Big 5 Safaris In Africa
Big 5 Safari
Travel to Africa for an Exciting Big 5 Safari
The biggest must-do activity in Africa is a safari. However, a trip to Safari isn't complete unless you see the Big 5. The Big 5 are the African lion, leopard, rhinoceros, buffalo, and elephant, and just one look at any of them will leave you in awe and etched in your mind for the rest of your life.
Big-game hunters came up with the name "big 5" to describe the five most challenging animals to hunt on foot. These magnificent beasts have shifted roles from hunters to safari visitors. South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Kenya are just some of the nations where you can see these incredible creatures.
If you don't know where to start, don't worry; we'll tell you all you need to know, including what makes the Big 5 unique and where to find them in their native habitats.
Traits of the African Big Five
The Big Five (Big 5) animals have become the symbol of a traditional African safari, and their unique qualities have captured the imagination of people around the world. Here's a closer look at what makes each of the Big Five so unique and exciting:
Leopard: The leopard is a fascinating and enigmatic cat, renowned for its speed, stealth, and strength. Leopards, with their striking spots and muscular physique, are among Africa's most graceful and attractive creatures. Leopards are exceptional in that they can survive in a wide variety of settings, from deep forests to open savannas, and they can even climb trees and swim.
Lion: When it comes to the African savanna, everyone knows that the lion is the true king. The largest of the great cats, these magnificent beasts are easily recognizable by their voluminous manes and thunderous roar. Lions are distinct from other cats because they are sociable animals that form communities called pride and in which the females undertake the majority of the hunting.
Rhino: The rhinoceros, with its distinctive horn and thick, armored hide, is one of Africa's most recognizable animals. Both the black and white rhinoceros are the largest and most powerful terrestrial mammals in Africa. Despite their massive size, rhinos are extremely quick and nimble given their aggressive attitude, making them one of Africa's deadliest animals.
Buffalo: African buffaloes are large, aggressive mammals well-known for their gigantic size and spectacular horns. The unique characteristics of buffalo are their exceptional stamina, which allows them to travel considerable distances in search of nourishment and water, and their extraordinary capacity to protect themselves and their herd against predators.
Elephant: Elephants are the largest land creatures on Earth, yet they are also some of the most intelligent and social animals due to their complex social structures. Elephants, with their snouts, ears, and wrinkly skin, are among the most easily recognizable animals on the planet. Elephants have a complicated system of noises, gestures, and scents that they use to communicate with one another, and they also have incredible memory.
Where in Africa Can You See the Big Five Most Effectively?
Selecting the right location for a Big 5 Safari adventure in Africa can be a daunting task. Let us help you out with that; our visitors have never been dissatisfied after taking one of the safaris we've recommended, so we've compiled a list of the greatest options available to you based on where you want to go.
South African Big Five Game Reserves
As one of Africa's greatest game reserves, Kruger National Park is an astonishing 19,623 km2 in size, stretching 360 km from north to south and 65 km from east to west. It's unlikely that the animals ever feel confined here. This reserve has the highest concentration of Big Five animals, making it the best place to go on an African safari.
Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a non-fenced reserve that borders Kruger National Park and spans around 623 square kilometers. The purpose of the reserve is to ensure the survival of a wide variety of plant and animal life, especially those that are at risk of extinction.
The Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the best-protected regions in Africa, with around 680 square kilometers. This reserve, which was formerly farmland, is now home to more than 66 species of big animals and almost 300 species of birds. This reserve is ideal for those who prefer to avoid crowds while enjoying a thrilling Big Five Safari because of the low number of visitors it receives.
Africa's Big Five on Display in Kenya
Located in southwestern Kenya, the Maasai Mara is one of the largest wildlife reserves in all of Africa, covering 1,510 square kilometers and home to 95 different species of mammals and more than 570 different bird species. Plan your trip to see the Big 5 animals between July and October, when the wildebeest migration is at its peak.
With its vast herds of big-tusked elephants and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is the second most visited park in Kenya, behind the Masai Mara. The park spans about 392 square kilometers and is home to numerous spectacular animals, including the aforementioned "Big 5.”
Safari in Tanzania Featuring the Big Five
The Serengeti National Park encompasses an enormous 14,736 square kilometers of territory. This beautiful area is home to active volcanoes, vast grasslands, and an abundance of wildlife, including the big five. Over 1.5 million wildebeest and 250,000 zebra, with smaller herds of Gazelles and Elands, make the annual journey from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara and back again during the great migration.
The Big Five Safari in Zimbabwe
Located in Zimbabwe's northwest, Hwange National Park is the country's largest national park at over 14,000 square kilometers in size. There are over 100 mammal species in this massive park, and the area's 400 recorded bird species are outstanding. Over 40,000 of the world's most endangered tusker elephants call this park home.
Trip to Zambia for the Big Five
Visit South Luangwa National Park for an unforgettable Big Five safari experience, thanks to its beautiful forests, expansive grasslands, and the mighty Luangwa River. More than 60 mammal species and over 400 bird species call this vast reserve home. Due to its isolation and low tourist numbers, this reserve is ideal for those seeking a peaceful safari.
Wildlife viewing in Botswana's Big Five National Park
Chobe National Park is a wildlife haven and a top choice among Southern Africa's national parks. Many animals and birds migrate to this national park during the dry season to take advantage of the Chobe River's flow and the area's lush vegetation. There are more than 50,000 elephants in this park, making it one of the most diverse and abundant wildlife sanctuaries in all of Africa.
We recommend the Moremi Game Reserve. The topography of the Moremi game reserve is immensely varied, with mopane woods, floodplains, papyrus rivers, acacia woodlands, and fairy-tale lagoons; it is also home to a remarkable variety of wildlife. A meeting with the indigenous Basarwa Bushmen adds a special dimension to this Big Five safari.
Namibia's Big Five Safari
Our list concludes with Etosha National Park, an outstanding wildlife reserve that is certainly not last on our list. A huge salt basin, visible even from orbit, is one of its most impressive features. Wildlife congregates in large numbers around the park's numerous watering holes, providing excellent opportunities for a Big 5 safari.
The Big Five Safari You've Always Dreamed Of Is Waiting to Be Organized With You
Still too many options? Get in touch so that we can assign you to a team of skilled travel agents who will create a customized Big Five Safari experience tailored to your specific interests. The team at Beyond Africa takes great satisfaction in creating once-in-a-lifetime adventures for our clients.
Our Top 10 Picks: Big 5 Safari Tours In Africa
How it works
Describe your Cape Town or Dream African Safari Trip
An African Travel Expert will help curate your experience
Get inspired by any of our itineraries for instant confirmation
Confirm & start packing to explore Africa
Pay online directly if you like any tour idea