Wildebeest crossing the Mara River - Kenya
© Johann du Toit
Colloquially known as the ‘Tommie’ this short grassland specialist, is often confused with the much larger (38-80kgs) Grants Gazelle.
The hartebeest is a large, fawn-colored antelope. It is one of the fastest antelopes and most enduring runners.
The Spotted Hyena, despite its reputation, is one of the most fascinating and successful carnivores in sub-Saharan Africa
African hares are 20 inches long and 4 pounds. The hare’s strong hind foot measures about 4 inches and the mobile ears are as long or longer.
The topi is a medium-sized antelope with a striking reddish-brown to purplish-red coat that is glossy, even iridescent in bright sunlight. Distinct black patches appear on the face, the upper forelegs and on the hips and thighs. To complete its singular appearance, the topi's yellowish-tan legs look like they are encased in stockings.
The subspecies of the Wildebeest found in the Maasai Mara is C.t.albojubatus; the Western White Bearded Gnu.
Of all the cats, the Lion is the only one with pronounced sexual dimorphism, where the male starts developing a mane by 2 yrs old.
Unlike its exclusively African (in origin) relative the White Rhino, the Black Rhino originated from Europe in the Pliocene era.
The name Zebra is derived from the Italian and Portuguese names given to the species in Zaire.
Size, mass and even colour (due to soil colour) differ greatly with distribution.
Hippos are highly gregarious in water, during the day and solitary grazers in the grasslands at night.
Giraffe have little sexual dimorphism other than males being taller and having heavier straighter horns.
The bat-eared fox's name comes from its enormous ears, which are large in proportion to its head like those of many bats. The size ranges from 18 to 26 inches long and weigh 7 to 12kg. The body is generally yellow-brown; the throat and underparts are pale. The outsides of the ears, the raccoon-like "face-mask," lower legs, feet, and tail tip are all black.
Often in East Africa called the Silver Back Jackal because of the grizzled silver/black stripe down the back of this dog like carnivore.
The Caracal in appearance resembles the Lynx in having characteristic dark tufts on its large, pointed ears.
Banded mongooses are small carnivores, similar in look to a weasel or cat, mongooses have brown and gray fur.
The vervet monkey is a small, black faced monkey with a greenish-olive or silvery-gray body, found in the Mara.
View a full list of the Bird species in the Maasai Mara
The Civet is a small arboreal mammal with black and white stripes and blotches on their coats. These are as unique and distinct as fingerprints on human beings.
These are small antelopes that live in the bushes. The females are larger than the males. The males have horns about 3 inches long.
This small sized chameleon reaches an average size of 11-14cm (4.5-5.5 inches) but can grow to 16cm (6.5 inch). The tail is normally as long as the body.
The Nile monitor is dark brown-black with pale to yellow bands and spots forming broken cross bands on the body. They have strong jaws and muscular bodies.
The African Helmeted Terrapin spends most of its time in or near water. They usually make their homes in swampy areas.
The leopard tortoise is a large species of tortoise found throughout the African savannas. It is a generally solitary animal that spends the majority of its time grazing on plants.
The Cheetah is the fastest mammal on earth, able to reach speeds of upto 112 km/h which they can keep up for a few hundred meters.
Typically males can be distinguished from females by their size and more muscular shoulders.
Grant's Gazelle is a large, rather pale, gazelle found in the Africa.
The Serval Cat are mainly found in savannahs, subalpine and montane mosaics of moorland, forests and glades.
Aardvark is a burrowing mammal with a long snout, powerful claws, long tongue, and heavy tail. They are nocturnal creatures that feed on insects. They have an almost hairless body with a strongly arched back.
Aardwolf is a small animal similar looking to a hyena but eats insects, birds and lizards.
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