The term ‘Big Five’ refers to the following African animals - the lion, the leopard, the African elephant, the rhinoceros and the Cape buffalo. The term was originally coined by game hunters who considered these animals as the most difficult and dangerous to hunt on foot. Thankfully, today the term is used in a more endearing manner by tourists wanting to tick off the iconic Big Five animals off their safari checklist.
Although the Big Five is often used as a way to shortlist areas which are wildlife rich, it is very much the case that other reserves or national parks can be just as rich, but may not contain all five of the Big Five species. Given that many of Africa’s iconic species, such as cheetahs, giraffes, zebras and hippos, are not part of the Big Five, many reserves which don’t contain all of the Big Five can often offer wildlife viewing which is at least as good.
There are only a few places in Africa where there is a chance of spotting all of the Big Five on one trip. Keep reading to find out where.