Africa Geographic Travel

Biodiversity in Africa: a reason to celebrate!

Yesterday was World Biodiversity Day … so what’s the big deal? Africa has eight official biodiversity hotspots. A biodiversity hotspot is an area that is alive with a rich variety of unique species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

Have you been to any of these amazing regions…?

Cape Floristic Kingdom, Coastal forests of Eastern Africa, Eastern Afromontane, Guinean forests of West Africa, Horn of Africa, Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands, Maputaland–Pondoland and Albany, Succulent Karoo.

Visit Sanbi’s website to learn more about biodiversity hotspots in Africa.

Discovering monkey beetles in Namaqualand

Discovering monkey beetles in Namaqualand © Christian Boix

Five ways to Celebrate Africa’s incredible biodiversity:

1) Take a walk on the wild side: Visit one of these amazing places, walk, have picnics and take beautiful photos (share them with us: rachel@africageographic.com).

2) Get down and dirty: Increase the biodiversity in your own garden by planting indigenous trees and flowers.

3) Start your birding life-list: Start using a bird check list to record each feathered friend that you see.

4) Feel like a kid again: climb a tree.

5) Learn about Africa’s endangered animals: find out about an endangered species in your area and the conservation projects that are working to protect it. Ask how you can join in and help.

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Did you know?

South Africa is the third most biologically diverse country in the world.

It is also the only country that contains a complete biological kingdom – the Cape Floristic Kingdom. South Africa is home to 10% of the plant species on earth despite making up only 2% of the world’s surface area.

Salmon morea

Beautiful salmon morea flower © Christian Boix

Edward Norton is the UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. This is what he has to say about his favourite place in Africa … the Chyulu Hills in Kenya.

‘Well I need to live to be 140 to visit all the places I want to go in Africa, but I do. By saying that the Chyulu Hills is my favourite spot is not just a function of knowing the people there and having worked there a long time. It really is, I think, one of the most iconic landscapes in Africa. You’re situated in Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa, staring at Kilimanjaro; you’ve go the montane forests, the savannas, the lava flows, the geological history, and the grassland migrations. And then, of course, there are the people who live there and the fantastic traditions of that culture. It’s a combination I’ve never really gotten over. It’s really something very, very special. You can hike through the hills, go out tracking with guides, take a walk up in the cloud forest – it’s just so great to be able to walk around in it all.

Edward Norton

UN biodiversity ambassador Edward Norton © Kate Butler

Read Africa Geographic’s editor Sarah Borchert’s full interview with Edward Norton in our upcoming June issue…

What is your favourite place in Africa? (email me: rachel@africageographic.com)



Rachel Lang

Hi, I’m Rach . If not adventuring in the African bush, the chances are I’m dreaming about it. My childhood played a big role in this passion as I was privileged to travel much of Southern Africa from an early age. Needless to say, I’m happiest barefoot with a sketchbook in hand – watching elephants at a water hole or listening to lions roaring around a campfire. Wildlife, children and storytelling are a big part of my life. Follow my adventures on my blog www.bushboundgirl.com

Africa Geographic