Big 5 in Africa – African Wildlife in Pictures

Big 5 in Africa
Lion and her cub in Kruger Park South Africa

People often ask us for our African safari tips for the best wildlife encounters and what they MUST see. Well, seeing the Big 5 in Africa is the ultimate experience and challenge. As far as African wildlife goes, the “Big 5″ refers to the five most dangerous and difficult animals to hunt on foot, and not necessarily their size.

The members of the Big 5 consist of the Lion, the Elephant, the Cape Buffalo, the Leopard, and the Rhinoceros. Countries where the big five can all be found include Namibia, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.

If you are considering budget travel in Africa, make sure you leave yourself enough money to go on an African wildlife safari and pursue the Big Five…

Lion: considered by many to be the best of the Big Five.

Lion kill in Massai Mara, Kenya
We witnessed a Lion kill in Massai Mara, Kenya

Lion - Kruger Park South Africa
A Lion in Kruger Park South Africa

Lion cub in Kruger Park South Africa
Lion cub in Kruger Park South Africa

Lion in Kruger park South Africa
A Lion in Kruger park keep a look out

Lion - Big 5 in Africa
Craig meeting a 1 year old lion at a research park in Zimbabwe

Lion cub - Big 5 in Africa
Caz got to hold a cub at the research and rehabilitation park in Zimbabwe

Elephant: The elephant is difficult because despite its large size, they are able to hide in tall grass and are more likely to charge than the other species

Addo Elephant Park, South Africa
Addo Elephant Park, South Africa

Addo Elephant Park, South Africa
Addo Elephant Park, South Africa

Elephant in Kruger Park, South Africa
Kruger Park, South Africa

Addo Elephant Park, South Africa
Addo Elephant Park, South Africa

Kruger Park South Africa
Craig & my brother getting charged in Kruger Park

Addo Elephant Park, South Africa
mud bath at Addo Elephant Park, South Africa

Rhinoceros: may refer to both Black Rhinoceros and White rhinoceros. Among Big Five game hunters, the Black Rhinoceros is preferred.

Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa
Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa

Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa
Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa

Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa
Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa

Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa
Rhinoceros in Kruger Park South Africa

Buffalo: are sometimes reported to kill more people in Africa than any other animal, although the same claim is also made of hippos…

Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa

Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa

Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa
Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa

Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa
Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa

Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa
Buffalo in Kruger Park South Africa

Leopard: The leopard is solitary by nature, and considered the most difficult of the Big Five to hunt because of their nocturnal and secretive nature (hence we only saw one at a distance)!

Leopard in Kruger Park South Africa
Leopard up a tree in Kruger Park

Which of the Big 5 would you MOST like to see and photograph?…

Caz
Caz Makepeace is the co-founder of y Travel Blog and has been traveling the world since 1997, first solo, then with her husband, and now with her two daughters. Get her free email series on the 4 best ways to reduce travel costs. Follow her on Google+

14 Comments on “Big 5 in Africa – African Wildlife in Pictures”

  1. Of course you know which animal is my favorite…the elephant!!! Gorgeous pics!

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  2. Very beautiful pictures – and the one with the elephant in front of the car is excellent! I’m sure it’s an extraordinary experience that one should have at least once in life.

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  3. What an excellent way to start the day. I love to see animals in the wild. Would like to see and photograph the leopard?

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  4. Forgot to mention that the 1 year lion was huge!!!

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  5. Of all the animals we’d love to see in the wild, we’d love to see cheetahs the most. They’re awesome in so many ways. Elephants are very cool too.

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  6. Great photos….. that first pic of the lion kill is so cool. It kinda looks like the lion is licking the carcass! :P

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  7. I’ve done a few safaris in Africa, and am always amazed by the raw power and beauty of the wildlife. My favourite way of experiencing them is on foot, with a guided walk, which I did a number of times in Zimbabwe. It is quite amazing to get down to their level, and walk near such massive animals in their own environment. I had some near misses on walks like this too, one close encounter with a hippo was seriously terrifying, and from human eye level elephants are very large creatures. We had our car mock charged by elephants too, which is a frightening experience, because they are more than capable of squishing the car and occupants. Still, really tremendous times.

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  8. I’ve never been to Africa so I don’t know much about it. FRom what I’ve heard from some friends, Kenia is the best place to go but I guess you know much more about it. What would actually be the priority?
    Thanks

    Reply
  9. The rhino’s the only one I haven’t seen yet. Though all my shots of the others were on a cheap film camera, and I have no idea where the prints are. So I’d love to go back to Kenya or S. Africa with a decent, digital camera…

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    • Don’t you just hate those old travel journeys done with crappy camera equipment. If only if only. There are heaps of places we need to go back to with a decent camera!

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  10. Gorgeous photos. I cannot believe that huge lion is only 1 year old. Wow, they grow fast.

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  11. Fantastic photos! I want to go to Africa so much for so many reasons, but the wildlife is the #1 reason. Hopefully next year. Hard to believe how big 1 year old lion cub is.

    Reply
  12. OMG how beautiful pictures are these.really loved it.thanks for sharing.

    Reply
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