When one thinks about wildlife, the 1st country that comes to one’s mind is Africa. India is usually an afterthought. But few who have witnessed the wildlife of Africa and of India have contrast views to the much-established belief. Honestly comparing Indian Wildlife Vs African Wildlife is like comparing apples & oranges in a way. But when one goes deep into it with research data then what comes out is very interesting. Our many guests talked about this subject and it was only then I thought of doing some study and documenting my thoughts.
What undoubtedly goes in favour of Africa is the sheer number of wild animals. Now Africa is 10 times bigger than India, therefore the food, habitat, and water, is abundant in Africa, which justifies the numbers. The human population in Africa is around 200/ sq km, compared to 460 in India. So the figures are stacked against wildlife in India. Hence, it is apparent that the wildlife animal density will be affected in India, and it is. Because of the sheer numbers, African wildlife is spotted much easily compared to the Indian wildlife which has to be searched deeply. Search is intense to some extent due to the fact that the vegetation is thick and undulating as well.
While India has more than 1200 species, Africa has 2300. But if we compare the size of the two landmasses, I think India is much richer. In a 10-12-day tour, you can end up spotting far more species in India compared to Africa. Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary has been called the best birding area on the planet by Peter Scott, the founder of the World Wildlife Fund. A visit to this bird sanctuary in winters will present the real beauty of the avi-fauna world. Birds in thousands enjoying the environments of this world heritage site.
It is however ironical the Wildlife around the world is facing similar adversity. Be it in India or Africa, the habitation is shrinking. In India, some good efforts have been taken by the Forest department in protecting our wildlife. Poaching of the endangered species is absolutely under control. One odd case does surface rarely, but primarily the wildlife is being given a top priority in protection. Many species in some areas of India which had gone nearly missing have been reinstated. Be it the Tigers in Panna & Sariska, Barasingha in central India, Gaur in Bandhavgarh, there is a lot of good news also for Indian Wildlife.
India and Africa both countries have their Elephants. While Africa has a Hippopotamus, we have a Rhino which is much more superior than his African relative. Our wild buffaloes are as wild as African, but with more predominant horns to the cape species. We also have 4 other species of wild bovines to which there is nothing comparable in Africa. The Gaur, Gayal, Yaks, and the Nilgai are big bovines spotted in India.
In wild cats, besides the Lions, and Leopards which are common to both countries, we also have the Snow Leopard & the Tiger. Yes, we lost the Asiatic Cheetah due to poaching & loss of habitat. But in cats, we have practically 50% more species compared to Africa.
The Blackbuck exceeds all antelopes of Africa when it comes to speed & absolute beauty. Buck apart we have 14 additional species of Antelopes besides the sheep & wild goats in the hills. Let’s not ignore the beauty of the Bara Singha (the 12 tined antelope) which has been rated as the most handsome deer on the planet. We have 3 species of Bears, Brown, Himalayan and Sloth, while Africa has none.
We can only pray that Wildlife around the world remains forever, and people to realize at some point in time that this world is for everyone, it does not only belong to us. Everyone is here for a reason and we must all value the same.