The Big 5 of Africa

In Africa, the big five game animals are the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros.The term “Big Five” refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Subsequently the term was adopted by safari tour operators for marketing purposes. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.

The African lion and the African bush elephant are both classified as vulnerable. The African leopard and the white rhinoceros are both classified as near threatened. The black rhinoceros and northern white rhinoceros are both classified as critically endangered, so hunting them is greatly restricted.The African buffalo is the most popular big five game animal to hunt, as its conservation status is least concern, but it is experiencing a population decline in uncontrolled areas due to poaching and urbanization.

Many if not most safari destinations are advertising the Big 5, but it is not guaranteed that you will spot all of them, especially the nocturnal predators like lions and leopards, but again, an experienced safari guide will know how to track them even in day light, and make sure you will have some excellent photos!

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