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Rüppell's Vultures are highly social, roosting, nesting, and gathering to feed in large flocks. They can travel fast at need, cruising at up to 35 kilometers per hour (22 mph), and will fly as far as 150 kilometers (93 mi) from a nest site to find food.
Rüppell's Vultures are creatures of the more arid and mountainous areas of Africa: particularly semi-desert and the fringes of deserts. They roost on inaccessible rock ledges if these are available, or in trees, usually Acacia. When thermal updrafts start to develop enough lift, about two hours after sunrise, Rüppell's Vultures leave the roost and begin to patrol over the plains, using their exceptionally keen eyesight to find large animal carcasses, or carnivores which have made a kill. They will wait, several days if necessary, until a carnivore leaves a carcass.