Having travel insurance will cover many eventualities, but look after yourself, and don’t get out of the car, should you come across the following African wildlife:
The “Big Five” initially referred to those African animals considered the most difficult to hunt on foot. One will also commonly see references to the Big Five in tourism literature aimed at tourists who usually just wish to view African wildlife. Many self-respecting game park or safari guides will do their utmost to make sure you spot each of the Big Five on your trip. The Big Five are namely, the lion, the elephant, the cape buffalo, the leopard and the black rhinoceros.
The “King of the Jungle” doesn’t actually live in the jungle, but nonetheless, the lion is an amazing beast to behold. The heavy mane of hair around the male’s head and shoulders distinguishes it from the female. Lions live around 16 years in the wild. They are carnivores and often compete with hyenas in the same hunting ground for food. It is the lionesses, however, that do most of the hunting.
The life span of the elephant, at 60 to 70 years is longer than humans’ life expectancy in many countries. Elephants need a good amount of space and land at their disposal, as their eating habits can be quite destructive! They are known to uproot trees and shrubs, but also graze, consuming around a mammoth 300 kilograms of food per day. They also drink close to 200 litres of water.
Also known as the African buffalo, this 900 kilogram beast can be quite unpredictable, and therefore dangerous. For this reason, humans have been unable to domesticate it. They are claimed to be responsible for around 200 human deaths a year. Fully grown and healthy buffaloes are pretty adept at defending themselves against predators, including lions, one on one, but are vulnerable to pack attacks.
A stealth-like animal, its running speed of up to 58 kilometres an hour is obviously very handy in catching prey. The leopard is incredibly agile, being able to climb well, and can often be spotted lying in trees in the daytime. It can run down tree trunks headfirst, and can even carry carcasses up into trees and hang them there. Storing their kill in trees helps leopard keep their food away from other predators like hyenas, who are known to steal others’ hard earned food!
Critically endangered, black rhinos number just a few thousand, having been depleted by loss of habitat, and poaching for their horns, which are used for traditional Chinese medicine, and had been used for ceremonial daggers in the Middle East. Black rhinos themselves need their horns for intimidating others, digging up roots and breaking branches. Black rhinos have a hooked lip, while white rhinos have a square lip. Physical features are a better way to tell them apart, as their respective colour references are a misnomer.
Cheap Travel Insurance will have you covered. Just stay away from stampeding elephants!