This region encompasses Africa south of the Sahara, the southern and eastern fringes of the Arabian Peninsula and Madagasar. This region has the largest area of savannah in the world. It also has dense tropical forests, deserts, mountain forests and highlands including the Great Rift Valley.
On the southern tip of Africa is a plant biodiversity hotspot known as the Cape Floristic Region. The Great Lakes of East Africa are a centre of biodiversity for freshwater fish. The island of Madagascar has many unique species including dozens of lemurs.
Africa's large mammals such as zebras, wildebeests and lions are some of the best-known wildlife in the world. Many of Africa’s smaller mammals are not as well known, but they are also great survivors, adapted to the challenges of life in African ecosystems.
Africa also has more than 1500 bird species, including the Ostrich, Secretarybird and touracos, found nowhere else. It is home to many primates and the birthplace of our own species, Homo sapiens.
In the Wild exhibition we have many animals from Afrotropic region on display. The Regional Animals box at right contains a selection, with information about why they are special and how they are faring in the wild.