Order even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla), suborder non-ruminants (Nonruminantia)



Warthog mud

Family Swine (Suidae)

Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) are true savannah dwellers that avoid dense cover and forest but depend on burrows to escape predators and temperature extremes.

Warthogs raise the 5-8 young alone or in groups. They give birth in burrows, where they remain the first 6 – 8 weeks. If threatened while out on excursion they run back into the safe hole. Warthogs run up to 55 km/hr with the tail up like an antenna. The tasks are sharp like knives and can inflict deep wounds to enemies such as leopards and lions. Lions sometimes lie in ambush near the burrow.  Warthogs eat with bent front legs. They dig for roots and bulbs which contain water. In hot weather they go for a bath in mud daily.  











Family hippos (Hippopotamidae)

Hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) inhabit rivers and lakes in Africa in large numbers. Strong bulls occupy the good sand banks which are favored by cows. Dung is spread out. The different groups are in constant contact by grunting. They hear sounds above and under water. Like elephants they communicate as well by infrasound frequencies. At night they leave the water and can walk up to 30 km to find the needed 80 kg of fodder. Hippos can be dangerous to people in the water or if you cut their way to the water off. You only believe how fast these ungainly bodies run after seeing it with your own eyes!  

The naked skin is very sensitive to the sun. The pinkish colour is kind of a lotion protecting against sunburn.







To give birth the mother leaves the group for 10-14 days before rejoining them. A fresh born weighs  22 - 55 kg. Bulls weigh up to 3.2 t, cows up to 2.3 t. They suck on land as well under water. Crocodiles and bulls are a threat for the little hippos.

The canines serve fights and defense. While eating they rub at each other and are kept sharp like knives. They grow constantly and can reach a length of 50 cm in big bulls. Hippos are poached for the meat but as well for the ivory which has a better quality than the one gained from elephants.  

With the strong molars they crush the sometimes hard fibers. Hippos are not ruminants. The newest research classifies them closer to whales than to land mammals.







Order odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla), suborder rhino relatives (Ceratomorpha)



Family rhinos (Rhinocerotidae)

Black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) are shier than White rhinos and except in Ngorongoro Crater live solitary. They spend most of the time between bushes to pluck leaves and are not easy to be detected. From far the two species look alike. If there are more than two it must be the White rhinos. If it keeps its head high and has a strong neck it must be a Black rhino.

Bulls reach between 1000 – 1364 kg, cows are a bit smaller.

The best place to see black rhinos is Nakuru National park. They are also in Tsavo West NP, Nairobi NP, Masai Mara, Ngorongoro Conservancy, Serengeti NP and Mkomazi NP.





Black or hooked lipped rhino with red-billed oxpeckers. The hooked upper lip is well visible.

Black rhinos have reached about 60 individuals in Nakuru National park. Especially during dry season they like the bark of candelabra euphorbias. Unfortunately it damages the trees so they die off. The population has become too high for the small park and it will be necessary to dislocate some of them to other safe places. Rhinos are still poached for their horns and security has to be tight.





White or square lipped rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) are grazers and move in groups like lawnmowers.  The name ‘white’ derives from a translation mistake from the Afrikaans, which originally meant wide, describing the wide mouth. The name ‘black’ should express the short temper of the hooked-lipped rhino. Rhinos are short sighted and depend more on smelling and hearing.




White rhino bulls are territorial and mark by spraying urine.

Bulls weight up to 2.2 tons, cows 1.6 t.




I’m a curious young white rhino. The people sitting in this big metal container do not scare me, since mum is protecting me. It seems I really fascinate them , since I can hear a constant click from these long pipes.... it doesn’t disturb me, I just go on with what I want to do... drinking, licking salty sand and so on.

They will start grazing with 2 month but continues sucking up to 1 year. Gestation period is 16 month.

In Nakuru and Meru National parks and Solio Ranch you get to see them in close range. They also live in Lewa Downs Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Mkomazi NP and Selous Game Reserve.




Suborder horses and relatives (Hippomorpha),
Family Equidae

Burchells or plain zebras (Equus burchellii / Family Equidae) are the most spread zebras in Africa. They are split into several subspecies. In the contrary to antelopes they are non ruminants. Therefore the teeth are stronger and they spend more time grazing. But still there is time for small fights.

They live in families, lead by an experienced mare and guarded by one stallion. During the time of migration they join with other families while sticking to the structure.







If the mother does not have a fresh born she
allows the almost 1 year old to suck. 

The gestation period is about 1 year. 15 minutes after birth the foal stands on its legs and searches for the utter. The mother keeps it off from the other zebras so it imprints her characteristics which is important to survive. To exercise running is important to gain speed and stamina enabling it to run away from predators.




Zebras paarend



Grooming is very important to the social contact and is already practiced by foals.

Copulations do not last for long like in horses.




Grevy zebras (Equus grevyi) do not only differ from the Plain zebras by their narrower stripes and more donkey like shape but also by their behaviour. Grevy zebra stallions are territorial through out the year. They defend their 3 to 10 km2 against competitors. He mates with mares, who decide to stay in his range during the time they are on heat. Mares prefer those stallions with large territories and access to water. Mares and foals leave during dry season. The stallions remain. Only strong ones can keep their territory and escape predators. Sometimes they seek the company of Oryx antelopes, since more eyes detect danger earlier.

The negus Menelik 1 from Ethiopia gave a zebra from his country to the president of France Jules Grevy (1807-1891). Since it was the first one of this species in Europe it was given the name Grevy.






The gestation period is 13 month and the foal sucks up to 9 months. They give birth every 2 years. Grevy zebras co-op better with very dry areas than the Plain zebras. Zebras in general can feed on harder grass than ruminants. When the grass gets rare they can also take leaves and dig for bulbs and water. During dry season Grevy zebras can build large groups. Non-territorial stallions build bachelor groups and migrate.

Grevy zebras are endangered! It is restricted to the Somali Arid Zone of Ethiopia, Somalia and Northern Kenya (Meru, Samburu, Lewa Conservancy, Shaba, Marsabit and Sibiloi).