Exploring Africa’s Big 5 Safari

Exploring Africa’s Big 5 Safari : Africa is endowed with a variety of wild animals, great mountain ranges, and breathtaking views. Tanzania is among the most famous countries in Africa and is a preferred location for wildlife tourism. The big five animals are some of the wonderful animals that draw the attention of many people who go for the safari.

What is meant by Africa’s Big Five?

If you are wondering what are the big five safari animals, worry no more because you are in the right place. The Big Five is a term that old-school hunters use when referring to animals that are hard to hunt. This term does not refer to the size of the animals and that is why a giraffe is not among the Big Five.

The animals referred to as Africa’s Big Five are lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and buffalo. The rhino is known to be the rarest of the big five animals. Although other members of the Big Five are common in many wildlife parks in Tanzania, the Black Rhinos are limited and can be spotted in only a few places.

African elephants

The African elephant is the giant terrestrial animal on earth. They are well-known for their high level of intelligence due to the relatively larger size of their brain. Their bright grey color resembles silver and blends with the ground of the grassland when observed from a distance.

These animals feed on grass as well as on acacia trees. This aids in cutting what can be thorny and rich forests so they can allow other small animals to pass through them.

Elephants are gregarious animals and they can be grouped in herds of up to 30 animals. In Tarangire National Park, the groups of elephants are more numerous. The herd is led by a single female who is expected to locate the areas for grazing and water sources.

It is usually formed from this matriarchal leader and remains cohesive for about three or more decades. The young males are more in touch with their mothers than the mature ones, who are either lonely or in groups of single males.


A lion is the most dangerous animal in the Big Five animal list. It is crowned as the king of the jungle. Lions live in a group of up to 25 individuals called a pride. A lion pride rules a certain unit of land called a territory. You may be surprised to know how these carnivores protect their territories. Once one pride crosses the boundary of another, fights can happen, and they may be furious. The famous fight was in 2022 in Serengeti which saw Bob Junior dethroned by rival lion kings after ruling the Serengeti plains for years.

Male lions always move from one pride to another to progress their progeny. And once find a weak pride, they rule and settle for a while. Females take care of the cubs and are usually extremely defensive. Females also participate in hunting to feed the pride.

African leopards

Leopards are the most solitary big cats in Africa. They spend their daytime resting on tree branches. Seeing these clever predators under normal day game drives is usually rare. However, early mornings and dusk are the best time to see leopards.

Leopards live in a tiny group of three individuals, usually consisting of a female and her cubs. Males usually but not always disappear after mating, while females look after their cubs. This explains their defensive behavior.

Common Animals To See During Your African Safari
African Leopard


The rhinos are the most endangered animals in the world. Their population has squashed from hundreds of thousands in the 1950s to just thousands in the 1980s. These historical mammals are constantly paying heavy prices for horns which are very expensive.

Africa is home to two species of rhinos: the white rhino and the black rhino. The white rhino has a square lip and derives from the Dutch word “weit,” which means wide. It is gray and not white as its name suggests. The black rhino has a hooked lip. Wondrously, the two species can coexist without competition for pasture. The white rhino is a grazer while the black rhino is a browser.

The white rhinos are common in South Africa, though some have been reintroduced in several countries like Tanzania. The southern white rhinos are threatened. The northern white rhinos are critically endangered with only two remaining individuals in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

The western black rhinos are extinct since 2011, while the eastern black rhinos are found in several countries, with Tanzania being one of them. They are seen in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.

Where to see the Big Five in Tanzania

On a wildlife safari in Tanzania, expect to spot all the Big Five animals. They can all be seen in one destination, for example, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. The black rhinos are extremely rare in Tanzania. Serengeti and Ngorongoro are the best places to see these endangered animals, making a complete sighting of all of Africa’s Big Five.

Africa’s Big Five has transformed African wildlife safaris into an unforgettable experience for any nature lovers. Join us on a Big Five safari tour if you dream of seeing the Big Five in Tanzania.