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Did you know?

  • The stomach of crocodile has a size of football ball, he eats little, but many times per day.
  • Hippo weights 3,2 tones and is one of the heaviest land mammals.
  • Giraffe is one of the rare animals that have horns at birth.
  • The elephants walk on tiptoe, because under their heel they have thick layer of fat.
  • The biggest snakes of the world can eat a human in one time and a meal lasts for one year.
  • Flamingos get the color of their feathers because of their specific nutrition.
  • African elephant can run faster then a human and can walk several hours without any rest.
  • In first year of hippo’s life 45% of them die.
  • Shark is swimming with average speed of 3km/h and maximum speed of 95 km/h.
  • Giraffe has a same number of vertebrae like most of the mammals, but theirs are much longer.
  • Bushbabies got a name because of their sounds that reminded first explorers of crying babies.
  • Elephants communicate through vibrations that they make by hitting the ground with their feet.
  • Most of the elephants sleep standing and only 2-3 hours per day.
  • Hippo can stay 5 minutes under the water-surface and can even run on the bottom of the lake.
  • The biggest known shark in the world was 13 meters long and had 15 tones
  • Leopard likes to drink water everyday, but he can stay without it up to one month.
  • Wild elephant can eat 230 kg of food and drink 125 liters of water per day sometimes at once.
  • Near relative of African ostrich is South American nandu and Australian emus.
  • Ostrich, zebra and giraffe can kill with their kick even the mighty lion.
  • Turtles, birds and crocs like to rest on the backs of hippos.
  • African tribes are hunting bushbabies by leaving a palm wine in the forest and collecting drunk animals from it.
  • Warthog can run 50 km/h and they are very skillful to defend themselves.
  • The head of the rhino weights 200 kg.
  • Black leopard or Panther was first considered as different species, but in same family can be puppies of normal and black colour.
  • The biggest turtle in the world is belonging to the species of leatherback and weights 752 kg.
  • The grey rat is living everywhere in the world except polar countries. One couple can have up to 800 babies in just one year.
  • Insect-eating bats produce ultrasound of very high frequency, with echoes that bounce back, they get all necessary information.
  • One of the most shamefaced animals in area of high and low tide is octopus.
  • The longest recorded jump of bushbaby from one branch to another was more then 7 meters.
  • From 1830 on each year 10 to 30 thousand slaves were sold at slave market on Zanzibar.
  • Coconut palm can live up to 100 years but can reproduce only 20 years.
  • Warthog’s only enemies are lion and leopard.
  • In darkness leopard can see 6 times and hear 2 times better then human.
  • Monkey species of red colobus are living only in forest Jozani on Zanzibar Island.
  • Cheetahs are running 120 km/h, but only 20 seconds. This is still enough for successful hunting.
  • Insectivorous bats obtain most of the water they need from their prey, cave bats can lick up condensation.

Trees and flowers

Flat-top acacia

There are 90 different varieties of acacia trees in East Africa one of them is flat-top acacia. It is a large tree with a flat crown that grows 6-20 meters in height. You can find it throughout East Africa at the edges of highland forest and in wooded grassland from 1200 to 2300 m. It has thorns of variable size but usually not longer then 3 cm. It might even be without thorns. It is a very useful tree for fuel as wood and charcoal. It’s timber is used for bridge-building, posts etc. Some tribes are using it as food because it has edible gum and it is useful for a shade.

Aloe tree

It’s otherwise exotic tree, native to South Africa. This unusual, solitary evergreen tree grows 10-18 m in height and it has a massive trunk, none of the branches below and a lot of them on the top that form a rounded crown. Leaves are very long and narrow. Leaves can have up to 90 cm in length. It has fruit with many seeds. It can grow in almost any climate and any soil type but it’s used only ornamental.

Jack fruit

Jack fruit tree is exotic tree native to region between India and Malaysia. It is an evergreen tree that grows to 5 m in height, occasionally also to 20 m. Generally found at the coast. Jack fruit is very common in Uganda where it has become naturalized. Leaves are oval and up to 15 cm long. Jack fruit has flowers and fruits on the trunk or larger branches where the world’s largest known fruit then develops. Fruit is massive and irregular in shape, up to 20 kg in weight and up to 1 meter in length. It’s a good tree for a shade which yields gum. The fruit when ripe is sweet and edible. Wood is in many cases used for general timber (doors, furniture, carts…) and also as fuel and charcoal.

Mango tree

Mango tree is exotic tree in Tanzania but native to northern India and Burma. It is densely leafed evergreen tree with rounded crown. It can grow 10 to 15 m in height. It is one of the most popular fruit trees in tropics, planted from sea level to 2000 m. The bark is dark brown and it can crack with age. Dark green leaves are up to 30 cm long and crowded at the end of branches. It has numerous cream to pinkish brown flowers. Fruit is large and heavy. It grows up to 15 cm in length of variable shapes. It’s ripe when it has green to yellow, orange or red colour. Each fruit has a large seed surrounded by golden juicy flesh. Mango is rich in vitamins A and C. The flesh of the fruit is eaten when ripe. It’s also used for fresh juices and jam. The wood provides a good fuel but it’s also used for the construction of small-boats and canoes.

Sausage tree

Sausage tree is indigenous type of tree with a rounded crown that grows to a height of 9 m in open woodland and 18 m in areas by the river. It’s wide spread throughout East Africa. It can be found in west savannah and rivers in dry areas from the coast to the highlands at altitude from sea level to 1.850 m. It got the name because of the fruits that look like large grey-green sausage. Heavy fruit is 30 to 70 cm long and when unripe is poisonous. Ripe fruits, although inedible, are baked and sliced to help fermentation of local beer.

Silver oak

Silver oak is indigenous tree. It’s tall tree with grey-green foliage and steeply ascending branches that form a narrow crown, dividing close to the ground. The species grows from 10-18 m in height, in exceptional cases up to 30 m. It occurs in upland forest and lowland dry forest at altitude of up to 2000 m, and is often prominent above the forest canopy. Leaves are narrow, spear shaped and up to 10 cm long. Flowers are very small and white. Male and female flowers are on different trees. It has tiny seeds that look like white fluff once they have fallen on the ground. The wood is hard, strong and durable. It is used for general timber, woodcarving, poles, posts and as fuel.

Fig tree

Another indigenous tree is a fig tree. This is evergreen tree with 16 m in height and occasionally epiphytic. It is a huge, shady tree with a powerful root system. Fig tree may have aerial roots. Often it grows in wetter forests, riverine forest or woodland, occasionally on rocks at altitude between sea level and 2000 m. Fruit is ripe when it has green to yellow or orange colour. It is softly hairy. The ripe figs are much favoured by birds, monkeys and baboons. Leaves are used as fodder.

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