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Well, In Africa, the big five game animals are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros (both black and white species), elephant, and Cape buffalo. The term “big five game” (usually capitalized or quoted as “Big Five”) was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Subsequently the term was adopted by safari tour operators for marketing purposes.
The term is used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.
The Big Five can be found together in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana, though obviously not in all parks so do make sure you research thoroughly to avoid any disappointment. African wildlife species are each incredible in their own way.
The African elephant is a very large herbivore having thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and large, fan-shaped ears. The mighty African elephant is the largest of the Big Five and also the largest land animal in the world. Elephants are chilled and calm, as long as you leave them alone. African forest elephant and the African bush elephant Elephants are difficult to hunt because, despite their large size, they are able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than the other species.
The black rhinoceros is a large herbivore having two upright horns on the nasal bridge. Its thick (1.5–5 cm) protective skin, formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure, is very hard to puncture. There are two types of rhino in Africa: the black and the white rhino. The black rhino is highly endangered and threatened by poachers. Their population is currently estimated to be only 4,000 animals throughout Africa. There are larger numbers of the white rhino about 17,000 animals although most of these are in South Africa.
The African buffalo or Cape buffalo is a large horned bovid. Buffalo are sometimes reported to kill more hunters in Africa than any other animal, and they’re the only animals within the Big Five that aren’t endangered or threatened. Even a lion would not dare to attack a Cape buffalo without the help of his buddies. A similar claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles, but these statements include all people and not strictly hunters. The Cape buffalo is considered by many to be the most dangerous of the big five, reportedly causing the most hunter deaths, with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.
For thousands of years we’ve been fascinated by this beautiful, elegant and robust member of the cat family. Lions are impressive and excellent hunters, although you will more likely find them resting in the shade.Lions are desirable to hunters because of the very real danger involved. A lion may attack without provocation, and is considered by many to be the best of the big five.
Lions are hunted by three methods: baiting, stalking, and hounding. The hunting method is dependent firstly on the law, then the number of lions in a given area, the terrain, and the preference and expertise of the professional hunter, or of the concession owner or hunting outfitter and the client.
The leopard is considered the most difficult of the big five to hunt because of their nocturnal and secretive nature. They are wary of humans and will take flight in the face of danger. The leopard is solitary by nature, and is most active between sunset and sunrise, although it may hunt during the day in some areas. Leopards can be found in the savanna grasslands, brush land and forested areas in Africa. Baiting, hounding, and stalking are the most common methods used to hunt the cat.
Our advice would be: don’t speed past an elegant giraffe or beautiful cheetah to seek out an elephant just because it’s on your Big Five check list.