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Who are the Big 5?

Many people have most likely heard of the term 'Africa's Big 5'. But what five animals make up this iconic group that every safari goer want to see?

The Big 5 consists of lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. Contrary to popular belief, however, the term 'Big 5' is not a reference to their size (although it is fair to say they are all on the large side, especially elephant and rhino!), but rather it is an old hunting term relating to how difficult and dangerous these animals were to hunt and shoot. If a hunter could 'bag' one of the Big 5, it was a real trophy.

Lion

Male and female lion walking through the bush

The largest carnivore in Africa, lions are known for their excessive sleeping during the day, and active hunting during the night.

Leopard

Leopard dozing in a treeLeopards are solitary animals, and hunt at night.  Elusive and shy, seeing a leopard while on a game drive is a true bucket list treat.
 

Elephant


The largest land mammal in the world, an adult male elephant can live to 60 years and weigh up to 6,000 kg.

Rhino

Rhino drinking from a waterholeNow an endangered species, the two rhino species are the white and the black rhino - although both appear to be grey!
 

Buffalo

Buffalo in the water
Don't be fooled by their rather 'cow like' appearance - the buffalo is the most dangerous of the Big 5 animals.