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10 Facts about Kenya’s Big Five

January 4, 2016

The term Big Five was originally coined by big-game hunters as a way to describe the elusiveness of Africa’s most fascinating wild animals. For hunters tracking animals by foot, the lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros were the most dangerous to hunt. These days, Kenya’s Big Five are protected by conservation laws and other anti-poaching efforts are in place, but for visitors to Kenya, catching a glimpse is still a challenge. Lucky for you, guides at Bush and Beyond properties have “caught” fantastic photos of all of Kenya’s favorite wildlife.

African Elephant

Did you know:

  • Elephants flap their ears to cool down their body temperature?
  • Despite their size, elephants are able to walk silently through the bush because they walk on the tips of their toes – which is actually a  thick cushion made up of elastic tissue.

Rhinoceros

Did you know:

  • Rhinoceros have roamed the earth for more than 50 million years
  • Rhinos have poor vision, but an excellent sense of smell, and good hearing.

Lion

Did you know:

  • Lions are the most social of all cats, living in prides of several females, and working cooperatively to hunt and raise cubs.
  • Lions will sleep up to 20 hours a day.

Leopard

Did you know:

  • A leopard’s spots (actually called rosettes) are shaped differently depending on their habitat. In eastern Africa they are circular  but square in southern Africa.
  • Leopards are the ultimate athlete, being able to run at speeds of over 35 mph and have been known to be able to jump 10 feet in the air.

Buffalo

Did you know:

  • Don’t mistake the physical similarities of the buffalo for their domesticated cousins. The Cape Buffalo is considered to be one of the most deadly of Africa’s Big 5. They have been known to mob predators and attack game hunters.
  • Cape Buffalo need to drink every day – that’s why you’ll see them in herds numbering in the thousands in the grasslands, but never find them in the dessert.
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