The Big Five : Safari

August 27, 2023
rhino with baby

The Big Five, refers to a group of five iconic African animal species.

I truly believe that although its exceptional to see these big five, there is so much more in the bush to see. I grew up in the Kruger National Park. Every school holiday, long weekend we pack up the car and go! Driving and spotting animals. For the most part, I have such amazing bush childhood memories!  After all, my Oupa taught me so much about birds!

Thankfully, this has given me a great passion for animals, the industry and now selling safari holidays. Ultimately, ensuring I leave happy hearts of tourists that travel in our country.

To clarify, the Big Five are famous for their strength, size and power. Ticking these five on safari is an exhilarating experience.

The Big Five

African Elephant:

The African elephant is the largest land mammal. Known, for its immense size, long trunks, and large ivory tusks. Elephants are highly social and intelligent animal, often found in herds. Herds are found in savannas, forests, and grasslands across Africa. Coming across a herd of elephants always makes me smile. I get very emotional seeing Elephants, as they are truly gentle giants.

African Lion:

Famous for being king of the jungle. Which symbolizes strength and majesty. Indeed, lions are social animals that typically live in prides. Consisting of several females, cubs, and a dominant male. Significantly, they are known for their impressive manes and powerful roars. I have on many times heard lions roar, its goosebumps stuff.

African Leopard:

Ultimately, the hardest to spot, I have been on many game drives in my life and have only seen leopards on a few occasions.  The leopard is a solitary and elusive predator. Known for its agility, stealth, and ability to climb trees with ease. These magnificent cats have a striking spotted coat. And for me, have the best camouflage in the bush. These beautiful cats live in several habitats, from forests to savannas. Magically, these cats are skilled hunters. I have also seen leopards in rocky areas, where they lie on boulders and bask in the sun. Seeing them sleep in a tree can be a real treat too!

African Buffalo:

The African buffalo, also known as the Cape buffalo, is a large and powerful bovine species. Formidable horns, and unpredictable behavior. Roaming in large herds, buffalos can be seen in forests, grasslands and wetlands. Grazing herds are fascinating to watch. Especially, when you see the babies suckle as the female grazes.  Buffaloes are family, they look out for each other and have often taken on lions and have won!

Rhinos:

These prehistoric creatures are misunderstood and are endangered.  Unfortunately, they are poached for their horns.  The horns are made of keratin, same as your nails.  Under those circumstances, to China for the ridiculous belief that it helps with erectile dysfunction (ED).  A common condition where a person is unable to get or maintain an erection long enough for sexual activity. Therefore, we have lost 100’s of rhinos. It all boils down to greed!  Makes me mad!

On the positive side, I am happy to report that our anti Rhino Poaching units are finally starting to make a mark in our wilderness.  I am so happy for this.  We have K9 units, men and woman that walk through the wilderness at night, with tools that assist them to fight against this crime.  For now, to stop the killing of Rhino’s. Many reserves are darting them and then dehorning them. So that they can still breed and live a happy life.  And it seems to be working! Raise a glass to the people that dedicate their lives in saving our beautiful Rhinos.

With its thick skin, horn, and heavily built body. Indeed, I have seen both species of rhinos found in Africa: the black rhino and the white rhino.  They are shy and magical to see.

Equally important, encountering these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats while on safari is a thrilling and unforgettable experience. When you spot any of the Big Five, it is like hitting the jackpot!  It is important to note, that being on safari is not only about the Big Five, but there is also so much more to see.  You can come across Zebra, Impala, Kudu, Giraffe, and Hippos.

Without a doubt, a personal favourite of mine, the birds.  From the smaller bright beautiful ones to the massive raptors, you find swirling in the sky. Like the Lilac Breasted Roller bird to the White Shouldered Vulture. I can promise you, the bush has much to offer.

In other words, you need to put Africa on your bucket list. By all means, spotting the Big Five is something that everyone must experience.

 

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