The Big 5

- and 25 facts your kids will love!

In picking a safari holiday, the words the ‘Big Five’ will most likely turn up. The “Big 5” describes the most famous African animals : lion, rhinoceros, leopard, elephant and Cape buffalo. Why not the giraffe or hippo, you might ask? Are they not big enough also? Then why not the cheetah – that will be an animal you may want to see just as much as a buffalo.

Well, the phrase itself was termed by African hunters and indicates the 5 most challenging and deadly animals to hunt when walking. Obviously, Big Five safaris are certainly not linked to the unethical action of trophy/canned hunting (prohibited totally around Kenya and much more in other parts of Africa), however, the term still is employed by the majority of guides and vacationers being an easy phrase to encapsulate the must-see wildlife. 

The Big Five are found in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia as well as Botswana, although not really in all of the parks thus be sure you research carefully to avoid any kind of frustration. Each African wildlife species are amazing in their own personal way.


The king of beasts, the view of an outrageous male lion is spectacular – breathtaking and wonderful, having his marvelous mane and statuesque body, along with a roar which is basically spine-tingling.

Lions stay in pride, having a superior male heading up a pack of relevant females.

A male lion could weight to as much as 250 kilograms, with the female weighing around 180 kilograms.

Lionesses perform the most of the hunting with prey such as wildebeest, zebra, and impala

Lions invest about 20 hours every day sleeping, and they are most lively in between sunset and dawn.

The Maasai Mara is the most renowned big cat location and provides superb lion viewing. 


Huge and smart, this strong gray giant will certainly dwarf your safari car. The view of a herd of elephants is one thing to observe while seeing elephants going swimming is really a special experience.

Female elephants herd together in large groups with their calves. Males usually live alone but sometimes form small groups with other males.

The elephant is the biggest living land wildlife weighing an average of 6800 kg. The African elephant is larger compared to its Asian relative and has visibly bigger ears.

Elephants are herbivores and eat up to 130 kg of food per day – not only do they use their powerful trunk for smelling, breathing and snorkeling, they also use it to grab a potential meal. 

Elephants are highly social and demonstrate behaviours of compassion, empathy, kindness and altruism. Researchers found that they console other elephants through calls and touches.

More than 1000 elephants are found in Amboseli, whilst Selous has more than half of Tanzania’s elephant population.


Sturdy and powerful, the Cape (or African) buffalo is among the toughest prey for predators. Having a running speed of as much as 35 mph, see in amazement while it pounds the land, causing a trail of gloomy smoke in the wake.

Cape buffalos are very social and live in large herds of up to 2000 members! They shield their young by moving them towards the center of the herd and live up to 23 years.

An adult buffalo weighs between 300 and 900 kg.

Buffalo generally graze on grass and herbs, and are generally seen close to floodplains and swamplands as they need water every day. 

Buffalo kill more predators than any other species, and are known to kill lions.

Kruger and Chobe are one of the best national parks to experience buffalo viewing.


Extremely hard to see, it’s a great feat of detective work once your eyes adapt and see the slender figure of the incredibly elusive solo leopard, camouflaged up high at a tree.

Leopards are nocturnal cats and spend most of their time alone, unless they are mating or raising their young.

Leopards only weigh between 20 and 35 kg, and live between 12 and 17 years.

Leopards are carnivorous predators and eat animals such as jackals, buck, monkeys, wildebeest, birds, rodents, hares, snakes, sheep, goats, and insects.

Leopards can run at speeds up to 60km/h, and can leap up to 6 meters froward through the air.

To get a good possibility of finding a leopard, go to the Maasai Mara, Kruger, Serengeti, Okavango Delta or Etosha.


Wonderful and warrior-like, it does not require much imagination to visualize the threat of a rhinoceros charge. However the amazing feeling will be a more touching one – with simply four thousand left in the wild, you will be fortunate to view the endangered black rhinoceros

Black rhinos are usually solitary, and prefer savannas, grasslands, wetlands and thick forests and sleep through the hottest parts of the day. 

An adult rhino can weigh up to 3500 kg.

Rhinos are herbivores and spend most of their time grazing and browsing through their habitat in search of grasses and plants to eat.

Rhinos have very poor vision, however, a great sense of hearing and smell The real difference in between a white and black rhinoceros isn’t really their color, but their mouths: white rhinos have got a wide flat mouth designed for grazing while black rhinos have got a more pointed mouth designed for consuming plants.

Rhinos are commonly seen in South Africa, and also in Tsavo and Lake Nakuru, while the Ol Pejeta conservancy hosts black rhinoceros and uncommon varieties of white rhinoceros.