Here’s a comprehensive listing of the species I encountered during a visit to Tanzania and Uganda in February of 2013, and even a couple that I wasn’t able to photograph (H. Erectus; P. boisei at Olduvai Gorge ;). I observed nearly 60 distinct animals, including small rodents, the world’s largest mammals, exotic old world monkeys, great apes, and the biggest birds on the planet (not to mention the infamous mosquito).
Many of these are recognized as critically endangered species. It’s humbling and exhilarating to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. Indeed, many of these wild animals, including the mountain gorilla, have never been successfully bred in captivity, so it’s critical that they are protected in the wild.
Ecotourism such as the type that resulted in these images is a very important aspect of wildlife conservation that when done responsibly and purposefully, can provide more wealth for the local communities than profits made from illegal poaching or foraging activities. That’s a huge benefit for the local community that reaches far beyond just saving the native wildlife.
Please enjoy the following listing, and take a moment to appreciate the grandeur and vast diversity of life on our amazing planet. It’s a perspective that is sometimes easy to overlook in our busy, modern lifestyles. And if you can help me identify the couple of birds that I’m unsure of (they’re tagged below as “Unidentified”), I’d greatly appreciate it!
African Fish Eagle
African White-Backed Vulture
Black and White Colobus Monkey
Chimpanzee (Just a nest. I’ll have to go back and visit Gombe another time!)
Homo erectus (Fossilized remains dating back to about 1.8 million years ago were found here in Olduvai Gorge)
Paranthropus boisei (previously called Australopithecus boisei as documented on this marker, and originally classified by Louis Leaky as Zinjanthropus boisei)
Red Colobus Monkey
Red-Billed Oxpecker (sitting on buffalo)
Spotted Hyena (and jackels) picking up leftovers after a lion kill. The lion wasn’t happy about it.