Sunday
Aug032014

Seeing The Big Five on A Luxury Safari

The world’s second largest continent, Africa, boasts a beautiful unspoiled landscape filled with a diverse range of animal species that has attracted adventurers for centuries. Derived from the Swahili word for long journey, a safari was originally a trip undertaken by big game hunters. These professional hunters coined the term Big Five, which includes lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and the critically endangered Cape buffalo, in the late 19th and early 20th century to describe the largest and most difficult prey to track on foot. Today, most safaris are designed to observe and photograph wildlife as conservation efforts strive to rebuild the numbers of these animals in the wild.

A luxury safari, featuring spine-tingling wildlife adventures, spellbinding scenery and fascinating cultures, is an once-in-a-lifetime experience. These remarkable excursions are one of the best ways to explore the majestic grandeur of Africa’s spectacular natural setting and view amazing animals up-close in their habitats. In addition to close-up wildlife sightings and stunning panoramic vistas of a gorgeous remote expanse of wilderness, a luxury African safari enables you to enjoy gourmet meals and comfortable accommodations as you create memories that will last a lifetime. While you may encounter an endless array of animals on an African safari, the big five are the most well known.

Lion

big 5 luxury african safari lion

The top carnivore, lions live in groups known as prides on the savannah. These majestic animals are arguably the most sought after member of the big five. Their golden color enables them to blend into the grassy terrain, which makes it easier for these efficient hunters to stalk their prey. Males are generally easier to spot because they have distinctive manes and tip the scale at more than 500 pounds. Because females are more agile, they hunt for the other members of the pride. The male’s role is to defend the group against intruders.

Leopard

big 5 luxury african safari leopard
Although leopards are more numerous than lions, the prince of cats is difficult to detect because it is solitary, and the rose-shaped pattern on its coat provides excellent camouflage. This stealthy cat conceals its movement in the trees where it relaxes, surveys the terrain and devours prey. Like lions, leopards prefer to hunt from sunset to sunrise. The smallest of the big cats, the leopard is renowned as a strong swimmer and for its ability to run at speeds approaching 36 miles per hour.

Elephants

big 5 luxury african safari elephants
African elephants, the world’s largest and heaviest land animal, splash and play in the water. Adult bulls can weigh up to 15,000 pounds and attain a height of 13 feet. Reputed to have a sense of smell four times greater than bloodhounds, elephants can detect water up to 12 miles away. You can watch elephants use their trunks to care for their young, lift objects that weigh up to 550 pounds and explore their environment. The animals cool their bodies by flapping their ears and taking mud baths.

Rhinoceros

Big 5 Luxury African Safari Rhinos
The pre-historic looking rhinoceros, with its distinctive horn, is the second-largest land mammal. All rhinos are grey in color. The two dominant species, black and white, are distinguishable by the shape of their upper lips. While a white rhino calf runs in front of its mother, a black rhino calf trots behind. You can watch them wallow in the mud to keep cool. This animal, one of the most endangered species in the world, is now receiving protection through international conservation agreements and cooperation.

Cape Buffalo

Big 5 Luxury African Safari Buffalo
African buffaloes are social animals that graze in grasslands, swamps, forests and open land with abundant sources of water. According to naturalists, the herd uses a communal system to decide in which direction the group travels. Although these large bovines appear docile, observers are usually astonished by the sound and force of the impact of the animal’s horns when males fight for rank and females. Adult bulls also use their rock-hard horned heads to defend other members of the herd from crocodiles and lions.

A luxury safari hearkens back to the Golden Age of African excursions described by Hemingway and the romance of “Out of Africa.” The adventure combines stylish and sophisticated amenities with the thrill of the wild where you can enjoy spectacular views of the endless horizon during the day. At night, you can experience the unforgettable nocturnal sounds of this unspoiled wilderness beneath a blanket of stars on a Big Five Luxury African Safari Tour

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