When mentioning a Safari to Africa, the first thing that pops into mind is The Big Five, and only after that do other thoughts tag along.
Once we all packed and depart home for Africa, we settle down in our tents anxious for our safari, all we can think about is spotting the Big 5, oh and not forgetting the other Smaller animals which are just as eye-catching and fascinating.
These colossal mammals spend most their day eating, giving them the nickname, "the Gardeners of the Savannah", while flapping their ears to keep them as cool as can be. An elephants tusks grow throughout its lifetime, and just as us humans prefer either being left or right handed, an elephant prefers one tusk over another. With over 40 000 muscles in its trunk, it makes for a good snorkel when swimming.
It is believed that Rhino's have been around for more than 50 million years, and yes, rhinos are indeed short-sighted, a little bad tempered, but magnificent to look at. Even with its bad temper, the rhino does have a very good friend - The Oxpeckers eat the ticks off a rhino's hide and also warn of danger.
For thousands of years these cats have been admired for their strength, beauty and hunting skills which have given them the label of the "King of beasts" by many. These grandiose animals love resting, so much so that they can rest for up to 20 hours of the day. Lions do not purr like house cats, neither do they enjoy swimming.
This shy solitary cat spends many hours up in the trees, using them as observation platforms and also for protection. These eye catching cats stalk and pounce their prey, usually dragging it up a tree, allowing them to keep the catch all for themselves. Leopards are generally excellent swimmers - Weird, but true.
The Cape buffalo can be found in herds throughout the major game parks within Africa where surface water can be found. Flanks of ebony and horns of steel is what this fierce yet placid animal can be described as.
Trips that include the big 5
11 Days Victoria Falls to Johannesburg
Trip Price: ZAR 10395
14 Days Nairobi to Nairobi
Trip Price: ZAR 14595
14 Days Johannesburg to Victoria Falls
Trip Price: ZAR 795
26 Days Dar Es Salaam to Johannesburg
Trip Price: ZAR 20895
32 Days Nairobi to Johannesburg
Trip Price: ZAR 25095
35 Days Johannesburg to Nairobi
Trip Price: ZAR 1495
37 Days Nairobi to Johannesburg
Trip Price: ZAR 39795
42 Days Nairobi to Cape Town
Trip Price: ZAR 31395
46 Days Johannesburg to Nairobi
Trip Price: ZAR 39795
The Small 5 of Africa
Now that we have covered the Big 5 of Africa, let's move onto the Small 5 of Africa - Yes that's right, Africa has a Small 5. It's just a fun idea, and not based on anything except the fact that their names correspond with those of the Big 5.
The Elephant Shrew
The Elephant Shrew is a small rodent which is active during the day, runs extremely fast and loves feeding on small insects. It gets its name from the elongated snout that resembles an elephant trunk.
The Rhino Beetle
The Rhino Beetle is one of the largest beetles and is often mistaken with the dung beetle. If you spot one, make sure to take a closer look at the horn-like structure to identify it.
The Ant Lion
The Ant Lion is a very sneaky insect, as it burrows its way into the sand and then waits there for its prey to fall into the trap before ambushing it and munching away with its large set of sickle-like jaws.
The Leopard Tortoise
The Leopard Tortoise is the most common of the "small 5", and most certainly the slowest. The leopard tortoise gets its name from its black and yellow spotted shell that resembles the leopard's rosettes.
The Buffalo Weaver Bird
The Buffalo Weaver Bird can be very deceiving; as elegant as it looks, it builds and stays in very untidy nests high up in the trees. They are a sociable and noisy flock of birds.