The Big Five

The Big Five are an iconic emblem of Africa, synonymous with the untamed beauty and alluring wildness of one of the world’s most enthralling continents. Staying in Addo Elephant Park accommodation is one of the foremost ways to view these powerful creatures in their natural environment – the park plays host to all five members, with a particularly impressive elephant population.

The Big Five includes the elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo – all of which have earned their place in Africa’s famous five, due to their striking characteristics, prowess and size. They have always played a vital part in our country’s environmental history and continue to serve an important role in the tourism industry. Numerous people flock to see the enigmatic beasts each year, embarking on exciting game drives to catch a glimpse of sleek leopards hiding in the tree tops and behemoth elephants secreted in the dense foliage. Here are five fascinating facts about the Big Five:

  • The elephant’s trunk is extremely dexterous and contains 40,000 different muscles. Elephants use their trunks for most things, including feeding, drinking and self-defence – it’s also used to convey emotion and empathy between members of a herd.
  • Lions are actually extremely lazy mammals that can spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping under an obliging tree. The evenings are when they become active, preparing for the hunt, calling to each other in rasping rumbles and protecting their territories. Their calls can be heard up to eight kilometres away and will send chills down even the most hardened adventurer’s spine.
  • The leopard is a solitary and secretive creature that boasts of being the strongest climber in the cat family. It is a very powerful and adept hunter, capable of killing prey far larger than itself.
  • Buffaloes are unpredictable and dangerous, with a reputation for ambushing and harming people in their path. The immense herds are generally comprised of females and their offspring, as the males tend to exist in bachelor herds, particularly when they are older.
  • You can tell the difference between black and white rhinos by examining their lips: the black rhino has a pointed lip that it utilises to pick fruit and leaves off branches, while the white rhino has a wider, flatter lip that is perfect for browsing. Over 600 black rhinos have been poached this year and the precious animals are now critically endangered. We all need to pull together to support rhino conservation initiatives.

Stay in luxurious Addo accommodation in the renowned park to witness the majestic Big Five in the wild – enjoying an up-close experience with these remarkable creatures is an experience you’re not likely to forget.