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Hartebeest in Serengeti, Tanzania.
  More about species lists
Safari quick guide
If you want to bring a short species list on your safari, you may download and print our quick guide, which contains species lists for mammals and birds, plus general information on safari-going.
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Books on wildlife
There are good books in English covering the East African wildlife. There are books on mammals, birds, reptiles etc.
More about wildlife books
Safari glossary
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Wildlife & nature:
List: All mammals of East Africa
The species list below contains all East African land mammals of interest on normal safaris.

With some exceptions (for example for giraffes), subspecies are not included. For some groups of animals, such as bats, rodents and insectivores, species have been left out, as they are probably of little interest to most safari-goers.

The most common mammals only
For a shorter list of the most common East African mammals, i.e. the mammals you're most likely to see during a normal safari in Kenya or Tanzania, see Species list: Mammals.

All mammals in Africa
For a list of all mammals in Africa, download this rtf file.

English Swahili Comments
Dogs and allies
black-backed jackal, silver-backed jackal mbweha nyekundu The most common jackal
golden jackal, common jackal mbweha wa mbuga  
side-striped jackal mbweha Nocturnal
wild dog    
wild dog, hunting dog mbwa mwitu S Tz, rare elsewhere
bat-eared fox    
bat-eared fox mbweha masikio  
spotted hyaena, laughing hyaena nyangao, fisi The most common hyaena
striped hyaena fisi Rare
aardwolf fisi ya nkole, fisi ndogo  
cheetah duma  
lion simba The most common cat
leopard, panther (incl. black panther) chui  
smaller cats    
caracal simba mangu Rare
golden cat, African golden cat   W and C Ke but rare
serval cat mondo  
wild cat, African wild cat paka, mwitu, kimburu, paka pori Nocturnal
ratel, honey badger nyegere  
striped weasel, white-naped weasel chororo  
zorilla kicheche  
otter fisi maji  
African clawless otter, Cape clawless otter fisi maji kubwa  
spot-necked otter   W Ke

