About three hundred species of mammals live in South Africa, a large number considering the relative smallness of the country. Similarly, over eight hundred species of birds inhabit the country. In comparison the United States has almost three times the total area of South Africa, but less than one hundred more species of mammals and birds.
Sadly, some species, such as the hippopotamus, were once common in South Africa and are now either extremely rare or not found entirely. Many of these species can be found in countries throughout Africa, such as leopards, hyenas, kudus, impala and more. Nevertheless many species are found only in South Africa or its neighboring countries.