There’s no doubt that the Big 5 (lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and buffalo) are the animals that people expect to spot on a safari. While the leopard is arguably the most elusive, you are likely to see one eventually.
However, here are five animals that are endangered, which you’ll be extremely fortunate to see on your journey through the wild.
There are approximately 5000 black rhinos left in the wild, meaning that they are classified as critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List.
How to tell the difference between a white rhino and a black rhino.
The black rhino is substantially smaller than its counterpart. White rhinos weigh between 1700 kg (female) and 2300 kg (male). The weight of black rhinos, on the other hand, ranges from 800 kg (female) and 1200 kg (male).
2. The shape of the mouth
A white rhino has a flat, broad and wide lip which makes it perfect for grazing. The black rhino has a prehensile, pointy lip that allows it to grab hold of branches and feed on the leaves.
Besides the Kruger National Park, it’s possible to see them in the surrounding private reserves. Pondoro Game Lodge is renowned for its animal sightings, and they employ expert trackers who will take you on exclusive, luxury game drives (maximum of eight people per cruiser.) You’ll have a far better chance to spot the horned beauty here.
Pondoro is one of the top award-winning game lodges in South Africa. It’s based in a private concession situated in the Balule Nature Reserve.
The side-striped jackal is known as the cousin of the black-backed jackal but is less active, making them harder to find. They can be identifiedby their larger size and greyish-coloured bodies. They also have adarker back and a white stripe along their sides –which the primary distinguishable feature.
Roan is the second largest antelope and is endemic to the African continent. They can be recognised by their fawn-coloured coat, black and white facial markings, longpointed ears, as well asdistinctive ringed horns.
There is approximately 60 000 roan left in Africa; with only 70 living in the Kruger National Park. They typically inhabit lightly wooded savannah, open areas that have easy access to water. Like other antelope, roan antelope are primarily grazers feeding on grass and plants.
It’s an unfortunate reality that these three animals are endangered, so if you do happen to spot one, cherish the moment.
With only 13 left in the wild and approximately 300 in captivity, white lions are the most endangered species on this list. Interestingly, many people think that these glorious cats have albinism (absence of melanin, but, in fact, they have leucism, which is a condition where an animal has a partial loss of pigmentation in the skin. In the case of white lions, it’s caused by a recessive gene that gives them blue eyes and white coats.
The Timbavati region in the Greater Kruger is the best place to see white lions in their natural habitat. If you do spot one, treasure the moment forever.
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