We’re often surprised by the incredible wonder of nature and the fascinating facts that lie beneath the surface of some of our favourite animals. Gwahumbe is home to a wide range of animals and so we’re always learning new & interesting facts about our animals. So we thought we’d share 5 amazing facts about animals you can find here, with you!
1. Giraffes have the shortest sleep requirement in the entire animal kingdom!
Giraffes are one of the strangest sleepers. As babies, they can lie down with their legs tucked underneath them and rest their heads…. on their rump. Sort of like a comfy pillow! As adults, they rarely sleep like this and if they do – it’s only for a few minutes. In fact, giraffes rarely sleep longer than 5 minutes at a time in the wild, often modifying their position so that they remain standing with their head and neck curved around to rest on their hindquarters. Adult giraffes get by on just 30 minutes of sleep a night (on average). This is all part of ensuring they’re protected from predators… because a large animal just lying down in the middle of the plains is just too tempting for a hungry passerby.
2. An Ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.
Ostriches have the largest eye of any bird. Their eyes are about 5cm in diameter, the size of a pool ball. This makes them 5 times larger than a human eye! Because of the size of their eyes, Ostriches have great vision. They can see for long distances thanks to their height and sharp eyes. This allows them to spot any potential predators before they get to them.
3. Hippos produce their own sunblock.
Ever looked at a Hippo’s skin and it looked as if it could be bleeding? This red, oily substance is secreted by the Hippo’s skin and serves as a UV protector. Hippos have sensitive skin, so while they spend most of their time in the water and away from direct sunlight, this red substance protects their skin while they are out of the water, acting as a natural sunblock.
4. Impalas can leap more than three times their height.
Impalas are often overlooked as they tend to be the ‘hadeda’ of the animal kingdom, but these cute fellows have more going for them than meets the eye. According to National Geographic, Impalas can leap up to 3 metres and cover a distance of 10 metres in just one leap. This is rather impressive for a relatively small animal. Their agility makes it easy to manoeuvre over and around obstacles when they need to escape predators.
5. Porcupine quills have antibiotic properties
Porcupine quills are coated with a strong antibiotic, which has been shown to effectively inhibit the growth of several bacterial strains. It sounds pretty contradictory as if porcupines are protecting their predators from infection, but their quills are most likely medicated for their own safety. Porcupines can often accidentally stab themselves, like when falling out of trees, which research shows tends to happen more than we think. Having medicated quills can therefore limit the damage.
There’s so much more to the wonder of nature than often meets the eye! We often overlook the intricate design of the plants and animals around us and when we take the time to explore a little deeper – it can be a mind-blowing journey of discovering the incredible power nature has. We’re so lucky to have these animals on our doorstep and to be able to share our piece of paradise with you!
The next time you’re looking to get out of the house and do a little exploring – come and explore with us! We have daily game drives available, or self-game drives if you have a 4×4. We’re open from sunrise to sunset.
For more info on our day visitor activities: Click Here
If you’d like to turn a day trip into a luxury overnight stay, we’ve got a great deal on a mid-week stay. Here are the details: