White Backed Vulture

Scientific Name:
Gyps africanus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the White Backed Vulture

The White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) is a large bird of prey found in sub-Saharan Africa.


White-backed Vultures inhabit a variety of open habitats, including savannas, grasslands, and woodlands. They are often found in areas with access to large carcasses, such as game reserves, national parks, and areas where large herbivores roam. These vultures are also commonly seen in human-modified landscapes, including agricultural areas, where they scavenge on livestock carcasses.


White-backed Vultures are large birds, measuring approximately 75 to 85 centimeters (29.5 to 33.5 inches) in length, with a wingspan of about 2.3 to 2.8 meters (7.5 to 9.2 feet). They have a robust body, broad wings, and a relatively short tail. Their plumage is predominantly dark brown or black, with a distinctive white patch on the back, which gives them their name. Best Viewing The best places to view White-backed Vultures are in areas where they gather to feed on carcasses. Look for them soaring high in the sky or circling over open areas, where they may detect the scent of carrion. These vultures are often observed in groups, especially when scavenging on large carcasses such as those of elephants or buffaloes.