What Exactly Are the Big Five Animals?

The Big 5 – Discover more about these African giants.

Africa’s Big Five animals Consist of the African lion, Black rhinoceros, African elephant, African leopard, and African buffalo, The term Big Five is not attributed to the animal’s size but focused on big game hunters that are more dangerous and difficult to hunt.

These can be spotted in certain destination countries Like Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

Today we recommend seeing the Big Five – not shooting them during your once-in-a-lifetime Wildlife Safari in Africa.

1. The African Lion

Often referred to as the  “King of the Jungle”, the lion is one of the most powerful creatures in the animal kingdom. The African lion is also thought to be the most social of all the big cats.

The female lions are the hunters of the pride, their prey includes Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffe, Buffalo, and young elephants. You can usually spot lions hanging around in open plains, where their ‘victims’ often congregate.

They are best spotted on safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and Kruger National Park as it is home to over 1600 of them! Note that you will be more likely to find them on the east side of the park.

13 days Uganda primates and wildlife safari

2. The Black Rhinoceros

The Black rhinos can be best spotted in Namibia almost year-round. Simply go on a safari in Etosha National Park and you will find black rhinos roaming the park’s Okaukuejo watering hole!

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch is the home of the only white rhinos in Uganda.

With the exception of females and their offspring, the Black Rhinos are actually solitary creatures – preferring to live alone. They feed at night as well as during dawn and dusk. Their sustenance mainly comes from leaves and fruits found in trees and bushes.

You’d also be interested to know that rhinos actually have poor vision, they make it up with an excellent sense of smell and hearing.

3. The African Elephant

The largest land animal in the world, they can be found in over 36 different countries in Africa. There are actually 2 different species of the African elephant: the savannah elephant and the forest elephant. Elephants can be spotted in Uganda – Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The forest elephant is usually smaller with rounded ears as well as tusks that grow downward. While the Savannah elephants can be found in the savannah of Africa, the forest elephants inhabit the rain forests of Central and Western Africa.

Highly social animals, they are known to be able to communicate with others across large distances at a low frequency which can not be heard by humans.

4. The African Leopard

The South Luangwa Park in Zambia is one of the few parks that operate a night safari, and since leopards are nocturnal creatures, the possibility of you finding them increases!

African leopards have a preference for rocky landscapes with dense bush and riverine forests and are also excellent at swimming.

Excellent climbers, the leopard’s spotted coat provides almost perfect camouflage which comes in handy when they hunt.

A stealthy hunter, once they catch their prey, they’ll often safeguard it by taking it up to the trees to prevent other animals such as lions or hyenas from stealing their food.

5. The Cape Buffalo

The best place to spot the buffalo is actually on safaris in Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda where up to 4,000 individuals gather at once making it a lifetime experience.

Often hunted by the lion, they are extremely loyal to their herd and would often try to rescue another member if they are caught by a predator.

The Cape buffalo is actually not closely related to the water buffalo (commonly found in Asia) though they do look somewhat similar to each other. Unlike the water buffalo, they are actually quite dangerous and have never been known to be domesticated.

Let’s adventure and dig deep into the African Big Five