The African Big Five
Africa is famous for it’s “Big Five”. The term originally referred to hunting lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and Cape buffalo. These five mammals are dangerous and it was considered an achievement to bring them home as a trophy. But, today, the term simply refers to the big 5 you will most likely see on an African Safari. All of the following pictures were taken by Marcie Mann on her unforgettable trip to South Africa in 2012.
Common Name: African Lion
Scientific Name: panthera leo
Size: 4.5- 6.5 ft. long, 250-400 lbs.
Habitat: sub- Saharan Africa
Conservation Status: Vulnerable and decreasing due to poaching and habitat loss
Fun Fact: The female lions actually do the majority of the hunting in the pride.
Common Name: African Leopard
Scientific Name: panthera pardus
Size: Up to 140 lbs.
Habitat: sub-Saharan Africa
Conservation Status: Near Threatened
Fun Fact: Even though they are not nocturnal, leopards are most active and do the majority of their hunting between sunset and sunrise.
Common Name: Rhinoceros
Scientific Name: diceros bicornis
Size: 4-10 ft. long, 2,000- 4,000 lbs.
Habitat: Grassland and open savanna
Conservation Status: Critically endangered due to severe illegal poaching. The black rhino population is down 97.6% since 1960.
Fun Fact: Rhinos can gallop up to 30 miles per hour.
#4: African Elephants
Common Name: African Elephant
Scientific Name: loxodonta africana
Size: 8.2 to 13 ft tall, up to 14,000 lbs.
Habitat: Grasslands and Forest
Conservation Status: Vulnerable due to poaching and habitat loss. 8% of the population is poached every year for their tusks.
Fun Fact: African elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild.
#5: Cape Buffalo
Common Name: African buffalo
Scientific Name: syncerus caffer
Size: 4-6 ft. tall, 1,500 lbs.
Habitat: Dense forest to open plains
Predators: Humans and lions
Fun Fact: Cape buffalo are 4 times stronger than an ox, and have actually been known to tip over cars.
Contact us today to discover why Africa is a must see destination where you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime!