The Big Five Image

The Big Five

Probably one of the most iconic titles that an Africa safari first springs to ones mind at the onset of planning a safari, mainly done so without any real knowledge of where it came from and why the big Five is a thing. It's origins are from hunting safari's and is a designation given to Africas's most dangerous game to hunt due to their unsurprising ferocity should that said hunter miss and injure any of these magnificent creatures. Thankfully these days it has moved on from there and now just represents 5 species of many that most safari goers will hope to see on a safari activity. In reality The Big Five should become a Magnificent Ten as there are at least 5 animals that hold as much significance and allure in everyone's minds. Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah, Wild Dog and Hippopotamus. Arguably Crocodile too would spring to mind. These are all the animals that make everyone's list, with all the antelope species, small predators and funky species such as Pangolin's, HoneyBadgers etc all providing the supporting cast roles.

There are few countries that can deliver the big 5 truth be told, and it would be down to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa to provide you with the best chances. Namibia too if you have the time and funds to get around to the various areas and whilst Botswana can give you all five you would be considered very lucky to catch Rhino.

It is on a walking safari with a licensed professional walking safari guide that The Big Five truly becomes relevant and immediatly gives you a sense of why they are in a separate bracket all together. They are Big, either in Size or Aura. Tracking Elephant Rhino and buffalo on foot and then being within 10-20 Meters away from them leaves you feeling pretty small, insignificant even and will have your heart racing at a little under a thousand beats a minute. With Lion it is much more of a case that they are the Kings & Queens of the African Bush and you feel that power and presence instantaneously and are totally in awe of them. With Leopard, it is their beauty and grace that captures your heart, their strength and ability to live in solitude, happily and successfully. It is the natural high and adrenaline rush you will get shortly afterwards that makes them so special and turns a great safari into a trip of a lifetime. 

In a vehicle or on a boat the experience is very different as you have the perceived safety of the vehicle to take the strain of some of your apprehension, and of course you are able to get much closer to observe and photograph them. no less impressive however.

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