Wildlife Safaris in South Africa

South African Safari Animals
About the Big Five



Watchful leopard in tree
© South African Tourism





South African Safari Animals
So what wild animals could you expect to see on your safari in South Africa? Well, wildlife and birds are plentiful in our National Parks such as  the Kruger National Park, and you'll find lots more on the many private game reserves situated throughout the country.

This page will concentrate on the major animals you've come to see and  photograph on your safari. In fact
you can expect to see plenty of animals, including the Big 5, lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. See below for descriptions and links to pictures.

The African Lion Lion Art 
"The lion (Panthera leo) is a member of the family Felidae
and one of four
big cats" in the genus Panthera. Reaching 272kg (600lb), it is the second-largest cat after the tiger " "Lions live for approximately 10–14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live over 20 years. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest."  " A lion pride consists of related females and offspring and a small number of dominant males." "While lions, in general, do not selectively hunt humans, some have been known to become man-eaters and seek human prey.From Wikipedia






South African Safari Animals

The African Elephant  Elephant Art

 "The word "elephant" has Greek origins. Elephants are mammals, and the largest land animals alive today. The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 120 kilograms (265 lb). An elephant may live as long as 70 years, sometimes longer. The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956. This male weighed about 12,000 kg (26,400 lb), with a shoulder height of 4.2 m (13.8 ft), a metre (3 ft 4 in) taller than the average male African elephant." "Elephants are increasingly threatened by human intrusion and poaching. Once numbering in the millions, the African elephant population has dwindled to between 470,000 and 690,000 individualsFrom Wikipedia

South African Safari Animals

The African Leopard (above) Leopard Art

"The African leopard varies in base color throughout Africa: depending on the location and habitat they can vary from reddish brown, through dark yellow to cream. African leopards are covered in black rosettes, usually without spots within them, the pattern of rosettes being unique to each individual. Male leopards are larger and heavier than females. Leopards have a very varied diet which includes insects, rodents, reptiles, and even large mammals, and will occasionally take domestic livestock when other food is scarce.African leopards inhabit all of Africa, ranging from mountainous regions to grasslands and savannas. They also can live in desert and forest areas. From Wikipedia

South African Safari Animals

The White Rhino Rhino Art  
 "The White Rhinoceros or Square-lipped Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is, behind the elephant, probably the most massive remaining land animal in the world, along with the Indian Rhinoceros which is of comparable size and some male hippopotamuses. There are two subspecies of White Rhinos; as of 2005, South Africa has the most of the first subspecies, the Southern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum simum). The population of southern white rhinos is about 11,600, making them the most abundant subspecies of rhino in the world, and the White Rhino the most abundant species." "White Rhinos have the distinctive flat broad mouth which is used for grazing" From Wikipedia

South African Safari Animals

The Black Rhino  

"The name of the species was chosen to distinguish it from the White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum). This is confusing, as those two species are not really distinguishable by colour. Although the Rhino is referred to as a "Black" creature, it is actually more of a grey-white color in appearance. There are four subspecies of black rhino"  "The Black Rhino is much smaller than the White Rhino, and has a pointed mouth, which is used to grasp leaves and twigs when feeding." From Wikipedia

South African Safari Animals

The African Buffalo  Buffalo Art
"The African Buffalo or Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a bovid from the family of the Bovidae. On average, an adult male stands about 1.5 m high at the shoulder and weighs 600–750 kg, while a female is 10–15 cm shorter and weighs between 400 and 550 kg. Bulls at ten years of age or older can reach or exceed 900 kg." "The Cape Buffalo is a very powerful creature, demanding respect from even a pride of lions when paths cross. Other than humans, they have few natural pedators and are capable of defending themselves against (and sometimes killing) lions. It typically takes multiple lions to bring down a single adult buffalo"  From Wikipedia


Interested in a guided tour and safari in the Kruger Park? 3 Days  4 Days

What you're likely to be doing on your safari: Safari Activities

What
do you need to take along with you?
Safari Essentials

Top images on this page: © South African Tourism

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