South Africa’s Big 5

Big 5 – South Africa

Anyone planning an African safari has undoubtedly heard of the “Big 5”. It’s practically a badge of honor for a game reserve or national park to be able to claim that they are home to the Big 5 and they like to make it abundantly obvious in their marketing materials. In reality, the Big 5 aren’t the five biggest animals in Africa, nor are they necessarily the 5 animals that your average visitor would be most interested in seeing. The term “Big 5” originated from hunters who classified them as the five most difficult/dangerous animals to hunt on foot. We had the opportunity to spot all five members of the Big 5 on our recent trip to South Africa. Here they are…

1. Lion

big 5 South Africa
Lioness watching us from a distance in Timbavati
big 5 south africa
Injured lion near Umlani Treehouse

2. Leopard

South Africa big 5
Leopard eating a steenbok in Timbavati

South Africa big 5

3. Rhino

South Africa big 5
Rhino mother and baby in Kariega 

4. Elephant

South Africa big 5
Elephants in Kariega


South Africa big 5
Baby elephant in Timbavati

5. Cape Buffalo

South Africa big 5
Buffalo near Umlani Treehouse
South Africa big 5
Buffalo herd stopping for a drink near Umlani Treehouse


Leave a Reply