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The Big 5

Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Black Rhino make up Africa's Big 5. The ‘Big 5’ phrase was coined by hunters back in the day. It referred to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot and the degree of danger involved. The term is still used today but without the hunting connotations. The animals still appear on the various South African banknotes.

The ‘Big 5’ phrase was coined by hunters back in the day. It referred to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot and the degree of danger involved. The term is still used today but without the hunting connotations. The animals still appear on the various South African banknotes.

It’s interesting to note that technically the Black Rhino and not the White Rhino makes up the Big 5.

Lion 

Family: Felidae
• Mass ± 200 kg / ± 440 lbs
• Height ± 100 cm / ± 39 inches
• Walking speed 4 km/h / 2.4 mph
• Charging speed 80 km/h / 50 mph
• Potential longevity 20 years
• Gestation period 3.5 months

Elephant
Family: Elephantidae
• Mass 6000 – 7000 kg / 13000 – 15000 lbs
• Height 300 – 340 cm / 118 – 134 inches
• Walking speed 10 km/h / 6.2 mph
• Charging speed 40 km/h / 24.8 mph
• Potential longevity 65 – 70 years
• Gestation period 22 months
• Record length of tusks 3,5 m / 137 inches

Leopard
Family: Felidae
• Mass ± 60 kg / 132 lbs
• Height ± 60 cm / 23 inches
• Charging speed 80 km/h / 50mph
• Potential longevity 21 years
• Gestation period 3 1/2 months

Buffalo
Family: Bovidae
• Mass 750 kg / 1653 lbs
• Height ± 160 cm / 63 inches
• Charging speed 55 km/h / 34 mph
• Potential longevity 20 – 25 years
• Gestation period 11 months
• Record span of horns 147 cm / 58 inches

Rhinoceros 
Family: Rhinocerotidae
• Mass 3500 kg / 7717 lbs
• Height 160 cm / 63 inches
• Speed 45 km/h / 28 mph
• Potential longevity 45 years
• Gestation period 18 months
• Record length of front horn 158 cm / 62 inches
• Record length of rear horn 56 cm / 22 inches

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