Victoria Falls Rainforest | Animals in the Rainforest
Animals in the Rainforest
Since 1950 the Victoria Falls Rainforest Park has been fenced but there are still some resident animals and
a wealth of wildlife.
Upon entering the Victoria Falls Park, various pathways lead off in
several directions. For many, the first port of call is the Livingstone Statue
and Western View points, and as the visitor walks round to the Devil’s Cataract
and Main Falls viewpoints, the path bends its way through increasingly thick
vegetation and tall trees. Vines hang from the canopy and the atmosphere becomes
humid and still within the shelter of the forest. This is the famed
The Victoria Falls Park was first fenced in the 1950s, and whilst elephant were
regular night-time trespassers into Park for many years after, the latest fence
has proved an effective deterrent. One can well imagine elephants enjoying the
cooling spray from the Falls and verdent vegetation during the long hot dry season,
and the lush grazing and browse must have attracted many game species season
after season for generations.
Thick liana vines and a rainbow created from the rising spray
of the Falls
Today many smaller mammal species are still found in the Park and rainforest. On
your walk through the Falls Park you should see chacma baboon (Papio ursinus)
and vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus), which are common in the Park, and
you may also encounter foraging groups of banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) and
even warthog (Phacochoerus africanus), who burrow under the fence to get in. If
you keep a sharp eye out you should find the Park's resident bushbuck (Tragelaphus
scriptus), enjoying the lush grazing.
Chacma Baboons are very much at home in the rainforest
The birdlife will also catch your attention. Listen out for the strange calls of
trumpeter hornbills (Bycanistes bucinator) echoing through the rainforest, their
child-like cries often giving away their presence amongst the tree canopy. Also
keep a sharp eye out for the amazingly colourful Schalow's Turaco (Tauraco
schalowi), a large but secretive bird, predominantly green coloured but with a
blaze of red feathers which show on the wing in flight. You may also spot small
fast flying sunbirds, or ground feeding fire-finches and blue waxbills, among
the many colourful and varied species found in the region.
Warthog are often seen foraging around in the rainforest
The rainforest is also a good place for amphibians, although the daytime visitor
is unlikely to see any of these as they are largely nocturnal species, and also
reptiles. Lizards, skinks and geckos will be found by the sharp-eyed, and snakes
in particular are worth keeping an eye out for - especially as many species have
poisonous venom bites - however they are very rarely encountered. The African
python (Python natalensis), which can grow large enough to constrict and swallow
small antelope such as bushbuck, have also been occasionally recorded in the
Park over the years.
There is also a wealth of insect life here, from butterflies to beetles, too
numerous and varied to name.
The shy bushbuck can sometimes been seen if you keep a sharp lookout
When visiting the Victoria Falls Park it is best to be prepared to get wet, and
depending on the time of year, soaked to the skin. Early guides to the Victoria
Falls recommended the wearing of a bathing costume under waterproofs, rather
risqué advice considering the conservative fashions of the period. These days
you will need waterproof bags for valuables, and, especially, cameras and other
The ground flora of the rainforest is a fragile ecosystem and sensitive to
trampling. Please keep to the footpaths at all times when in the Park.
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