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Ostriches are big flightless birds that have long captured the imagination of people all around the world. These amazing birds are famous in zoos and safari parks due to their remarkable size, tremendous speed, and striking look.

To properly comprehend the ostrich, however, one needs to go to its natural habitat. These extraordinary birds live in flocks and move freely across enormous territories across Africa's expansive savannahs and desert terrain.


In this article, we shall take a deeper look at the natural habitat of ostriches and truly understand how they have been built and evolved to survive and thrive. And finally, we'll look at which countries and popular national parks can be visited to easily see ostriches in the wild.

Where Do Ostriches Live

Naturally, Ostriches are native to the grasslands and savannahs of Africa. They live in grassland, savannah, and desert areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Except for dense forests and high altitude areas where the local climate is either cold, very wet or both, Ostriches are well adapted to live in much of Africa. Due to their big sizes, Ostriches tend to live in flat open areas where they can easily roam freely and search for food and water. Luckily for them, the African grasslands are extremely diverse with plants and animals that ostriches can use for food.

Historically, Ostriches are believed to have naturally existed beyond Africa including places in Arabic countries and other Asian countries. The shrinking habitat has left them naturally existing only in Africa.

ostrich habitat map

Do Ostriches Only Live In Africa?

Ostriches in the wild can only be found in Africa but Ostriches do exist in many captive environments such as zoos and wildlife sanctuaries all around the world. 

While Africa is their natural home where they live in the wild, Ostriches have been successfully introduced to other parts of the world. This is however in a captive environment where the birds rely on human care, and in turn, they can also be raised for their eggs, meat, or feathers among others.

Why Do Ostriches Like The Savannah?


The African savannah, with its open grasslands and wide biodiversity, is a perfect home for ostriches. Ostriches are well-suited to life in the savannah due to their diet and behaviour.

With very many plant and animal species in the savannah, ostriches easily get a wide array of food to support their omnivorous diet. Like the many other animals which have adapted to the savannah, the biggest reason is the availability and abundance of food.

The features of the Ostriches such as the thick eyelashes and bare skin on the neck and legs are all adaptations to live in the savannah.

Which Countries In Africa Have Ostriches In The Wild

While Ostriches can be found in many parts of Africa, here are 12 countries where you can very easily find them in the wild. 

It is worth remembering that the wild distribution of ostriches depends on the specific habitat or ostrich subspecies in the area. In some areas, the ostriches will be found in smaller numbers while in other places will have a bigger flock.

  •  Algeria 
  • Morocco 
  •  Senegal 
  •  Chad
  • Niger
  •  South Africa 
  •  Ethiopia 
  • Tunisia
  •  Sudan
  •  Kenya
  • Uganda
  •  Tanzania

Top African National Parks With Ostriches

If you would be interested in seeing ostriches as part of your African safari trip, you will be able to find them on a trip to any of the countries mentioned above. Here are some protected areas where you will very easily find ostriches in the wild.

1  Serengeti National Park   Tanzania 
2  Masai Mara National Reserve   Kenya
3  Ngorongoro Conservation Area   Tanzania
4  Kruger National Park  South Africa 
5  Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park  South Africa
6  Etosha National Park  Namibia
7  Chobe National Park  Botswana
8  Hwange National Park  Zimbabwe
9  Okavango Delta  Botswana
10   Amboseli National Park  Kenya
11  Selous Game Reserve  Tanzania
12  Tarangire National Park  Tanzania
13  Samburu National Reserve  Kenya
14  Kidepo Valley National Park  Uganda

F.A.Qs About Ostrich Habitats

Here are some common questions about the natural habitat of Ostriches

Question Answer

1. Do ostriches live in the wild in North America?

No, ostriches do not live in the wild in North America. Ostriches are native to Africa, where they inhabit savannas and open woodlands. 

While they might be found on farms or in zoos in North America, they do not naturally occur in the wild there.

Ostriches have been introduced to the North America for farming and agricultural purposes, where they are raised for their meat, feathers, and leather.

You can also see them in zoos and wildlife parks, where they are part of educational and conservation programs. However, there are no natural, self-sustaining populations of ostriches in the wild in North America.

2. Do Ostriches live in the wild in Australia?

No, ostriches do not live in the wild in Australia. Ostriches are native to Africa. 

Australia has its own large, flightless bird called the emu, which is often confused with the ostrich but is a different species. 

While ostriches may be found in zoos or on farms in Australia, they do not exist as a wild population there.

33. How do Ostriches survive in their habitat?

Ostriches survive in their African habitats through a combination of physical, behavioral, and physiological adaptations. 

They have long legs for running fast to escape predators and large eyes for spotting danger from afar. Their feathers insulate them against extreme temperatures, while their strong beaks and claws help them eat a varied diet and defend themselves. 

Ostriches can conserve water by extracting moisture from food, and they nest communally to protect their eggs. Living in groups aids in spotting and defending against threats. 

Finally, Ostriches have an extremely efficient digestion system to get maximum nutrients from their food.

Closing Thoughts

Ostriches are highly adaptable and can live in a range of African climates, their current habitat is quite limited. This is due to many factors that affect the natural homes in the wild.

Most of the ostriches are now found in protected areas such as national parks, game reserves, and other kinds of conservation areas. Despite their great adaptations, size, and speed, it is still important to safeguard them and their homes. Like many other animals that live in the savannah, the problem of one animal in the ecosystem is a problem to all of them.

One great way anyone can contribute to the protection of such natural habitats - whether it is specifically for ostriches or every other animal in the wild, is sustainable tourism. The proceeds are often distributed towards activities like research and protecting the ecosystem from human encroachment which is a big factor. And of course, you the traveller get to enjoy experiences that stay with you for the rest of your life.

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