The Elephant Plains Big 5
 

The Big 5 is a phrase originally used by hunters to refer to the 5 most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt in Africa. Today this phrase is associated with exiting opportunity to see 5 of the most magnificent animals on the planet. They are the African elephant, the lion, the buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros.


ELEPHANT   ■   Family Elephantidae

 
Weight
5000 – 6000 kg /
11 000 – 13 200 lbs

Height
300 – 330 cm /
118 – 130 inches

Potential lifespan
60 years

Gestation
22 months

Offspring
1 young at a time,
rarely (1% of births) twins

Weaning age
3 - 8 years, just before
the birth of the next calf

Big 5 - Elephant

RHINOCEROS  ■  Family Rhinocerotidae - Ceratotherium simum Square-lipped / white rhino

 
Weight
2040 – 2260 kg /
4488 – 4972 lbs

Height
171 – 186 cm /
68 – 73 inches

Potential lifespan
40 – 45 years

Gestation
16 months

Offspring
1 calf

Weaning age
12 – 18 months,
sometimes as late as 2 years

Big 5 - Rhinoceros

LION  ■  Family Felidae - Panthera leo

Lions you might encounter while on safari at Elephant Plains
 
Weight
189 kg / 416 lbs

Height
120 cm / 48 inches

Potential lifespan
11 years

Gestation
110 days

Offspring
1-4 cubs, can be up to 6

Weaning age
starts at 10 weeks,
completed by 6 months

Big 5 - Lion

LEOPARD  ■  Family Felidae - Panthera Pardus

Leopards you might encounter while on safari at Elephant Plains
 
Weight
35-65 kg / 77-143 lbs

Height
60 – 70 cm / 24 – 28 inches

Potential lifespan
10 years

Gestation
100 day

Offspring
usually 2 cubs

Weaning age
6 – 12 weeks

Family tree

Big 5 - Lion

BUFFALO    ■   Family Bovidae - Subfamily Bovinae

 
Weight
425 – 870 kg / 935 – 1914 lbs

Height
150 – 165 cm / 60-66 inches

Potential lifespan
15 years

Gestation
330 – 346 days

Offspring
1 calf

Weaning age
5 – 15 months, or just before
the birth of the next calf

Big 5 - Buffalo


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