The big five animals include lion, elephant, Rhino, Cape buffalo and the leopard. Let us read some interesting facts about these animals. Lion Known as the only truly social cats, lions live a nomadic lifestyle in groups called prides, with a pack mentality that is usually led by the females. Lions’ bodies are built for hunting: They are strong and compact, with strong forelimbs and jaws that help them bring down their prey. Females stay in their mother’s prides their entire lives, unless food shortage forces the pride to fracture. Males, however, are forced out of their pride when they are old enough to compete with the dominant males. Male lions will roam in groups, usually made up of related individuals, and search for prides to take over. Males typically only live in a pride for two to three years before being forced out by another group. A lion’s roar can be heard up to 5 miles away. Lions have no specific habitat preference so you could expect to see them anywhere during your bush trip. But they are territorial. When you spot these African animals resting in some shade, you will see them enjoying good fellowship with lots of – touching, head rubbing, licking and purring. Leopard The largest cat species that climbs trees regularly, leopards can drag prey weighing up to three times their own body weight up into trees over 20 feet (6 meters) tall and they can hunt from trees. Leopards are not only comfortable in water, they are in fact strong swimmers that sometimes eat fish and even crabs. This beautiful, elegant, and powerfully built African animal has a tawny coat, which is covered with dark, irregular circles called rosettes. This shrewdest of the large carnivores is a prize encounter on all game drives. Dense bush in rocky surroundings and riverine forest are their favorite habitats. The spotted coat provides almost perfect camouflage when they rest during the daytime in trees or thick bush. Both lions and hyenas will take away the kill if they can. To prevent this, leopards store their larger kills in trees where you can often see them feed on it in relative safety. Elephants Elephants can get sunburned and throw sand on their backs and heads to prevent sunburn and keep insects off their skin. Baby elephants are born blind and some individuals suck their trunks for comfort, similar to the way young humans suck their thumbs. When elephants approach you during a safari trip, switch off your car engine and give them space to pass. Take some time to see how these African wild animals use their trunks as a – hand, extra foot, communication device and observe how expertly elephants use it as a – tool for gathering food, siphoning of water, dust baths, and digging for food. The African elephant is the largest living land mammal with a prodigious appetite and you will see these hungry animals eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark for most of the day. Rhinos Black rhinos can pick up small objects and even open gates and vehicle doors with their prehensile upper lips. Look out for white rhinos in grassland areas with trees and water. You will notice them spending most of their day grazing on grasses, walking with their enormous heads and squared lips lowered to the ground. To distinguish them from their black counterparts, notice the pointed, often tufted ears, flattish back and elongated head and look for a calf that usually runs ahead of the mother. Buffalo Buffalo are said to have killed more hunters in Africa than any other wild animal. Buffalos have good memories and are known to ambush hunters that have harmed them in the past. The only wild cattle species, females buffalos have strong bonds and if one individual is attacked the entire herd will defend the victim. You will often spot buffaloes on their way to water after their night feeding. They require large spaces and you will see them feeding on grasses of various length. Both male and female buffaloes have heavy, ridged horns that curve downward and then up. The hollow horns of these African animals are formidable weapons against predators.

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