EMBARK on an untamed wildlife adventure in
the African bushveld. From elephants bathing on
a riverbank and a leopard stalking its prey to the
endangered black rhino and a lion’s brazen roar
at sunset, the Big 5 and many more await.

Wallpaper

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Cape buffalo, also called African buffalo, the largest and most formidable of Africa’s wild bovids and a familiar sight to visitors of African parks and reserves. The Cape buffalo is the only member of the buffalo and cattle tribe (Bovini) that occurs naturally in Africa.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the Serengeti’s wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and impala. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The reticulated giraffe, also known as the Somali giraffe, is a subspecies of giraffe native to the Horn of Africa. It lives in Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. There are approximately 8,500 individuals living in the wild.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

A pride of African lions typically consist of about three males and about a dozen females along with their young, although there have been prides as large as 40 animals observed. On average, a lion pride consists of about 14 animals.

Corridor

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The wildebeest, also called the gnu, is an antelope. It belongs to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep, and other even-toed, horned ungulates. It is estimated that more that 1 million wildebeest are part of the great migration in East Africa.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Both male and female African elephants have tusks, which are remarkable tools. In feeding, they are used to loosen the bark off tree trunks, to dig for roots, bulbs or even salt, to push over trees and break branches.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The African clawless otter, also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter. African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. This individual is perched, feeding on a fish it has caught in the shoreline of Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Rolling around in the mud is, more than just fun for elephants. Mud baths serve a critical purpose for elephants. It not only cools them down, but provides a protective layer to shield their body from the sun’s rays and it is also relief them from insect bites.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The crested guineafowl is a member of the Numididae, the guineafowl bird family. It is found in open forest, woodland and forest-savanna mosaics in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The elephant herd is usually led by the oldest and largest female cow known as the matriarch. She is usually the one who was the most closely related to the previous matriarch. The rest of the herd is made up of the matriarch’s other daughters and their calves.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The white rhinoceros or square-lipped rhinoceros is the largest existing species of rhinoceros. It has a wide mouth used for grazing and is the most social of all rhino species. Ranging throughout Southern Africa these two can be seen at the base of Mount Kenya in the background.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The reticulated giraffe, also known as the Somali giraffe, is a subspecies of giraffe native to the Horn of Africa. It lives in Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. There are approximately 8,500 individuals living in the wild.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Although difficult to spot due to their shy and secretive nature, leopards are the most numerous of the large cats.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The African elephant is a genus comprising two living elephant species, the African bush elephant and the smaller African forest elephant. Both are herbivores and live in groups. They have grey skin and differ in the size of their ears and tusks, and in the shape and size of their skulls.

Photographer: Peter Chadwick

Dung beetles are beetles that feed on feces. Beetles in some species of dung beetles can bury dung 250 times heavier than themselves in one night. Many dung beetles, known as rollers, roll dung into round balls, which are used as a food source or breeding chambers.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The northern white rhinoceros, or northern square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), is one of two subspecies of the white rhinoceros (the other being the southern white rhinoceros). Formerly found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara, this subspecies is a grazer in grasslands and savanna woodlands. Since March 19, 2018, there are only two known rhinos of this subspecies left, both of which are female; barring the existence of unknown or misclassified male northern white rhinos elsewhere in Africa, this makes the subspecies functionally extinct. The two female rhinos belong to the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic but live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and are protected round-the-clock by armed guards.

Photographer: Peter Chadwick

The southern right whale is a baleen whale, one of three species classified as right whales belonging to the genus Eubalaena. Approximately 10,000 southern right whales are spread throughout the southern part of the Southern Hemisphere.

Photographer: James Suter

Leopards are born blind, opening their eyes at around 10 days of age, and weigh only one pound. Vulnerable and helpless, the cubs are moved to a new location every couple of days to ensure they are hidden from potential predators.

Photographer: James Suter

The leopard is one of the five exisitng species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia.

Photographer: James Suter

The African wild dog is a canid native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest indigenous canid in Africa, and the only existing member of the genus Lycaon, which is distinguished from Canis by dentition highly specialised for a hypercarnivorous diet, and a lack of dewclaws.

Photographer: James Suter

While climbing trees is unusual behaviour for most lion prides, it seems to be fairly common and repeated behaviour among specific prides. This may indicate that there is a measure of behavioural learning that occurs. Young lions see older lions climb trees and copy the behaviour so the habit remains in that pride.

Photographer: James Suter

These wild mountain gorillas can only be found in the wilderness of the Virunga highlands of Rwanda within Volcano Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and the Virunga National Park found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Photographer: Andrew Jenkins

The African penguin, also known as the Cape penguin, is a species of penguin confined to Southern African waters. Like all penguin species, it is flightless, with a streamlined body, and wings stiffened and flattened into flippers for a marine habitat.

Photographer: James Suter

The mountain gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Von der Decken’s hornbill is a hornbill found in East Africa, especially to the east of the East African Rift, from Ethiopia south to Tanzania. It is found mainly in thorn scrub and similar arid habitats.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Red hartebees, Burchell’s zebra and springbok all focus their attention on the lion at the waterhole.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

During the day, the elephants flick mud and dirt onto their backs to cool themselves down and protect themselves from the sun. The African elephant loses heat through its large ears and uses them to help it stay cool.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The common hippopotamus, or hippo, is a large, mostly herbivorous, semiaquatic mammal and native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of only two species in the family Hippopotamidae, the other being the pygmy hippopotamus. The name comes from the ancient Greek for “river horse”.

Bedroom

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Two African elephants traversing the plains of Africa.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

A Burchell’s zebra on the move. Burchell’s zebra is a southern subspecies of the plains zebra. It is named after the British explorer and naturalist William John Burchell. Common names include the Bontequagga, Damaraland zebra, and Zululand zebra.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

A lone elephant bull dwarfed by the vast expanse of wilderness. Solitary males are common, especially as they become older.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

A white rhino mother and calf seek refuge amongst a thorny Acacia woodland.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

The chameleon. A cryptic and mystical creature, believed by many African cultures to be related to witchcraft. There are many superstitions and beliefs that are associated with reptiles in general, and for chameleons some believe that they are a bad omen, and are therefore senselessly killed.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

On December 20th, 2009, four of the world’s last remaining seven northern white rhinos arrived at Ol Pejeta. Najin, Fatu, Sudan and Suni had been living in Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. All previous breeding attempts in the Zoo had been futile, and the hope was that the climate and rich grasslands of Ol Pejeta, a native habitat for the animals, would provide them with more favourable breeding conditions.

Photographer: James Suter

The primary threat to mountain gorillas comes from forest clearance and degradation, as the region’s growing human population struggles to eke out a living. Conversion of land for agriculture and competition for limited natural resources such as firewood lead to varying degrees of deforestation.

Photographer: James Suter

Leopards are solitary creatures that only spend time with others when they are mating or raising young. They are also nocturnal and spend their nights hunting instead of sleeping.

Photographer: James Suter

The meerkat or suricate is a small carnivoran in the mongoose family. It is the only member of the genus Suricata. Meerkats live in all parts of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, in much of the Namib Desert and southwestern Angola, and South Africa. A group of meerkats is called a “mob”, “gang” or “clan”.

Photographer: Sacha Specker

Recent research by GCF and partners has clearly identified four distinct species of giraffe in Africa – Masai, southern, northern and Reticulated giraffe, with several subspecies. Depicted here are three Reticulated giraffe of northern Kenya.