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Africa is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Tranquil sounds, gin and tonics and the romantic hues of African sunsets. It is, however, a land of stark contrast, where the weird and the wonderful live in harmony, which only adds to the whimsical quirkiness that is Africa. Among these peculiarities are the ways in which the animals in it express their love and affection in strange, and sometimes alarming, ways.
1. The Ravenous Praying Mantis This virtuous looking insect has a darker side to its love life – write it off to passion if you must. The female creates a detached and an aloof demeanor waiting for the male to impress her, dancing and showing off. Eventually she gives in to his seductions, during which she begins devouring his head. This femme fatale illustrates in top form a reason not to forget to buy your lady some chocolates this Valentine’s day.
2. The Confused Hyena The female Hyena is the Matriarch of the Cackle, which means that they are the dominant gender in their social circle. They take it a step further and have what is known as a ‘pseudo penis’. Along with this they also have a higher level of testosterone than their male counterparts. Confused? You’re not the only one. The males can take months to get the hang of it – don’t worry guys sometimes it takes practice.
3. The Thirsty Giraffe Giraffes are bizarre-looking creatures to begin with, beautiful, but bizarre nonetheless. It brings a smile to your face imagining just how they might do the deed. In order to court the females, the males fight one another by swinging their necks at each other. This act can get quite intense and can sometimes end in death. The male victor prods the behind of the female, who sequentially spreads her legs to urinate. The male sniffs and drinks the urine of the female to see if she’s ready. Many other antelopes portray this same mating ritual.
4. The Volatile Lion Lions mate every 15 minutes for three days when the female is in heat. That can reach up to 50 times a day. This love marathon can get highly aggressive and the female will, almost every time without fail, take a swing at the male in the biggest display of mood swings known to earth. Maybe another reason not to forget that valentines gift for your girlfriend.
5. The Sensual Warthog Warthogs make an unusual clicking sound called champing. The making of this sound causes the warthog to salivate, releasing a pheromone which the ladies find irresistible. Another interesting fact is that the mating can last up to an hour – take notes gentlemen. An unusual happening, that no one can explain, is that it has been recorded that other warthogs nuzzle the female during or after the act. Another mystery in the animal kingdom.
6. The Vibrating Crocodile Crocodiles are frightening creatures. Prehistoric, scaly and deadly predators. It’s almost endearing that the males dance to entice the female. Think again, they even make a dance look terrifying. They make a series of vibrations which create a low frequency sound, which can’t be heard by humans, they also slap their snouts on the water as well as blow bubbles. Even though these beasts are so scary, no one can make bubbles look frightening.
7. The Rough-riding Rhino Last, but certainly not least, is our beloved Rhino. The dalliance of the Rhino is a fascinating one. The female whistles at the male, like a construction worker, when she is ready to mate. She then continues to chase the male in an exciting and sometimes violent game of foreplay. Talk about a woman who knows what she wants. They run after each other while striking and biting one another – clearly they like it rough.
These unique outlandish quirks are the very things that root our love so deeply in this diverse continent of Africa. It goes to show, no matter your idiosyncrasies there is love out there for everyone, but maybe that’s just the romantic in me speaking.
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Jennifer is happiest when life is filled with good gin, strong coffee and great adventure. She makes leather bags and rock climbs for fun and relishes in life's little peculiarities. She is passionate about Africa and its animals and has been lucky enough to have been to the most amazing safari destinations such as Moremi, Okavango and Kalahari in Botswana as well as Kafue and South Luangwa in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Give her a gin and tonic in the heart of the bush and she will reach maximum level bliss.
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