The big five animals refer to the leopard, lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo. There are, however, other large animals that are not included in the big five list, such as the cheetah, zebra, hippo, and giraffe. The big five were introduced by early hunters for a few reasons. These animals are very difficult to hunt, they are very dangerous if hit or cornered.
The leopard is a very shy animal and you won’t see it often compared to other wild animals. The black rhino population has declined over the years and although tour operators will guarantee you to see all the big five, you will actually see the white rhino instead.
There are so many parks and game reserves where you can go on your safari and spot all the big five, including other wildlife. The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park in South Africa, which was once the ancient hunting ground of the Zulu people, has the largest population of white / black rhinos in the world. You will also be able to easily spot other big cats in this park as well as hyenas, cheetahs, antelopes and gazelles. Phinda Private Game Reserve, also in South Africa, is a World Heritage Site covering a vast area of 23,000 hectares. Initially, it was a large agricultural land and later preserved in a wildlife area. This reserve has a large variety of wildlife species including the big five and around 400 different bird species.
A Kenya safari will not only be about the big five, you will also have the opportunity to visit the top five tourist attraction sites. In Amboseli National Park you will see a large herd of elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, rhinos and buffaloes. You will also see Mt. Kilimanjaro from here. The Samburu Game Reserve is famous for its exotic wildlife which makes it a perfect place for watching game including big cats. A safari to the Masai Mara Game Reserve will blow your mind. It is in the Masai Mara that you will embark on one of the largest annual wildebeest migrations in the world. Game viewing includes the big five, zebras, hyenas, antelopes, ostriches, gazelles and many more. Lake Nakuru Game Reserve is a bird watcher’s paradise where you can also spot wildlife.
Other places you’ll find the big five include the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This park is located right next to the Masai Mara and as there is no fence between the two parks, wild animals migrate freely in search of green grass, leaves and water. In addition to the wildlife, your safari can also include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, bird watching and cultural activities.Cambridgewildlife.ca