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The 'Big five'

When you read about an African safari, the word ‘Big Five’ will often come up. Tour operators use the word to refer to some of the most popular wildlife in Africa. The ‘Big Five’ includes the Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino. The word was originally used by hunters, to refer to the five most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt in Africa, after abolishing hunting in most countries in Africa, tour operators took the word ‘Big Five’ coined it to refer to the five most popular wildlife to watch in Africa, Of course there are other animals like Cheetah, hippo, gorilla, giraffe, wildebeest and crocodiles that are also popular but not to the level of the Big five.

The main countries to spot all the Big Five in Africa is Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa; in each of these countries there are protected national game parks, national reserves and wildlife conservancies that you can visit and watch the all the big five. Feel free to check out some of our safari packages or Contact any of our safari experts to advice you more; on how, where and when to have a big five safari tour.

About the Big Five animals in Africa


They are said to be the Kings of the sub-Saharan savannah; its beauty, strength and way of hunting is hugely admired. It’s one of the most exciting animals to see on a safari, they are mostly spotted resting or sleeping under trees, but once in a while you can spot them hunting. Major places to spot the African lions are:-


Where to Watch the big five animals


Elephants are the largest land mammal on earth, easily spotted on the woodlands and forest along the savannah; they are said to be quite and less harmful, but when threatened they can be quit dangerous. An adult Elephants can be over 14 feet tall and 30 feet wide, they drink 30-50 gallons of water every day and are vegetarians. Major places to spot the African Elephant are:-


the Big five animals, Rhino


They are the second largest mammals (after elephant); an adult rhino can weigh about 6,000 lb's, they are said to be bad tempered and short-sighted. They are two types of Rhino, white and black Rhino (they are not distinguished by colour, they are all grey). Black rhino has a prehensile lip suitable to strip tree leaves, bushes and shoots, while the white Rhino has a long flat lip suitable for grazing that's what distinguishes them. Major places to spot Rhinos are:-


The big five, Leopard


Leopards are smaller than lions but faster and more flexible, they have camouflage spots and are said to be shy, making them difficult to spot. Leopards like staying on trees; they use trees as observation platforms on the prey, as protection and store for their fresh kill. So when on a safari remember to look up the trees to spot the beautiful cat. Major places to spot Leopard are:-


The big five, Buffalo


Buffalo is said to be among Africa's most dangerous animal (together with the hippo and crocodile). They like drinking water, so they are often seen on swamps and on floodplains as well as on grasslands and forests. Buffalo mate and give birth during the rainy season only. Major places to spot Buffaloes are:-


Note:- There are other National Parks in Africa that you can spot either all or some members of the Big Five animals.