Mongoose & genets

Alexander's cusimanse, Alexander's mongoose   Local in W Ke
banded mongoose nkuchiro  
bushy-tailed mongoose kitu C Ke, S Tz and Zanzibar
dwarf mongoose kitafe  
ichneumon, Egyptian mongoose, large grey mongoose nguchiro  
Jackson's mongoose   Highlands in Ke
marsh mongoose nguchiro wa maji  
Meller's mongoose   C and S Tz
slender mongoose, black-tipped mongoose    
Sokoke dog mongoose kitu ya sokoke Ke coast
Somali dwarf mongoose   C and N Ke
white-tailed mongoose karambago  
African civet fungo  
blotched genet, large-spotted genet, rusty-spotted genet kanu  
common genet, small-spotted genet kanu  
hausa genet kanu  
miombo genet   SW Tz
servaline genet kanu  
palm civet    
palm civet, two-spotted civet   W Ke, W Tz and E Tz
giant pangolin kakakuona mkubwa W Ke and possibly Udzungwa Mountains in Tz
ground pangolin, Cape pangolin, lesser ground pangolin kakakuona  
tree pangolin kakakuona ya miti W Ke
Ungulates – hoofed mammals
English Swahili Comments
Proboscids – elephants
elephant, African elephant ndovu, tembo  
tree hyrax    
eastern tree hyrax perere Eastern highlands
southern tree hyrax perere Lowlands
bush hyrax    
yellow-spotted bush hyrax perere mawe  
rock hyrax    
black-necked rock hyrax pimbe  
aardvark, ant bear muhanga, kukukifuku  
Odd-toed ungulates
common zebra punda milia  
Grevy zebra  punda milia somali N Ke
black rhinoceros, browse rhinoceros kifaru, faru Ngorongoro in Tz and Lake Nakuru in Ke, rare elsewhere
white rhinoceros, grass rhinoceros kifaru, kiaru ya majani Lake Nakuru in Ke, rare elsewhere
Even-toed ungulates
hippopotamus kiboko  
bush pig, savanna bush pig nguruwe  
common warthog, savanna warthog ngiri, mbango  
desert warthog, woodland warthog ngiri ya somalia NE Ke
giant hog, giant forest hog senge, ensenge, nguruwe nyeusi W Ke and Tz
wild boar nguruwe mwitu Introduced on Pemba and Mafia Islands in Tz
masai giraffe twiga Tz and S Ke
reticulated giraffe twiga N Ke
Rotschild's giraffe, Baringo giraffe twiga W Ke and Lake Nakuru in Ke
buffalo, African buffalo mbogo, nyati  
beisa oryx choroa, bara bara N of Tana River in Ke
Bohor reedbuck forhi, tohe Tz, S Ke and W Ke
common waterbuck kuru, kobu  
Defassa waterbuck kuru, kobu  
fringe-eared oryx   NE Tz and S of Tana River in Ke
hirola, Hunterís hartebeest hirola SEKe
impala swala pala  
kob mraye Locally in the west
kongoni, hartebeest kongoni  
mountain reedbuck tohe ya milima Locally in mountains
puku puku Locally in S Tz
roan antelope korongo SW Tz, locally in Ke and Tz
sable antelope mbarapi, palahala W and S Tz, Shimba Hills in Ke
southern reedbuck, common reedbuck tohe ya kusini SW Tz
topi nyamera, topi  
wildebeest, brindled gnu nyumbu  
spiral-horned bovines    
bongo bongo, ndongoro Highlands in Ke
bushbuck pongo, mbawala  
eland, southern eland pofu  
greater kudu tandala mkubwa Locally
lesser kudu tandala ndogo E and C Ke and Tz
sitatunga   Locally in W Tz, Saiwa Swamp in Ke
Abbot's duiker minde Locally in S and E Tz
Ader's duiker, Zanzibar duiker paa nunga Zanzibar
black-fronted duiker   Mt Kenya and Mt Elgon in Ke
blue duiker ndimba, chesi W Ke, highlands in E Tz, Zanzibar and Pemba Islands
bush duiker, common duiker nsya  
Harvey's duiker funo Ke coast, NE Tz coast, C and S Tz
Natal duiker, Natal red duiker ngarombwi S Tz
Peter's duiker   W Ke and Tz
yellow-backed duiker kipoke Locally in W Ke
dwarf antelopes    
Guenther's dikdik digidigi ya pua murefu N and E Ke, locally in NE Tz
Kirk's dikdik suguya, digidigi  
klipspringer mbuzi mawe, ngurunguru  
oribi taya Locally, Ke coast and SE Tz
Sharpe's grysbok dondoro S Tz
steinbuck, steenbok isha, dondor S Ke, N and C Tz
suni suni, paa mwekundu Coast, locally inland
gerenuk swala twiga, njonga N and E Ke, NE Tz
Grantís gazelle swala granti  
Thomson's gazelle swala tomi  
Primates– monkeys etc
English Swahili Comments
Prosimians (primitive primates)
Demidoff's galago   Locally in NW Tz
greater galago, thick-tailed bushbaby komba ya miombo C and S Tz
Senegal galago, lesser galago, lesser bushbaby komba ya senegal Ke and N Tz
silver galago komba ya kavirondo Lake Victoria
spectacled galago, eastern needle-clawed bushbaby komba miwani  
potto kami W Ke
Highland mangabey, kipunji   Locally in S Tz
Tana mangabey   Ke
Guenons and allies
blue monkey, Stuhlman's blue monkey kima  
de Brazza's monkey, Brazza monkey kalasinga Mt Elgon in Ke
patas monkey   Ke and Serengeti in Tz
red-tailed monkey, black-cheeked white-nosed monkey   W Ke
Syke's monkey kima  
vervet monkey, black-faced vervet monkey, savannah monkey tumbili  
olive baboon nyani N Tz and SW Ke
yellow baboon nyani Where olive baboon is not present
Colobid monkeys
pied colobus, black-and-white colobus    
Angola pied colobus, Angola black-and-white colobus mbega Coast
guereza colobus, eastern black-and white colobus, Abyssinian black-and-white colobus mbega Highlands and W Ke
red colobus    
Tana river red colobus   Tana River in Ke
Zanzibar red colobus   Zanzibar
chimpanzee sokwe mtu Lake Tanganyika in W Tz
English Swahili Comments
elephant shrew sengi  
four-toed hedgehog    
golden mole    
otter shrew   Locally north of Lake Victoria in Ke
Rodents etc
English Swahili Comments
bush squirrel    
flying squirrel, anomalure, flying mouse    
giant squirrel    
ground squirrel    
sun squirrel    
Hares & rabbits
Cape hare, African hare sungura  
scrub hare, savanna hare    
Smith's red rock hare sungura ya mawe SW Ke, N and C Tz
Uganda grass-hare, bunyoro rabbit sungura ya bunyoro NW Ke
spring hare kamendegere  
brush-tailed porcupine njiko W Ke, C Tz
crested porcupine, northern African crested porcupine nnungu  
South African porcupine nnungu Tz and NW Ke
Rats, mice etc
climbing mouse    
common mouse    
creek rat    
crested rat, maned rat   Ke
fat mouse   Tz, S Ke and W Ke
four-striped grass mouse   Highlands in C Ke, S Ke and N Tz
gerbil   Mainly N Ke
groove-toothed rat   SE and W Ke, E and S Tz
multimammate rat    
pectinator   N Ke
pouched rat    
root-rat   W and C Ke, W Tz
sand-puppy, naked mole-rat   NE Ke
shaggy swamp rat, marsh rat, water rat    
soft-furred rat    
spiny mouse    
unstriped grass rat    
zebra mouse, striped grass mouse    
English Swahili Comments
butterfly bat    
fruit bat    
horseshoe bat    
house bat    
leaf-nosed bat    
mouse-tailed bat   N Ke
slit-faced bat    
tomb bat    
yellow-winged bat    

The list above is based on knowledge and several sources, of which the most important one is The Kingdon field guide to African Mammals by Jonathan Kingdon, the best modern book on African mammals; if you are seriously interested in mammal wildlife you should bring a copy on your safari.

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Page updated 18 February 2009