Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Big Five!

Out here in the Mara, there is a group of animals called the “Big Five”. This term was originally coined to describe the five animals that were the most difficult to hunt on foot but since the advent of conservation awareness the definition has changed. Now it is used as way to see how many of the five you can spot while on safari, and I’m proud to say that in just two months I managed to see them all! Here’s a virtual Big Five viewing:

African Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

Probably the easiest of the Big Five to check off the list, these ornery savannah cows are all over our side of the Mara. This buffalo is doing what buffalo do best, looking mean and judgmental.

African lion (Panthera leo)

Since the grass has recently grown long due to the rainy season, lots of antelope have been in the area and that also means that there are lots of lions around. This big male was seen relaxing in the morning sun and looking majestic.

African elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Elephants are one of best sights to see here and in my opinion they never get old. Watching a herd slowly make their way across the plains is so peaceful.

African leopard (Panthera pardus)

Leopards are something you definitely don’t see every day. I’ve been lucky enough to have two sightings since I arrived, but I am extremely lucky for having gotten those opportunities. If you do get the chance to spot one though, it is stunning.

Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

The last on my Big Five list, rhinos are basically never seen in our territories. One day I had the supreme luck of seeing not one but three black rhinos all together! Oddly enough one of them didn’t have any ears, but I’m not about to look a gift rhino in the mouth!

If you ever come to visit the Maasai Mara, keep a look out for the Big Five! They are by no means all the Mara has to offer in terms of wildlife spotting, but it is fun to check off the list one by one! With ten months left here, who knows what else I’ll see?

No comments:

Michigan State University | College of Natural Science