The word “big five” started as a way to refer to the five most dangerous species to hunt on foot.
The five large African animal species regarded to hunters as risky and effective in killing them is considered an achievement: the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo. The phrase, takes a much gentler approach today, relating to seeing the magnificent species of wildlife on a safari in Africa. For sightings, encounters and photo opportunities, these welcoming giants are also requested.
Despite the formidable status and importance of the five, here are some interesting information we thought you might find fascinating about the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo.
The African Lion is the Africa’s largest cat. Lion’s live-in communities called prides and are social. Up to three males will be a pride, and the remainder would be females and their young. The sum of the pride would depend on the supply of water and food. The roar of a lion can be heard as much as 8 km away. The territory of a pride will stretch up to 260 square kilometers. The male is the one who will defend the territory. The male lion’s dense mane defends them from fights. The key duty of the female lions is to hunt and provide for their young. They hunt together, being smaller and slower, leading to their successful hunts.
They are mainly nocturnal species and are part of the African Big 5. They are not social, and they tend to live a life of isolation. They are agile and superb swimmers. They will jump up to 6 meters, usually carrying their prey to trees where they are best protected from other predators. Leopards can also reach speeds up to 57km/h. With a litter of 1 to 6 kittens, the gestation period is 90 to 105 days. For 3 months, the cubs will suckle and remain hidden for up to 8 weeks. Of all the big cats, leopards have the biggest territory. In different geographic regions, this ability has ensured their longevity. Leopards are carnivores and the greatest ambush hunters of all time.
It will survive in the wild for up to 70 years. They are the biggest of all mammals on earth, and can feed up to 16 hours a day. Per day, they eat between 136 and 226 kilograms of food. They have the biggest brains in the animal world, although they have poor eyesight. At the age of 12 to 15 years males will depart from the herd. Elephants are able to give birth every 3 to 4 years and the time of pregnancy is 2 years. Babies can weigh approximately 113 kilograms when born. It’s the only mammal that is unable to jump. The average weight of the heart of an elephant is 12 to 21 kilograms. The female elephant can breed only at the age of 16, but rarely has more than 4 offspring.
The biggest of the five species of Rhino is the White Rhino or Square Lipped Rhino. It uses its large square lipped mouth to graze. The white rhino of all rhino species are the most social. The wide rhino was initially mistranslated from Dutch to English and called white rhino.
Compared to their eyesight and listening capacity, the African Buffalo has an excellent sense of smell. Given the fact that Lion’s don’t want to get wet, Buffalo will move through water. The younger or weaker would remain, as a defensive measure, in the middle of the herd when the herds move. If wounded, Buffalo are severely violent and thus the truth that they are one of the African Big 5.
Visit the Kruger National Park for a safari experience of a lifetime.