Welcome to 💚Africa! Jambo means "Hello" in Swahili!
Disney's Animal Kingdom is a zoological theme park.
The Savanna in Africa Disney is a completely natural habitat, carefully crafted to resemble closely Africa's ecosystem. It is 800 square miles of natural terrain, including forests, wetlands of the Safi River valley, and the open bush country of the Serengeti Savanna. To create the 110-acre Serengeti, Imagineers moved 1.5 million cubic yards of earth and planted some 2.3 million exotic plants. Over 300 grasses (75 African) were seeded so that there would be ever-flowering grass. Giraffes live primarily in savanna areas in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Their extreme height allows them to eat leaves and shoots located much higher than other animals can reach. In particular, they seek out acacia trees. Their long tongues are helpful in eating because they help pull leaves from the trees. They live up to 25 years in the wild. (Buy our Giraffe figurine here.)
Giraffes are the tallest mammals on Earth. Their legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet. They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over longer distances. It's not only a giraffe's long neck that distinguishes him from other animal species, but also his distinctive spot pattern. A giraffe's spot pattern is similar to one of our fingerprints. It's a unique identifier for each animal, helping other giraffes recognize who is in their family groups. Reticulated giraffes have the most complicated spot patterns of any giraffe subspecies, although it's often difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish differences between species or individuals.
When giraffes walk, they move both legs on one side of their body and then both legs on the other side; this is unique to giraffes. However, they run in a similar style to other mammals, swinging their rear legs and front legs in unison. They can reach 55 km/h (35 mph) at full speed but only in brief spurts.
Giraffes sleep less than two hours a day. In general, they sleep with their feet tucked under them and their head resting on their hindquarters, but they can also sleep for short periods of time standing up.
Elephants are large mammals and can be found in Africa and Asia. Male African elephants are the largest extant terrestrial animals and can reach a height of 4 m (13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb).Elephants have a long trunk or proboscis, used for breathing, lifting water, and grasping objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which can serve as weapons and as tools for moving objects and digging. Elephants' large ear flaps help to control their body temperature. Their pillar-like legs can carry their great weight. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.
Elephants are 🌿herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts, and marshes. They prefer to stay near 💦water. They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their environments. Other animals tend to keep their distance from elephants while predators, such as 🦁lions, 🐯tigers, hyenas, and wild dogs, usually target only young elephants ("calves"). Females ("cows") tend to live in family groups, which can consist of one female with her calves or several related females with offspring. The groups are led by an individual known as the matriarch, often the oldest cow. Elephants have a fission–fusion society in which multiple family groups come together to socialize. Calves are the centre of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as 3 years. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, smell, and sound; elephants use infrasound, and seismic communication over long distances. Elephant intelligence has been compared with that of primates and cetaceans. They appear to have self-awareness and show 💕empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind.
The name rhinoceros means 'nose horn' and is often shortened to rhino. There are five different species of rhinoceros, three native to southern Asia and two native to Africa. All five species of rhinoceros can grow to weigh over 1000 kg (2200 lb). White rhino can weigh over 3500 kg (7700 lb). (Buy our Rhino figurine here.)
White rhinos are the second largest land mammal, weighing around 7,700 lbs, but the largest ever recorded tipped the scales at nearly 10,000 pounds. They can grow to be nearly 14 feet long. Interestingly, white rhinos are not white and black rhinos are not black. They are, in fact, both grey in color with the main distinction being that white rhinos tend to be slightly larger and have differently shaped lips (white rhino - also known as the "square-lipped" rhinoceros, have a square upper lip with almost no hair.) These huge creatures might look overweight and slow, but they have a top speed of up to 40 miles per hour. Rhinos have poor eyesight (they can see only eight feet ahead) which may explain why they will sometimes charge for no reason, but have an exceptional hearing. White rhinos have complex social structures. Groups of sometimes 14 rhinos may form, notably females with calves. Adult males defend territories of roughly one square mile, which they mark with vigorously scraped dung piles. Sadly, the white rhinoceros is now an endangered species as they have low birthrates and many are unnecessarily killed for their horns which superstitious people believe have healing powers.
Cheetah are the fastest land animal, which has a recorded speed of 109.4–120.7 km/h (68.0–75.0 mph). But they sprint only for short intervals, resting in between to cool their body temperature.
Zebras are several species of African equids united by their distinctive black and white striped coats. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds. Buy our Zebra figurine here.
It was previously believed that zebras were white animals with black stripes, since zebras have white underbellies. However, embryological evidence shows that the animal' skin color is actually black, and the white stripes and bellies are additions.
Meet the Lapped-Faced Vulture - the clean up crew of the natural world!
With a wingspan reaching up to nice feet, the African Lappet-Faced Vulture is the largest vulture in Africa. They eat the meat of dead animals, such as carrion and carcasses, which reduces the spread of diseases to humans and other creatures. Vulture's bold head is constantly infested with bacteria which decompose a dead body it eats, but the sun quickly burns off all the deadly microbes of vulture's bold head, preventing vultures succumbing to diseases. Besides vultures' faces, their large intestines are covered with bacteria that is toxic to most other creatures, but these birds of prey have evolved a strong gut that helps them not get sick from feasting on rotting flesh.
The vulture’s bald head prevents bacteria from sticking to its body, and its powerful beak can tear open the tough hides of antelope and buffalo.
Native African animals living in African Savanna are: Antelope, Mandrill, Black Rhino, Cheetah, Crocodile, Elephant, Flamingo, Gazelle, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Lion, Okapis, Ostrich, Warthog, White Rhino, Wildebeest, and Zebra. Overall, there are over 200 different species of birds and animals found throughout this preserve. Notably, many species are endangered or are on the brink of extinction, such as African elephants, American crocodiles, tigers, gorillas, white rhinoceros, and lapped- faced vultures, just to name a few, but thanks to Disney Imagineers, those species might be saved!
p.s. Read here a post African Animals Language Objects Matching Cards and African Savanna Animals at Animal Kingdom Disney, pictures we took during our last trip to Disney.