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What You Didn’t Know About Elephants

Elephant – Water (84)

So you thought you knew everything there was to know about the majestic giants of Africa? Well think again! Elephants are a highly evolved species and are capable of far more than a lot of people give them credit for. The evolutionary path of elephants is fascinating and believe it or not the closest common ancestor they have with humans is an almost ancient form of tree shrew. However, the elephants most common ancestor isn’t even on land. Its is generally accepted that the elephants closest living relative are the manatee, hyraxes (also known as the Dassie) and the dugong. What is probably most surprising is the degree to which these groups are totally and utterly different. A quick look at each of these species will leave you scratching your head at exactly how they could be so closely related. But this is the wonder of nature.

Community plays a huge role in the life of an elephant and they are one of the most closely knit societies in the animal kingdom. Elephants can hear one another’s calls from as far away as 5miles or 8kms. Elephants will also have ‘funerals’ when a member of the heard passes away, much like humans and will even visit the site from from time to time to pay their respects. Even when a member of the herd gets sick, the other elephants will care for them and nurse them back to health. A famous ‘elephant whisperer’ by the name of Lawrence Anthony, known for his conservation efforts died in 2012 and his home on South Africa’s Thula Thula Game Reserve was visited by 2 separate herds of elephants only days after his death. Nobody can explain how the elephants knew he had died but they spent 2 days around the man’s home and then left and made their 12 hour journey back into the bush.

Elephants, despite their incredibly thick hides, are also susceptible to sunburn which is why they spray themselves with mud. Even more surprising with regards to their hides is that it is so sensitive that they can feel a fy landing on them. Elephants only sleep for 4 hours a day, they need an incredible amount of food. Elephants will eat up to 600 pounds or 300 kg of food per day and of course drink lots and lots water which they can detect from as far away as 12 miles and rain from as far as 150 miles away. To keep up with the sheer quantity of food and their substantial lifespans, elephants grow 6 sets of teeth in their lifetimes until old age catches up with them. They also have a gestation period of 2 years. A very surprising fact that has only recently been discovered by scientists is that elephants are very scared of bees. They will even go as far as to sound an alarm call if there are bees in the area. Elephants are so intelligent that they can tell the difference between men and women and even different ethnicities. Further to that point, elephants can even recognise themselves in the mirror.

So there you have it, hopefully this article has shed some light on some interesting things about elephants that you didn’t know previously. Think about these things the next time you see one and learn to appreciate just how special these gentle giants really are.

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NewsSafari

South Africa – Best Safari destinations

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The Big Five, the sunny coastal areas, Table Mountain, the friendly city and Safari destinations, makes Cape Town, South Africa, the place to be.  Here are a list of  reasons why you should select South Africa as your next vgetway  destination:

 

The Big 5 and other wildlife: nowhere else in the world would you see all these wildlife in one place: African leopard, African lion, Cape buffalo, and White and Black rhinoceros and African elephant all socializing in one biome like you do in South Africa. Its the homeland of these wondrous wildlife, but its also a crucial time for the animals  time is not after because creatures like the rhino are endangered because of poachers and big cats like lions are used for canned hunting!

Big Five

The weather and outdoor activities: In Africa especially South Africa, the weather is consistent. Sure, there are interesting things to do in winter and in summmer : surf safari, wildlife adventure safari, mountain climbing, paragliding and a lot more. After seeing what the african safari has to offer you, you will love all the other activities and scenery it has to offer.

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The friendly cities: South Africa is really a mixed stew of different cultures from all around the globe. This means that there are  various cultures and food for tourists to explore.

There are so much to do and to be discovered in South Africa.

What will your holiday getway look like? What Big five animal are you keen on seeing on your safari adventure?

 

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NewsSafariTravel

Top African Safari Holiday Destinations

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Africa’s top safari destinations comprise of wildlife parks in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa,Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Gabon. If you’re looking to find the best safari where you’re practically guaranteed to see the “Big Five” you can’t FAIL with these selections.

Kenya is Africa’s most popular safari destination and the Masai Mara Reserve is the most popular wildlife park in Kenya. From July – October you can see the incredible migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest.Migration serengeti

Chobe National park lies in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and covers four distinct Ecosystems. The Savuti marsh in particular offers some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in Africa year round. Chobe boasts around 120,000 elephants, you’re unlikely to miss them when you love a safari here.

The best time to see Chobe is between April and October, the dry, cooler winter months. Herds of buffalo, eland, zebra, giraffe and wildebeest congregate around the Savuti marsh this time of year. Chobe is reachable by vehicle that makes it a little more affordable than some other Botswana Parks. There’s an extensive assortment of lodging accessible to satisfy all budgets, you can even rent a houseboat.

african-safariKruger National Park in South Africa boasts the greatest variety of wildlife in Africa which contains theBig Five, hippos, crocodiles, cheetah and more. Kruger is among the finest kept parks in Africa which means it’s perfect for a self-drive safari.

South Luangwa offers both budget and luxury safari accommodation. The best time to visit is during the dry season from April to October. Near the end of the dry season, the creatures actually concentrate around the remaining waterholes, which makes for a great safari.

