LION (Panthera leo)

It is certainly the largest of the big cats of Africa and the second in the world behind Tiger (Panthera tigris). The size of the males ranges from the 2,5-3,3 meters long, including the tail, while that the size of females is smaller, between the 2,3-2,7 m. The weight of the males is located between the 150-230 kg while that of females is quite less, between 120-160 kg. Males can reach 1.30 meters of height on the cross. Lions are without discussion one of the main attractions for the tourists when making a game drive. The best time for his sighting is usually at first time in the morning when the sun does not even press or at dusk when they usually kicks in and usually hunt. The rest of the day can be seen them dozing under an acacia tree, protecting from the intense african sun. Lions can sleep up to 16 hours a day.

Unlike other big cats, lions are fully social since they live in herds of several members consisting of close ties between all (normally aunts, sisters). Only when the males grow they are expelled by their parents to avoid inbreeding and condemned to exile until they can take another herd.

No animal are safe from the menu of this cat, even elephants, although his prey usually be zebras, wildebeests and buffaloes.

Some of the best places for his sighting are the Kenyan Masai Mara reserve, Ruaha and Serengeti parks in Tanzania, South Africa Kruger Park, Botswana Chobe Park or the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania.

BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer)

We have a force of nature with a surly character that can reach a height in the cross of 1.70 meters and a length ranging from 1.70 to 3.40 meters. Adult males can reach the 800 kgs. It is the largest bovid in Africa and, for many, is the most dangerous of the Big 5 group. Possibly the least sympathetic of this select group but his irascible character coupled with the strength of the Group make this animal a unpredictable beast.

They are typically gregarious habit without large territorial ties and move through the savannah in large numbers (occasionally in groups of thousands of individuals). Except lions (and sometimes hyenas) an adult buffalo has no natural enemies. They have a voracious apatite and are capable of drinking up to 30 liters of water a day and travel long distances in search of green pastures. His greatest weapon is its powerful horns that never ceases to grow. In more developed males can reach exceed 1.5 meters. A deadly weapon even for the very same Lions. Life expectancy ranges between 16 and 20 years.

The best places for his observation are the parks of Uganda’s Murchison falls and Queen Elizabeth, Zambian´s parks of Kafue and South Luangwa, Tanzanian´s parks of Katavi, Tarangire and Selous, the South African Kruger Park or Chobe Park and the Okavango Delta in Botswana.

LEOPARD (Panthera pardus)

It is the second african largest feline after the lion and the fourth in the world behind the tiger and jaguar. Males can reach the 90 kg while females are around the 60 kgs. With a canines from up to 5 cms sharp as daggers and extremely developed on his neck muscles, leopards are able to climb trees up to three times its weight dams and safeguard them from hyenas and lions.

Surely we have the more agile and elusive cat of all. Predominantly nocturnal, leopards usually spend the day resting in the branches of the trees where they feel safer. Thanks to his chameleon-like nature and its huge adaptability this feline is today the most numerous and widespread, but even so his remark to a safari is not easy. It has has falsely attributed to black leopards in other different subspecies erroneously calling Black Panthers when the reality is that they are leopards black by an excess of melanin in their skin.

Up to 90 different species which are part of the menu of this cat, from small rodents to prey more than 250 kg like wildebeest have been recorded. Almost nothing is too small or too large for this super predator.

The best places for his observation are Zambians parks of North Luangwa and South Luangwa, the parks of Hwange and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe, the Aberdare Park and the reserve of Masai Mara in Kenya, the Kruger Park and the private Reserve of Sabi Sand in South Africa, the Okavango Delta in Botswana or the park of Serengeti in Tanzania.

ELEPHANT (Loxodonta africana)

Surely there isn´t of the Earth other creature so beautiful as this animal. Elephants are the largest land mammal in the world. The African specimens are significantly larger than their Asian cousins. An African male adult can weigh more than 7 tons and reach 4 meters of height on the cross with a length of up to 8 meters. Females are much smaller. Adult elephants have no natural enemies except man.

They are animals endowed with a huge memory and a developed intelligence thanks to his enormous brain. They have a very complex social behavior governed by a matriarchal society (usually the older female). Move in groups, sometimes even hundreds of individuals. Adult males on the other hand leads a solitary life.

Pursued to almost extinction by their tusks, today their number are close to 600 thousand across Africa although it is rarer to see the big Tuskers (elephants with huge tusk). Some of these tusks have come to pear more than 100 kgs and measuring more than 3 meters. Due to his insatiable appetite (need some 200 kg of food per day) they have an enormous capacity to alter the ecosystem that surrounds him. Without the interference of the human being they can live more than 60 years.

The best places for his observation are Kenyan parks Amboseli and Masai Mara, Hwange Park in Zimbabwe, South Africa Kruger Park, Chobe Park in Botswana or Ruaha in Tanzania.

RHINO (Diceros bicornis)

At today still survive 5 species of rhinoceros, two of them can be found in Africa: the black rhino (Diceros bicornis) and the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum). White one is quite large reaching 3.5 tons of weight in adult males, while black seldom exceeds the 1500 kgs. The white rhino is also longer with a length which reaches 4.8 meters while the black ranges over 4 meters. In addition to the differences in size, they are also easily distinguishable by the shape of his lips, white one has a square lip while black one is triangular in shape. Both copies have a poor view and are guided by the smell although the character of one and the other are quite opposite to being much more aggressive and hot-tempered than white black.

Rhinos are the closest thing to a battleship that exists in nature. They are a real living fossils because its appearance has hardly changed in nearly 60 million years although their survival, now more that ever, is in serious danger due to the threat of poaching pursued mercilessly these animals for their horns as in the traditional chinese medicine attributed aphrodisiac properties, but the reality is that they are composed of the same material as our fingernails, i.e. of keratin. Only survive around 17000 white rhinos (90% located in South Africa), while black one barely survive some 4500 individuals.

The best places for the observation of the white rhino are the South African parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Infolozi, Nakuru Park in Kenya, the park of Garamba in Congo, the park of Hwange in Zimbabwe and Etosha park in Namibia.

The best places for the observation of the black rhino are Etosha Park and the region of Damaraland in Namibia, Mana Pools in Zimbabwe, the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and the South African parks of Kruger and Hluhluwe-Infolozi.