Where to Spot Africa’s Big Five

Where to Spot Africa’s Big Five

Africa's Big Five

Where to Spot Africa’s Big Five

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world with almost 12 million square miles of tropical rainforests, savannas and deserts. Naturally, the continent is home to many species of animals. From the tallest animals like the giraffe to the heaviest land animals like the elephant, there are more than one million animal species in Africa alone. This makes it one of the most popular destinations for animal tourism and hunting. In fact, hunters since the Victorian Era have been travelling to Africa for the thrill of the hunt. The most difficult games were later dubbed as the ‘Big Five’ and included the African buffalo, African bush elephant, black rhinoceros, leopard and lion. Today, the Big Five are critically endangered and hunting them is a crime. However, African safaris are organized for tourists to spot the Big Five in their natural habitat. So if you’re planning an African safari any time soon, here’s where you can spot these animals:

African Buffalo

The African buffalo is known for its long and curved horns. It is the only species among the Big Five that is not critically endangered yet it is one of the most dangerous of them. These animals are spread across Africa – from the plains and grasslands to the savannas and mountains. Countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe have the highest estimated buffalo numbers.

African Elephant

The African elephant is the largest species of elephant in the world. They are easily distinguished from Asian elephants on account of their large ears and long tusks, although you might spot some elephants without tusks as they are removed to save the animals from poachers. These elephants are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Black Rhinoceros

The black rhinoceros and the white rhinoceros are some of the most critically endangered species in Africa, the former being a highly prized hunt. They are native to the eastern and southern countries of Africa, such as Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland (now Eswatini), Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


One of the only two carnivores among the Big Five, the leopard is the most difficult to hunt due to its camouflaging fur and nocturnal habits. These animals are only active at night, so you will have to take a night African safari to spot them. Leopards are found in a wide range of habitats – from the deserts of South Africa to arid regions of northern Africa, as well as the savanna grasslands, mountains of Kenya, and rainforests in western and central Africa.


Lions are a hunter’s favourite, so it’s difficult to get a permit to hunt these magnificent animals. The African lions are heavily protected and you can find them in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Okavango Delta in Botswana, Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa and Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

An African safari is incomplete without spotting the Big Five. So plan your next trip to the continent with Bushman Safari. Our itineraries ensure you get the most out of your safari and are customized to suit your desires and conveniences.

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