The Okavango River cuts through the middle of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert, creating an unique inland water system that gives life to a vast assortment of birds and mammals. The Okavango Delta is an unique safari destination because you are able to see wildlife both from land and water, occasionally in a conventional canoe, a mokoro. The delta floods covering over 16,000 kilometer’s.

The best time to see wildlife is in the dry season from May to October, during the peak of the flooding. The wildlife is concentrated on isles at this time, and it’s so more easy to find therm. as the flood recedes, new grass springs up and the wildlife scatters to feed. There are numerous hostels dotted around as good as high-end safari camps, many of them offer walking safaris.

For more great safaris you can visit the below safari destinations:

Setengeti National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Etosh National Park …

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Big FiveNews

The Big Five in Africa

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For many visitors of Africa seeing the Big-Five is a dream come true.  The only way they believe their trip is complete, when they finally see the  Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard and Lion.

The name big five originated from hunters. These Five mammals were considered the five most dangerous creatures to hunt – mainly because they fought back!

Africa’s huge, their names as crafty creatures, with powerful instincts for survival grew and they were characterized as deadly rivals.

They have few natural enemies and are quite dangerous and hard to monitor if injured or cornered.

Below we have a few Astonishing Facts about Africa’s Big Five Animals

Great African Lion Facts

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  • The roar of a lion can be heard 5 miles away!
  • FBoth male and female lions will greet each other by rubbing themselves against each other!

Fascinating Leopard Facts

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  • Leopards are the biggest cat species they will often scale trees. these animals can pull quarry that weighs up to 3 times their own body weight.
  • Leopards arr extremely comfortable in water, they are in fact great swimmers that will occasionally eat fish or crabs!

Fascinating Elephant Facts

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  • Elephants can easily get sunburned and therefore will throw  dust, sand or mud on their backs and heads to keep insects off their skin and to prevent them from getting sunburn.
  • elephants calves are born blind.

Interesting Rhino specie Facts

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  • All types of  rhinos have 3 toes per foot making them “three-toed ungulates” and the black rhinos are bale to run on their toes!
  • Black rhinos are able to pick up small items and open gates, vehicle doors and various objects with their prehensile top lips!

Interesting Buffalo Facts

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  • Buffalo have a history and have been  said to have killed more hunters in Africa than any other wild creature.
  • Buffalos memories are good and are known to ambush hunters that have hurt them in the past.
  • Females buffaloes, the only wild cattle species buffalos that have powerful bonds and if one person is assaulted the casualty will be defended by the entire herd.

Do you have more interesting facts about our great BIG FIVE animals!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Life of a King in the wild – The Lion!

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The life of a male Lion is tough!lions

It’s often said that the females within the pride, does all the work. However, the life of a male could be more challenging and harder.

When a male lion is a young adult, they are pushed out of the pride by the current leader or dominant male in the pride. They might spend years all alone or within small bachelor groups which is called rouges. This group is often made up of brothers.

As these lions grow up, they prepare themselves to battle and go back to the pride and take the lead of the dominant male, sometimes the battles are fatal.

lions02When they become dominant these lions will then mate with the lioness in the pride, when they come into season. As they wait, they will doze off in the sun or relax in the shade for up to twenty hours a day, waiting for the female to catch their next meal.

These lions will battle any other male lion that wants to try and take over their dominant role. Eventually they will lose the battle and after only a few months or even years and sometimes it could even be losing to their own sons.

When Banished, these lions will spend their rest of their lives outside the pride.

Dangerous, yet lonely life for those lions banished from a pride. This is the life of the Kings of the Jungle!

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True Icon of the animal Kingdom

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The African male lion has a full mane and he is truly the icon of the animal kingdom.

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His great distinctive image has been represented on some of the oldest coins and work of arts as well as jewelry.

The big cats are the four animals of the genus panthera. These animals are the Lion, tiger, jaguar and the leopard. These big cats are extremely unique, not only by their size but their ability to roar.

The specialized Larynx and a unique section of the throat, which is called hyoid apparatus, allows the production of a true, deep and loud roar to erupt.

While the cougar and cheetah are also fairly big, their larynx will create a mixture of hiss and snarl without any bass or the sound of a roar.

Other differences in the genus pathera, will appear in their looks such as the skull and eye socket structure, it will also be seen by their life cycle and reproductive system.

Humans are awestruck of the big cat for various reasons.

Below we have listed a few interesting African lion’s facts.

  • Lions are able to consume up to forty pounds of meat in one day.
  • The African lion is able to sleep or doze off for about twenty hours a day.
  • The big cats or big felines are the tiger, leopard, lion and jaguar. They are only four members of the Genus Panthera.
  • These are the only cats that are able to Roar.
  • These Big cats are able to roar, due to their specifically designed larynx, which is a section of the throat.
  • The African Lion has the longest and strongest larynx which allows these animals to roar the loudest.

What are your favorite features of these big cats? Visit your nearest game reserve and let us know! 

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