African Wildlife – The Big 5 & Little 5

G’day!  Here at Down Under Endeavours, we absolutely love wildlife and love travel that involves interacting with native species.  One of our favourite destinations in Africa.  From the Big 5- Lions, Leopards, Black Rhino, Elephant, and Buffalo, to the Little 5- Rhinoceros Beetle, Buffalo Weaver, Antlion, Elephant Shrew, and Leopard Turtle, you’ll find there’s so much to discover in the bush on an African Safari.  Make sure you bring your camera, so you can bring the memories with you!

Big 5

  • Lion
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    Lions are the most social of the all the big cats.  They live together in groups called “pride” consisting of about 15 lions at a time.  Male lions defend the pride’s territory and female lions (lionesses) do the hunting.  Lions can run for short bursts at 50 miles an hour, but they don’t have the stamina to keep that pace for long distances.  Their roars can be heard from as far as 5 miles away and their heels never touch the ground when they walk!  Lions know what it means to enjoy a lazy day in the shade, as they may sleep up to 20 hours a day.  Today, lions face obstacles such as habitat loss and poachers.  Learn more here.

 

  • Leopard
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    Leopards are renowned for their agility and strength.  They can run up to 36 miles per hour and keep that pace (unlike their cousins the lion).  They can leap up to 19 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically.  Pound for pound, leopards are the strongest of the big cats.  They’re able to climb trees, even when carrying heavy prey, and often choose to rest on tree branches during the day.  To top it off, they’re incredibly strong swimmers.  They often keep their prey up in the trees to ensure scavengers like hyenas, or even lions, won’t steal them. Leopards also purr when they’re happy and growl when they’re mad, kind of like your pet cat.  They have various vocalizations, like a rasping cough, for example.  They will make this noise to announce their arrival to other leopards.  Unlike lions, they are not social creatures and prefer a solitary lifestyle.  Due to poaching and loss of habitat, Leopards are an endangered species.

 

  • Black Rhino
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    The Black Rhino is critically endangered.  Recent success in conservation brings hope for the species, but there’s still a long way to go.  Humans are the biggest threat to adult Black Rhinos.  In several Asian cultures, people believe Rhino horn provides powerful medicine for a variety of ailments.  These horns bring poachers high profits.  Black Rhinos have a sort of attack first ask questions later attitude when they catch a human scent or anything unfamiliar, they’re likely to charge.  Mix that with their bad eyesight, and sometimes they’ll charge a tree or a rock.  However, they do have a great sense of hearing and smell.  Learn more about Black Rhinos and how you can help preserve the species, here.

 

  • Elephant
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    The African Elephant is the largest animal walking the Earth. Their herds wander through 37 countries in Africa and are easily recognizable by their trunk. African elephants are family-oriented animals with a complex social structure. There are two types of herds — females with their young and bachelor herds — and lone males. Elephants play an important part in their ecosystem, dramatically affecting the landscape. They disperse seeds and influence forest composition, creating clearings to boost tree regrowth and reducing cover to create suitable habitat for browsing and grazing animals. Can you imagine waking up to an elephant outside your window? Stop imagining and start planning, learn more here.
    Interested in learning how you can help the elephants? Click here.

 

  • Buffalo
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    The African Buffalo, also known as the Cape Buffalo, are thriving.  These guys are big and they know how to handle themselves.  Their horns are used to protect themselves and to take on any other buffalo that tries to battle them.  The also have amazing memories and have been known to ambush hunters that have wounded or injured them in the past.  Cape buffalo have also been known to kill lions.

Little 5
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Everyone has heard of Africa’s Big 5, but what about the Little 5? The Little 5 include the Rhinoceros Beetle, Buffalo Weaver, Antlion, Elephant Shrew, and Leopard Turtle. These little guys may share some of the same names as their larger counterparts, but they are much harder to spot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa is a delicious, indelible experience.  Down Under Endeavours handcrafts luxury Africa vacation packages designed around your wants, needs, timeframe and budget. Get a taste of an Africa Adventure Safari here.  Start planning your African Safari today! Give us a call at 888-229-0082 and speak with an Africa Specialist today!  Need a little more inspiration? Click here and read more about our other unique and exciting destinations.