Considered one of the greatest museum displays in the world, the Akeley Hall of African Mammals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City offers unique glimpses of African wildlife, from hippos wallowing in the Nile to wildebeest grazing on the Serengeti.
In the early twentieth century, the Museum brought public attention to wildlife and habitat conservation through groundbreaking dioramas. Many of the new techniques were developed by Carl Akeley, the taxidermist, explorer, conservationist, sculptor, and nature photographer who first conceived of this hall in 1909. Each diorama recreates a specific site at a particular time of day, based on the meticulous observations of scientists, artists, and photographers in the field.
The mountain gorilla diorama represents another of Akeley’s living legacies. The location depicted here is protected as part of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park, which was established in 1925 by King Albert I of Belgium thanks in part to Akeley’s advocacy.
The American Museum of Natural History in New York City is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions, drawing millions of visitors each year. Visit amnh.org for more information.
- Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Carally River, Ivory Coast, Looking Across at Liberia
- African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer). Region South of Mount Kenya, Kenya
- Mountain Nyala (Tragelaphus buxtoni). Akusi Plateau, 120 Miles South of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). South Bank of Zambesi River, Mozambique
- Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros). Base of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
- Hunting Dogs (Lycaon pictus). Serengeti Plain, Northern Tanzania
- Libyan Desert. Represented: addax antelopes (Addax nasomaculatus). 200 Miles West of Khartoum, Northwestern Republic of the Sudan
- Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei). Kivu Volcanoes, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Gemsbok (Oryx gazella). Kalahari Desert, Botswana
- Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis). Northwestern Slope of Mount Kenya, Kenya
- Serengeti Plains. Represented: blue wildebeest or brindled gnu (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi), Burchell’s zebra (Equus quagga burchellii), hartebeest or kongoni (Alcelaphus buselaphus cokii), Thomson’s gazelle (Gazella thomsonii). Serengeti Plain, East of Lake Victoria, Tanzania
- Upper Nile. Represented: hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), white-eared kob (Kobus kob leucotis). 150 Miles Southwest of Lake No, South Sudan
- Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus). Upper Slopes of Aberdares, West of Mount Kenya, Kenya
- African Lion (Panthera leo). Serengeti Plain, East of Lake Victoria, Tanzania
- White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). Upper Uele River District, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 25 Miles from Sudan Border
- Giant Eland (Taurotragus derbianus). Southeastern Bahr el Ghazal, Sudan
- Water Hole. Represented: giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis), beisa oryx (Oryx beisa beisa), Rainey’s gazelle (Gazella granti raineyi). Guaso Nyiro River, Kenya
- Giant Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger variani). Upper Cuanza and Cuando River Region, Angola
- Leopard (Panthera pardus). Aberdare Mountains, 50 Miles West of Mount Kenya, Kenya
- Southern Africa. Represented: white-tailed gnu or black wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), blesbok (Damaliscus dorcas), springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis). Plains Adjoining Kalahari Desert, Botswana
- Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx). South of Bipindi, Southwestern Cameroon
- Lesser Kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis). Gulave, West of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania