African Safari is the tour that makes you familiar to many terminologies and one of them being the “Big Five game” usually popped up by the tourists during the Safari rides. The Phrase “Big 5 Game” was actually coined by the “White Hunters”, ( Big Game hunters of Europe and North America), it refers to the 05 most difficult animals to hunt on foot. The term is still very common among the Tourists and African Safari guides of wildlife. These five animals consists of Elephant, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Lion and Leopard. These animals are not short listed as per their sizes but the difficulty in hunting and the degree of danger involved.
All members of this group “Big Five” are the most difficult animals to hunt and are of good popularity among the big game hunters. Safari Club International, is a dedicated organisation for trophy hunters and offers a trophy in prize for hunting all five, and the event is known as the African Big Five Grand Slam. The countries where all the members of this group can be seen are Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa,, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Democratic Republic of Congo. as per data it is observed that Black Rhino is difficult to be seen in Botswana.
01. African Elephant:
This huge Mammal is the largest animal found on this planet today. They are the highly intelligent herbivore animals. unfortunately its number is decreases drastically due to increase in the demand of the ivory. A per calculated latest figures the population of elephants in Africa that was 300,000 back in 1970 are now reduced to just 10,000. They are mainly of two types African Bush Elephant and African Forest Elephant, when left alone these giants are very peaceful but when they feel threatened – you better watch out. There can’t be more scary than being chased by 12,000 lb’s animal with flapping ears and trumpeting loudly. they are very difficult to hunt because despite of being huge they can hide themselves in high bushes and can charge without warning.
02. Black Rhino:
The species of Rhinoceros like black Rhino or Hooked lipped Rhino or white Rhino are natives of Africa, among the, the black Rhino has gone thru the drastic decrease in number in last two decades. Now it is believed that Black Rhino’s are only around 4000 in wild and while white Rhino are much abundant in number like over 17000, but huge populations are found in Southern Africa. White Rhino’s are comparatively more social and lives in groups called Crash while black are solitary in nature. They are the large mammals infact largest after Elephants, weighs about 6000 lb’s lives in Savannah, shrub and bushy areas. they are short sighted and very bad tempered animals but very exciting to look at but can not much be sighted due to poaching. It’s Horn is also used medicinally to reduce fevers. In 2010 the calculated price of rhino horn is $30,000 per lb ($60,000/ kg) and one horn weighs around 06-07 lb’s that too juicy for poachers to neglect.
03. Cape Buffalo:
In the Big Five game thing the Cape Buffalo enjoys its position among the one of the most difficult animals to be hunt down on foot. Animal weighing 500 – 900 Kg’s with the activeness, alertness and aggression takes on the hunters on the front foot. These animals can be spotted mostly in conserved areas of African Safari with plenty of water. These are the dangerous Beasts known as “Black Death” and Widow Maker” in Africa due to their volatile nature and are responsible for various human kills every year. this cape Buffalo is considerably the most dangerous animals of Africa with an assumed exception of the Hippo. Mostly seen in wild in east Africa where the populationis calculated to be around 900,000.
04. African Lion:
Lions sleep around 20 hours in a day, but are the most scary of the animals and is famous as the “King of the Jungle”. The heavy mane around its chest and shoulders puts him under the lime light among all the members of the feline animals. After tiger is the second biggest cat found on Planet earth. Its the hunters wish and desire to knock down a lion due to the high level of danger and fear involved. Lion may attack without any warning, so considered by many as the best of the Big Five. Lions do not have repute of attacking humans but when there territories are trespassed anything can be expected from them. Lion hunting is more challenging in the wildness of Savannah as the grass and shrubs known as “Jess” gives lion a camouflaging ability, and due to its temperament its a tough target. As, Lions are the ambush hunter before charging they wait for considerable time until the prey is in range and then makes a final move by surprising the victim with its sudden presence, these are the facts that make Lions to have a first place at hunter desired diary. Hunters use different strategies and methods to hunt lion down mainly Baiting, Stalking and hounding. The later 2 can only be practiced in day light as per law.
05. African Leopard:
This is the Animal which has the toughest regulations to acquire hunting license. usually found in dark rosette like markings or black fur. as per their nocturnal and secretive nature they are among the toughest animals to be spotted. They are cautious of Humans and will take the challenge if they are challenged. Grass lands, Brush lands and forested areas of Africa are the habitat of this beast, this animal is mostly active in hours of sunset and sunrise but they can hunt in the day time as well in some areas. Methods used to hunt leopards are same as hunting lions, usually outfitters recommend atleast two weeks of time involving the hunt of this animal.
So, this is all about the Big Five Animals of the Africa to be the toughest one to be hunt down on foot and there is nothing like this that everyone can hunt, actually you have to be the member of the Safari Club International and should have the license of hunting for each of these Five animals. Nonetheless in a safari trip if a tourist can spot all these “Big Five” of Africa its more than like a dream come true.