Today the ostrich is considered to be an African animal although the earliest evidence of their existence through archaeological findings dates back to over 50 million years ago in modern-day Mongolia.
Please see the map below for a breakdown of the different sub-species of ostrich distribution.
There were historically 4 main groups of Ostrich (Struthio camelus) in Africa.
- S. c. camelus, the red-necked ostrich of North Africa. Historically this was the most widespread subspecies, ranging from Ethiopia in the East, Mauritania in the West, North to Egypt and Southern Maroccoa. It now only remains in 6 of the 18 countries where it originally occurred.
- S. c. australis, It is found primarily in South Africa. The town of Oudtshoorn is world renowned for farming with this particular species for its Leather, meat and feathers.
- S. c. massaicus, Masai ostrich, East Africa. This interesting bird has pink/red colouring on its neck and legs. It is mostly found in southern Kenya and Eastern Tanzania, Ethiopia and Southern Somalia
- S. c. syriacus, known as the Arabian Ostrich. Once commonly found in the Arabian Peninsula, Syria and Iraq. It became extinct around 1966.
- S. molybdophanes, The Somali Ostrich is found in Southern Ethiopia, Northeast Kenya and Somali. The neck and thighs are grey-blue, and during the mating season, the male’s neck and thighs become brighter and bluer. The females are more brown than those of other subspecies It generally. lives in pairs or alone, rather than in flocks. Its range overlaps with S. c. massaicus in North Eastern Kenya.Safari Ostrich Farm is the first show farm in South Africa where you can see the Kenyan Red, Somali Blue and South African Black ostriches on our guided tour.