Some Wild Wildlife Facts

Nature is crazy and amazing, not only is it wild, but wonderful too. Here are a few fun, silly, yet useful, facts about some of the animals you may see on your next safari with Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Although you may be familiar with some of these we are sure others will surprise you! 

  • Porcupines are actually rodents, very prickly ones at that. Their name in Latin is translated to “Quill Pig”. 
  • Did you know one of the “Small 5”, the Elephant Shrew, is more closely related to an elephant than a shrew? 
  • Rhino horn is made of keratin, and so are animal hooves, pangolin scales, and also our human nails! 

  • Giraffes need less sleep than any other animal in the Greater Kruger Park region. They only sleep for around 30 minutes a day, usually in 5-minute intervals. 
  • To the untrained eye, wildebeest may look a lot like buffalo, but they are, in fact, not even from the same species.  
  • Chameleons have terrible hearing, just like snakes, they do not have an ear opening or eardrum! But they are not deaf and pick up sound frequencies very well. 
  • Elephants are highly sensitive animals and express emotions such as grief, compassion, self-awareness, consideration, and playfulness. 
  • Cheetahs are known to be fairly picky eaters, they only eat certain organs and will neatly skim the best parts of meat, discarding the rest along with the skin.  
  • Contrary to popular belief warthogs do not cruise around the bush with a small meerkat singing at the top of their lungs, however, they do run at crazy speeds! Often reaching over 40km per hour which is faster than Usain Bolt. 

  • Leopards have truly astonishing navigation powers and an incredibly strong built-in homing device. This ability makes it very tricky to relocate these animals when they have become a problem near human dwellings. 
  • Impalas are synchronized breeders. At the beginning of the wet season, around November, the females will all start to give birth usually within a few days of each other. This gives the impala calves the best chance at survival, not only because there is plenty of food and water around, but also the sheer safety in numbers.  
  • Although they look fairly placid zebras have a rather severe kick and an extremely nasty bite. They often use either of these forms of attack to protect themselves from predators or when the stallions are fighting with one another.