Africa, after South America, is the planet’s second most biologically diverse continent, home to three of the world’s “megadiverse” countries–South Africa, the DRC and Madagascar.
For most tourists, wildlife and nature tourism in Africa (at least Subsaharan Africa) is epitomized by iconic places like the Masai Mara, Tsavo, The Serengeti, Virunga and Kruger National Park.
But Africa is also home to the world’s second-largest rainforest after the Amazon–the Congolian Rainforests–which spans the countries of Cameroon, the CAR, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. Over 10,000 plant species, 400 mammal species, 1,000 bird species and 700 fish species are found in these forests.
In the southwest, the Namib Desert, which covers Namibia and stretches into Angola, is one of the oldest and most arid deserts in the world, home to unique biodiversity, including desert mammals living on the edge of existence and an impressive array of endemics, not to mention spectacular land formations and geomorphic features. It is the only arid biodiversity hotspot in the world.
The continent also boasts thousands of kilometres of Indian Ocean and Red Sea coastline, with both fringing and offshore reefs. Mozambique is a global centre of abundance for Whale Sharks, and the northern Sinai Peninsula is a globally important research site for coral reef-climate change dynamics, thanks to unique oceanographic characteristics and the resulting coral hardiness.