Sunday, our last full day at Hanno van Rensburg's Authentic African Adventure Safari Ranch, Cosmopolite near Baltimore, in the Limpopo province.
No hunting was scheduled, instead, Hanno proposed another game viewing visit to his father-in-law's Shelanti Game Farm to see three of the big five, that is, Elephant, Rino, and Buffalo.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The phrase Big Five was coined by white hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The collection consists of the lion, African elephant, cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.
African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana)
The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a very large herbivore having thick, almost hairless skin, a long, flexible, prehensile trunk, upper incisors forming long curved tusks of ivory, and large, fan-shaped ears. There are two distinct species of African elephant: African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana). The elephants are difficult because despite their large size, they are able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than the other sex.
Black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
The black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is a large, thick-skinned herbivore having one or two upright horns on the nasal bridge. Rhinoceros may refer to either black or white rhinoceros. Among Big Five game hunters, the black rhinoceros is preferred.
African cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
The African or cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large horned bovid. Buffalo are sometimes reported to kill more people in Africa than any other animal, although the same claim is also made of hippos and crocodiles. It is considered the most dangerous of the Big Five, reportedly causing the most hunter deaths, with wounded animals reported to ambush and attack pursuers.
We first climbed up Pride Rock where we could scan the valley floor for the animals we were seeking. Hanno brought along a VHF direction finder to follow the elephants known to be in the valley below. At least one of the elephants in the herd had been tagged with a radio transmitter.
Having spotted the elephants, we headed back in our game vehicle in hot pursuit, but not for long, we had a flat tire,
Eventually we located the elephants about 75 yards away in the bush, but we were unable to see the whole animals. My two pictures were all I could capture with my camera, only a portion of the hind end. With the naked eye I was able to see elephant trunks, but that was it.
Later, our group located a number of rhinoceros. But not I, so no photos.
Heading back to the lodge we located a herd of buffalo at a watering hole. Our PH pointed out what he called a very ugly cow. However, he noted that she had been obtained four years ago and drops a calf yearly.
And that was our day, returning back to Hanno's Game Farm shortly after sunset. Took one picture of the sun breaking through the clouds which Marco named the "eye of Africa."