Everything you need to know about the big five mammals : Most likely, if you’re thinking of taking a safari vacation, you’ve heard of the “Big Five.” For many safari visitors, these five amazing African game species appear to be the main attraction. These animals seem to get all the attention, whether you’re on a drive or a guided foot safari. This could be due to the difficulty of seeing them or simply the excitement surrounding their existence.
What precisely are the Big Five, and what qualifies them for such an honorable place on this exclusive roster? The African lion, African leopard, African elephant, White or Black rhino, and Cape buffalo are known as the “Big Five.” You might be asking why the hippos should avoid the spotlight and popularity, or what the cheetah did wrong to miss out on such recognition.
One of the large cats in the Felidae family’s Genus Panthera is the African lion, which has several subspecies spread out over the continent. Under the African lion umbrella, there are currently 12 recognized subspecies, each distinguished by variations in their mane. It is the world’s second-largest cat today, trailed only by tigers, and around 10,000 years ago, the lion was the second-most common land mammal on Earth (after humans). The African lion is now considered “vulnerable” in the wild due to its declining numbers. When on safari, lions provide for amazing sight, and if you’re lucky, you might see them out hunting first thing in the morning.
The African bush elephant and the African forest elephant are the two living species that make up the Genus Loxodonta family, which is known as the African elephant. The two are not to be confused with the Asian elephant, which has various physical distinctions. The latter is the smaller of the two, while the former is regarded as the largest living terrestrial animal. Elephants are native to Eastern, Southern, Western, and Central Africa. They are among the Big Five species that are the gentlest, making them a delight to see for visitors of all ages on safari
The African leopard, which is distinguished by its striped coat, is unquestionably one of the most fascinating animals to encounter on a kenya safari. The tint of the coat can vary greatly, from light yellow to rich gold, and occasionally even very dark to nearly black. Due to their nighttime or early morning hunting habits, leopards are difficult to identify while on a kenyan safari because of their black markings on their coat. Unlike cheetahs, leopards also enjoy dragging their prey up into forests, where they can occasionally be concealed from view.
White / Black Rhino.
The rhino is currently listed as “not extinct,” which indicates that poachers and illegal hunters are a major threat to the rhino’s survival and that they are extremely near to going extinct. There are just two Northern White Rhinos remaining in the world as of right now. At Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, they are under constant watch. To discourage an authorized hunters, armed guards monitor the area. With the passing of Sudan, the last male Northern White rhino, the two remaining Northern White rhinos, Najin and Fatu, will sadly go extinct, leaving the Southern White rhino as one of the most common subspecies. Sightings of Black Rhinos on Safari are truly amazing, as they are also threatened by poaching.
The actual lineage of the Cape buffalo, a subspecies of the African bovine, is still uncertain. Among the Big Five, it is easily identified by its distinctive horns and is frequently regarded as one of the most dangerous animals. According to some reports, each year, Cape Buffaloes murder more people than any other animal. With the use of their horns, they can charge, ambush, and gore. However, hunters have, as far as we know, almost always been the cause of human deaths; they strike when provoked or when they sense a threat. You may easily detect buffalo in adjacent watering holes or grazing areas because they have more predictable movements than the other Big Five species due to their constant need for water and preference for wide open spaces.
Traditional African hunters who had been hunting animals in the African plains for the previous 200 years were the ones who first used the name “Big Five.” These hunters were referred to as the “Great White Hunters” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; at that time, hunting was at its height and had not yet been acknowledged as an unsustainable assault on the planet’s environment. Hunting was a practical skill and a status symbol back then, with professional hunters going out to win as many trophies as they could. There was intense pressure to succeed and to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. Furthermore, the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo also known as “The Big Five” were named such due to how difficult it was for them to hunt on foot.
No matter if you’re planning a family safari or a honeymoon safari, it helps to be somewhat informed on the creatures you’ll be looking for. These are some intriguing or surprising facts about the Big Five that you might not know, especially if you’re a kid.
Everything you need to know about the big five mammals : African Lion.
Lions have a sophisticated social hierarchy.
An African lion pride typically consists of 15 members, while prides as large as 40 have been known to exist. The African lion is known for its intricate social structure and hierarchical organization. There are several female relatives and their young in each pride, along with a few unattached males for mating. In addition to being superior hunters, female lions carry out the majority of the pride’s hunting.
The colour of their mane is correlated with their age.
When you’re on safari, this is an excellent approach to attempt and estimate the age of the lions. A lion’s age is generally indicated by the colour of its mane.
Everything you need to know about the big five mammals : African Elephant.
Elephants are gregarious animals.
The African elephant is made much more humane by this specific characteristic. They enjoy interacting socially with their herd, and occasionally their groans can be heard. Their relatives and family members can actually hear these low frequency noises up to six kilometres away.
Elephants are generally calm creatures.
Infants adore elephants. Indeed, grownups also do so. Elephants are loved by all people, largely because of the stories they tell about their kind and amiable disposition. Elephants are normally quite calm creatures, but they can become irrationally angry if they sense danger or are provoked. And be careful elephants have a tendency to charge when they’re upset!
Elephants don’t eat meat.
Elephants are herbivores that consume grass, leaves, twigs, bark, fruit, and seedpods. In a single day, an elephant can consume up to 170 kilograms of vegetation. Owing to their large intake of vegetables, you can always tell where an elephant herd has been.
Everything you need to know about the big five mammals : African Leopard.
Leopards are loners by nature.
Unlike lions, which travel in prides, African leopards prefer to live and hunt alone. This makes them lonely animals.
Leopards are able to climb and swim.
Leopards are land mammals, but they also have excellent swimming and climbing abilities. They like to pull their kill up a tree to feed in total seclusion, and they are frequently spotted resting high up in the trees when they are not hunting.
Everything you need to know about the big five mammals : White / Black Rhino.
By nature, rhinos can be extremely clumsy.
Owing to their poor vision, rhinos may inadvertently attack stationary objects like rocks, bushes, or tree stumps, believing them to be another animal! Due to their inability to rely solely on their vision, rhinos are highly sensitive to sound and scent.
Rhinos are erratic creatures.
There’s no way you want to end up on the wrong side of a rhino. Although they are content to remain to themselves, they are known to experience mood swings similar to those of humans and can become aggressive if disturbed in any way.
They are extremely heavy.
With a maximum weight of 1000 kg, rhinos are roughly equivalent to a compact city car (like a Mini Cooper). Rhinos are regarded as the second largest terrestrial mammal, behind elephants.
Everything you need to know about the big five mammals : Cape buffalo.
The Cape buffalo is regarded as being extremely hazardous.
Out of the Big Five, the Cape buffalo may startle you the most, despite your perception that the large predators like lions and leopards are the ones to dread. Though they are hunters, these animals are said to kill about 200 people year, so you should be very safe if you travel with a knowledgeable guide.
Please contact us for further details about seeing the Big 5 while on safari; we would be pleased to assist you.
Because of their difficulty, they were actually the most sought-after game for most hunters, and for seasoned hunters, it was quickly a rite of passage. After them about turned into a social game for the elite, and it was soon recognized as a means of gaining respect and affection in the community.
The world soon learned that the Big Five were the most dangerous and challenging animals to hunt down as a result of the rapid rise in popularity of this activity. Even now, these African wild giants go by the same moniker. Nevertheless, we now go to great lengths to safeguard them rather than having the intense desire to hunt, and guests arrive to shoot through their camera rather than a pistol.