The “Big Five” in Africa are the African Lion, African Elephant African Leopard, Rhinoceros and the cape buffalo. Who the heck knew that the cape buffalo was one of the ‘big five’? I would have suspected a hippo, cheetah, giraffe or something like that but nope it is the cape buffalo. Interestingly – at least to me – was the fact that the big five are known as such because they are the five most difficult animals to hunt – it has nothing to do with safari – but yet that is the main question you will get from people when you get back…’did you see the big five?’…even though most people (including myself until the minute before we got to Africa and I Googled it) have no idea what the ‘big five’ animals are or why they are called that. So before you ask – did we see them? Nope we didn’t. We got skunked on the African Leopard which supposedly only comes out at night and on our single night game drive we were not fortunate enough to see them. Night game drives in South Africa (and probably most of Africa) are pretty scarce given the poaching situation since it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have rangers finding animals like rhinos, elephants, etc… and calling out over walkie-talkies the location only to have poachers steal the signal and go cut down the beautiful animals for their ivory (which by the way does NOT have healing powers!).
This Cape Buffalo was one of many that we saw while out on safari. However, this guy had several birds on him eating the ticks that you can see on/about his face. The cape buffalo tolerates this because the birds ultimately keep him somewhat clean and the birds love it because it is something they can survive off of….ahh the circle of life.