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A stripe less ground squirrel (Xerus rutilus). Where squirrels are used to the presence of human beings, they become tame and curious.

1 to 3 young are born at a time. They only weight around 20 g at birth and are kept in a burrow for around 6 weeks. That is when they start exploring the neighbourhood. Squirrels feed on different plants and occasionally termites.




Order: rodents (Rodentia)
Suborder: squirrels (Sciuromorpha)
Family: squirrels (Sciuridae)
Striped Ground squirrel (Xerus erythropus).






Rotbeiniges Sonnenhoernchen









Red-legged sun squirrel (Heliosciurus rufobrachium) are found in Kakamega Forest. Sun squirrels occur in many areas in Africa in different species.

Photo Rolf and Maria Bonkwald




Red bush squirrels ( Paraxerus palliatus) are found along coastal forests in Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania down to Southafrica. They eat a variety of plants and nuts.












Ochre Bush Squirrel  (Paraxerus ochraceus) occurs in Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia. They are found in open Savanna mainly on trees.






Suborder: Porcupine relatives (Hystricomorpha)
Superfamily: Porcupines (Hystricoidea)
Family: Old world porcupines (Hystricidae)
Porcupine: Hystrix africaeaustralis

These large rodents move backwards with erected spines when threatened. The inflicted wounds on the predators like lions and leopards can become infected and even fatal. One to four young each weighing 400 gram are born. They can see already as fresh born, the spines harden after 10 days. Porcupines are mainly vegetarians but have been observed eating carrion and bones (calcium supply). They are nocturnal.













Suborder porcupine relatives (Hystricomorpha), Superfamily mole rats relatives (Bathyergoidea), Familie African mole rats (Bathyergidae)

Naked mole (Heterocephalus glaber). A colony consists of several individuals. They dig tunnels and create small "volcanoes" with the thrown out soil. Living underground makes it hard to see them. Ears, eyes, hair are therefore not important and reduced.



















Suborder mouse-like rodents (Myomorpha), Superfamily mice and relatives (Muroidea), family rats and mice (Murinae)

Rats (Rattus sp) are not only following human activities but are wide spread throughout the world. There they fill different ecological niches. They feed on what ever suits them.




Order hares and rabbits (Lagomorpha)
Family hares and rabbits (Leporidae)
Subfamily hares and rabbits (Leporinae)

A Cape hare (Lepus capensis) is hiding from the heat of the day. They live solitarily except during mating season. They weigh around 2 kg and can be very variable in color. Mainly nocturnal, but can often be seen just after sun set. Their main diet is grass.

Hares are born with hair and small teeth and are able to see. 1 – 3 young are born. Rabbits are born naked and toothless as well as blind. 










Order Insectivores (Eulipotyphla)
Family Hedgehogs (Erinaceidae)

White-bellied hedghoges (Atelerix albiventris) occur in East Africa’s savannas. These nocturnal animals weigh only 400 g. At birth they are 10 g and have a complete covering of spines at about 6 weeks.







Wahlbergs Epaulettenflughund






Order: Bats (Chiroptera)
Suborder: Fruit bats (Megachiroptera)
Family: Old world fruit bats (Pteropidae)
Subfamily: Epauletted fruit-bats (Epomophorinae)

Wahlberg’s Epauletted fruit-bats (Epomophorus wahlbergi) are widespread in Africa. Fruit-bats feed on plant material like fruits and nectar while bats are insectivorous. At night they fly around searching for food. Baobabs and sausage trees are pollinated by fruit-bats. Young are carried by the mother under the wings till they are independent enough. One is slightly visible in the middle of the picture.




Order: Bats (Chiroptera)
Suborder: Microchiroptera
Family: False vampire bats (Megaderatidae)

Yellow-winged bat (Lavia frons) is with 35 cm wing span quite a large bat. It occurs from West to East Africa and South to Sambia. As the name says, the wings are yellow and that can be well seen during flight. They purely insectivorous and live near water and swamps in savanna. Also at day time they are alert and fly off when disturbed.










Mauritius Tomb Bat






Suborder: Microchiroptera - Bats
Superior family:
Family: Molossidae - Bulldog bats
Genus - Chaerephon - Free-tailed bats

From head to end they measure between 5 - 8 cm.




Suborder: Microchiroptera - Bats
Superior family: Emballonuroidea
Family: Emballonuridae - Glattnasen-Freischwänze

Mauritian Tomb Bat (Taphozous mauritaius) are widespread over Africa. They hunt insects mainly at night, but sometimes also at daytime. They sleep in trees and when they do not move it is hard to detect them on the bark. They have bright white underparts.






Egyptian slit faced bat


Egyptian Slit-faced bat






Family: Nycteridae - Slit-faced bats

Egyptian Slit-faced bat (Nycteris thebaica) occurs throughout Africa except in deserts and rainforests. The name thebaica refefers to Theben, a town near Luxor and was given by the first describer of the species the researcher Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Superior family: Rhinolophoidea - Horse shoe bats
Family: Rhinolophoidae - Horse shoe bats

They are closely related to the Leaved- nose bats - Hipposideridae and are differentiated by the shape of the growth on the nose.