SEARCHING FOR THE BIG 5 IN SOUTH AFRICA
I can’t wait to get back to South Africa and see more of the beautiful country. Having traveled to over 40 countries, South Africa is definitely in my top five all-time favorite places to visit, and one main reason is the Big 5. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Ok, maybe not tigers and bears, but definitely lions crossed my path when I visited South Africa. The “big five is a term that was created by the top-game hunters who refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. They are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros elephant, and Cape buffalo. Today, the Big 5 are the most sought-after animals for tourist to see when visiting South Africa, and I was no exception. One of the main reasons I wanted to visit South Africa was for the safari game drives to see the Big 5.
On day 5 of being in South Africa I set off for Pilanesberg Game Reserve, which is a provincial park in South Africa, northwest of Johannesburg, and it’s where hundreds of mammals make their home. As the sun rose, I hopped into the safari jeep, anxious and ready, for the big adventure. I must be upfront and say that I didn’t get to see all 5 of the Big 5, but 4 out of 5 isn’t bad. Riding in the safari jeep was so much fun, jeeps mainly are used as they are familiar with the animals, and therefore allows visitors to come real close to the animals without them attacking.
“In the jungle the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight”. I found myself humming that tune as I spotted my first lion. Lions are social creatures and usually live together in groups called prides. My heart raced and adrenaline pumped when I saw a pride of six lions in the wild walk right in front of our truck. The second largest cat in the world walked in front of me, priceless moment!
Lions are such pretty creatures and one of my favorite animals period. They walk with such grace, yet are the “king of the beasts”. Seeing these big cats in the wild was exhilarating.
The African leopard is the most elusive of the big cats and the only one of the Big 5 I didn’t get to see. Trust me I’m not happy about this. They’re difficult at times to spot because they hunt at night and spend their days resting in the safety of tree branches. Maybe we drove right by one and I didn’t even notice, nonetheless, I must go back to Africa just to see the leopard in the wild. Until then, thank you Elelur for the great picture of this gorgeous creature.
The rhino is the largest land mammal after the elephant, and seeing these big strong animals in the wild is so much better than the zoo. Rhinos have been hunted nearly to extinction because of the animals’ horns. Super sad.
Is there a cuter picture. A mother elephant and her child drinking. I could watch elephants all day as long as they stayed at a decent distance. The African elephant is the largest of the Big 5 as well as the largest land animal on earth, sadly, it’s also the most highly threatened by poachers who kill them for their ivory trunks for business.
These dangerous beauties have huge horns that make them look like they’re having a bad hair day. I occasionally have bad hair days myself so who am I to talk. Nonetheless, I was in awe of the size of this beast and how calm he was, especially since the cape buffalo is nicknamed “Black Death” and the “Widowmaker”
South Africa is filled with so many beautiful creatures, and I’m so lucky to have seen so many up close in the wild. Below are a few of the non-Big 5 I spotted on my trip. Enjoy.
My Big 5 experience was incredible! Amazing to see wildlife in its natural habitat and I can’t wait to get up close and personal with them in South Africa again.
Have you seen the Big 5? Comment below and let me know.