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  • Who and what are the big 5?

    Posted by Rebecca Winter January 21, 2014 - 1,996 views - 0 comments - 1 like - #leopard  #lion  #elephant  #buffalo  #rhino  #safari  #herd  #Botswana  #Namibia 

    Have you heard of South Africa’s big 5 before? If not then expand your knowledge here! South Africa is known for its famous big 5 which are lions, elephants, leopards, buffalos and rhinos of the animal kingdom, all of which are beautiful creatures that roam the Southern African terrain. Get more of an insight of these spectacular South African animals here...




    *Kicki* via Compfight cc liscence 

    Elizabeth Haslam via Compfight cc liscence


    1. The lion is truly a mesmerizing creature with its lean, strong body and its razor sharp large teeth that can take down almost any prey. The lion is part of the cat family and is the most sociable along with being the most powerful African predator. The male weighs in at a staggering 250kg and females at 150kg and has what would be a short life span of 15 years compared to the other 4 animals. The lions enjoy open terrains that have plenty of water available along with food for grazing. The best places to see lions are Botswana along with national parks and private game reserves.
    2. Elephants are beautiful large animals that roam the Southern African paths. It is the South African elephant that is the world’s largest and heaviest with its ears being nearly the same surface size as a double bed, which really is big! It is a very social and intelligent creature who is always near water and vegetations. The water plays a crucial role in helping them keep cool. The only elephant that has an exception to needing water constantly is the desert elephant from Namibia, as this elephant has adapted to living in such hot conditions. A great place to also see elephants in South Africa is Botswana.
    3. The next animal to list out of the big 5 is the leopard that is the most successful of the South African predators. The leopard derives this striking image with the patterns of its fur that stands out and looks ever so eye-catching. Leopards are found in forests and stay in high trees during the day; their best time to hunt is at night which is perhaps surprising as you would think hunting in daylight would be better for them. Once they have caught their prey, they drag it to high branches where they feast on their catch so no other leopard can try and steal their dinner.
    4. Another animal of the big 5 is the almighty rhino which has a very striking aesthetic; its horn which is used for fighting and defence. There are two types of rhino; black and white, the black one is much smaller and is more aggressive than the white. The black rhino also prefers areas that are wooded and likes to be near plenty of water, whereas the white rhino enjoys more Greenland. Again the rhino has another long life span for an animal with it reaching 40 years!
    5. Last but not least is the buffalo which gathers in large herds of over 1000. The herds tend to be larger in the winter and then in the summer they usually break into smaller groups. The male can weigh up to 800kg and has a life span of up to 20 years. The buffalo are great for seeing on safari due to their large herds but you have to be careful if there are babies in the herd as the mothers can get quite aggressive.  Along with the lion and the elephant, Botswana is a great place to spot the buffalo.


    Have you seen any of the famous big 5 before?












    Words by Rebecca Winter