THE BIG FIVE


Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve is filled with wonderful and interesting things in nature and evidence of the animals, insects and birds that live here. The fauna and flora of the area covers a multitude of species. On a guided walk many smaller things will be pointed out to you by our expert rangers who have the knowledge and expertise to recognise tracks and signs and a host of other things in the fragile eco-system that is all connected and there for a reason.

We invite you as a guest or previous visitor to our paradise to submit any interesting photos you have taken, whether it be a nest, insect, plant, track, animal behaviour or whatever else caught your interest and would you perhaps like to know more about from our rangers, we will add it to our Special Interest page for others to see.


 

African Elephant : The African elephant is the world's largest land mammal. They are are generally placid but can be extremely dangerous if threatened. An elephant will "mock charge" trumpeting loudly, flapping its ears with its trunk extended in order to frighten off intruders. If an elephant is intent on attack, the charge assumes a decidedly different approach. The elephant is completely silent, its trunk is rolled up or held down out of harm's way and the tusks are extended. Elephant live for about 65 years. Gestation is about 22 months. A female weighs about 3.8 metric tons and the male 5.8 metric tons. Males have the larger tusks weighing in at about 90kg, on average. A record pair from an elephant in Central Africa weighed 200kg.


African Lion : The African Lion is one of the most exciting animals to see for most tourists. This 'King of the Jungle' has earned its reputation for being the most fearsome and powerful predator in Africa. Prides are territorial and intruders are warned off by roaring. Most hunting is done by the females, while the males appropriate kills generally and the cubs get leftovers. The prey includes large and small mammals, birds and even reptiles. The females leave the pride to give birth of up to six cubs. The cubs are introduced carefully to the rest of the pride at about six weeks old. The female cubs generally stay in the pride while the males will leave after two to three years.

 
 


Cape Buffalo :
The Cape buffalo has a well-deserved reputation of savagery, ferocity and cunning. They travel in large herds for protection from predators and will not hesitate to use their impressive horns to defend themselves from any perceived threat. Buffalo need to wallow in order to regulate their temperature and require good grazing, shade and plentiful water. They normally graze at night and will retire to a shady spot during the heat of the day to ruminate (chew the cud). Buffalo live for about 22 years. Males weigh about 700kg and females are about 100kg lighter. Horns are about 1.2m and they give birth to one, or more rarely two, calves.


Rhino : Two species in Africa, white and black. The white rhino's name was derived from its original name, 'Wydt Rhino'. Wydt (wide) referred to the width of the rhino's mouth. The white rhino uses its square shaped lips and crops grass very close to the ground producing a natural lawn. Their habitat is grassy woodland and they prefer shorter grass. The white rhino is considerably larger than the black and is lighter in colour. The white rhino lives for about 40 years and their gestation period is about 453 days. The black, or hooked-lipped rhino, along with the white, is an odd-toed ungulate. Both the black and white rhino have two horns, the longer of which sits at the front of the nose.
 

 
 


Leopard : The leopard is a solitary and secretive animal and the largest of the spotted cats. They enjoy surveying their surroundings from high vantage points to watch for prey. They are efficient hunters and prefer forested areas with rocky outcrops. Their  prey is small to medium sized antelope, baboons, bushpigs, warthogs and jackals, also a wide variety of other animals. The leopard usually drags its prey up into a tree in order to protect the kill from scavengers. Adult male is approximately 60kg and the female, 30kg. Their litters may number as many as six but normally the female gives birth to two or three cubs after a gestation period of about 100 days. The life expectancy of the leopard is 21 years.

 

       
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