South Africa Postal Services 2006 Issue
Photographs by Koos van der Lende and Michael Viljoen

Africa's Big 5

South Africa Postal Service has issued five new stamps that each have a postage value of Airmail Postcard named "Africa's Big 5" on the 24th of February 2006. The stamps are being issued to recognize the biggest animals found in Africa. They include the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and the rhino. A brief description of each is as follows:

  • Lion - is the largest African carnivore that is found in open plains with semi-deserts conditions where there is water and plenty of grazing. Lions are excellent night hunters because of their ability to see at night like we see during the day. Their eyes have a special tissue called Tepetum Lucidum which increases their ability to see at night. They live in groups consisting of one or two males and up to seven females. The females do all the hunting and prey on wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, kudu, giraffe and buffalo. They breed all year round and have between two and six cubs being born after gestation period of about 110 days.
  • Leopard - is a large carnivore that is found in the bushes and riverine forests, Mountain side forests, and along streams and rivers. They are good tree climbers and can pull large prey up a tree to protect it from other predators. They are solitary and tend to avoid one another except during mating season. They feed on small animals and medium sized antelopes. They breed throughout the year and have a gestation period of three months.
  • Elephant - is the largest living mammal on earth. Their trunk serves as a nose, hand, extra foot, signaling device and a tool for gathering food. They are found in dense forest to open plains and require clean drinking water and plenty of food. They live in small family groups consisting of offspring and their young.
  • Rhinoceros - are found in the grasslands and open savannahs of Africa. They feed on a large variety of vegetation which include leaves, buds, plants, bushes, and trees. They are very ill tempered and don't like to be disturbed. They have poor eyesight with a good sense of smell and hearing. There only natural predator is man.
  • Buffalo - are large animals that stand about 65 inches at the shoulder when full grown. They are found in dense forest and open plains where there is plenty of grass, shade, and water. They live in groups with a dominant bull.

"Africa's Big Five" stamps can be purchase in a Booklet of 10, or FDC. The size of each stamp is 23.68mm x 30.22mm with a sheet size of 74.70mm x 60.45mm. The stamps will be printed by Carter Security Printing, France using the Offset Lithography Printing process with 233 gms self-adhesive paper. A quantity of 300,000 booklets will be printed.

Africa's Big Five FDC

Africa's Big 5 FDC Stamp

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