverse; being home to the grasslands of the Kruger National Park, exquisite mountain ranges, and stunning beaches, it’s also diverse in culture. South Africa boasts eleven official languages, with nine different culture groups, including Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, Tswana, and Swazi, to name a few.South Africa is also rich in wildlife, and is a great place to spot the big five; being the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and cape buffalo. With the greatest, and strongest animals roaming the country of South Africa, it’s surprising that the Springbok was chosen as its national animal. The springbok, however, is known for its agility, being able to jump (‘spring’) up to four metres.Where to find them: The springbok can be found in abundance in the Northern Cape and the Karoo.
Botswana is yet another breathtaking country, found near the south of Africa. Open grasslands, that extend for miles, which are riddled in the world’s most beautiful wildlife, is what makes this destination a cut above the rest. From sightings of the big five to rare wildlife species and fauna and flora that will leave you speechless, Botswana prides itself on this unusual typography. The chosen national animal of Botswana is the gorgeous, black and white striped animal; the Zebra, and was chosen because it’s seen as harmless and lovable, making it easier for the people of Botswana to relate to. The symbol also reflects national unity and is found on the country’s coat of arms.Where to find them: The zebra roams throughout Botswana, but can be found in large herds near the Kalahari desert; the Makgadikgadi pans, and the Okavango Delta.
You may have heard of the Serengeti National Park, where the great mammal migration takes place each year; around the months of January to March, and November to December. It’s a natural spectacle that attracts thousands of people each year, as the wildlife migrate in their strong numbers across the plains, to greener pastures and water. Tanzania is where all of this goes down, so it’s no wonder the country has chosen a mammal as their national animal, and they’ve chosen the tallest of them all, too; the giraffe. The legs of a giraffe, alone, are more than 6 feet in length-taller than that of most humans. The country believes the giraffe reflects mental, physical and spiritual strength, as well as flexibility. The country believes the long neck of the giraffe allows it to have a better perspective and ‘see life from all angles,' which is what they hope to mirror, as a nation.Where to find them: The Serengeti National Park and Selous National Park.
Zambia, home to the exquisite natural phenomenon and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World; the Victoria Falls, prides itself in raw, natural charm. Just when you think the country has been blessed abundantly in natural beauty, it’s also home to a plethora of wildlife. But, even with so many choices, the country settled on the African Fish Eagle as their national animal, to represent their values and their people. The African Fish Eagle is depicted as the eagle of liberty and is representative of the country’s wealth; not just economically, but in beauty, too.Where to find them: These enchanting birds are usually found near rivers, or lagoons, which means you have a good chance of seeing them if you visit the Victoria Falls!