We often hear about the iconic Big Five that reside in Africa. But do you know who they are and what they are like? The name originates from 19th-century game hunters. The phrase was coined to clarify that these five are the biggest and most difficult to track and hunt on foot. Now, thankfully, our experiences in Africa are just to observe these glorious animals in their natural habitat. Let’s take a look at these spectacular creatures that help make Africa one of the most thrilling destinations in the world.
The majestic lion is the only big cat that lives in packs. Their packs are called prides. To see the regal lion in his natural habitat in Africa is a breathtaking experience for the bucket list. The lioness usually rules in a pride of lions, alongside the most ferocious of male lions who has won the group’s respect. Today, there are only about 30,000 lions left in the world, and most are found in Africa. Once upon a time there were hundreds of thousands of these beautiful beasts. Lions love the Savannah and a trip to Africa pretty much guarantees you will see one of these spectacular prides. If you want to go on a magical safari, check out Safari Club for a whole host of African adventures.
Seeing the beautiful elephant on safari in Africa is a mind blowing experience. These majestic creatures are the world’s largest land animals. Sadly they are under threat of the evils of poaching for ivory tusks. It’s hard to imagine who would want to hurt this clever creature. In Africa, you will see huge herds of elephants in places such as Kruger National Park. Elephants are hugely family orientated and incredibly social. Unlike other animals, they look after and protect their babies loyally. Elephants love playing in the water and are big vegetarians, often eating up to 300kg of grass a day! Females and babies all live together, but males often live alone.
The Buffalo is an unusual looking creature! They mostly live in African national parks and are very strong. They work together in herds, and if one is being hunted, the whole herd will come to his defence. Such is their power that they can scare away a pride of lions. The Buffalo’s horns are very dangerous! In Africa, you will see Buffalo at waterholes both early morning and late afternoon. It’s a captivating experience.
Out of the Big Five, the rhino is the most endangered species. This primaeval looking creature lives close to water, and there is both black and white rhino. They eat trees, bushes and herbs and can run up to 55km/h. The black rhino is the most endangered of the Big Five, and those that exist can still be found roaming savannahs in South Africa and Kenya. They love relaxing in mud and like taking shade in the day.
The leopard is such an agile and beautiful animal. This is the most elusive of all the Big Five, and spotting one on safari in Africa is a sight to behold. Leopards are nocturnal creatures, and they love climbing trees and hiding their prey up there so no one else can steal it. They hide in the daytime and are superior stalkers of prey. This feline animal is territorial and a solitary hunter. A night drive on safari is the best time to spot this mysterious feline beauty.