Beyond the Big 5....
For many intrepid souls who travel to South Africa, one of the main attractions is undoubtedly the chance to get up close and personal with the renowned 'Big Five' in their natural habitat.
Amongst the largest game reserves on the continent, Kruger National Park provides the perfect opportunity for you to spy mighty elephants, majestic lions, powerful African buffalo, staunch white and black rhinos and the lithe leopard. However, there is much more wildlife to discover beyond this group, and on one of our South African tours, you can look forward to encountering them yourself!
Here are some of our favourite picks to look out for while you're discovering Africa on safari.
This incredible animal is a true pedigree sprinter. It is capable of reaching speeds of up to 114 kph, a record that has earned the species the title of the world's fastest land mammal. With its signature spotted coat, the cheetah blends into the tall, swaying grasses of the plains, its keen eyesight allowing it to stealthily spy out its prey.
Cheetahs are daylight hunters, meaning there is a good chance you might spot the big cats stalking their next meal or recovering after an incredible burst of speed. After their breakneck sprints, cheetahs often need to rest, sometimes even before eating their kill (usually small antelope).
If you're lucky enough to witness a cheetah in full flight, don't blink, or you'll surely miss the magic.
You might think such lanky-legged creatures, measuring some 5 metres tall, would be easy to spot, but you'll have to keep your eyes peeled for these tranquil animals, blending in with the lofty boughs of the acacia trees that provide its food.
Spot the giraffe as it eases into a precarious, sprawled-leg stance to lower its neck for a drink at the watering hole. The creature's long limbs truly come into play when roaming across the park, allowing them to gallop along at speeds of up to 56 kph.
The chacma baboon
The chacma, or Cape baboon can be found throughout Kruger National Park in groups from 30-40 primates known as 'troops'. Some 300 troops of baboons are estimated to live in the park's open grasslands, foraging for food during the day and taking refuge in tall trees or cliffs at night.
Social creatures, chacma baboons use complex body language and vocal signals to communicate. There is a hierarchical structure within their groups, although leadership is usually unstable and subject to change, the males battling each other for supremacy.
You can discover these, and so many other animals on a South African adventure such as the Cape to Kruger Overland Safari. Established in 1969, we have many years of experience as Africa travel specialists, and we love bringing Australians closer to their dreams of exploring Africa. When you choose Bench Africa, you know you're in good hands.