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SIGHTINGS

THE BIG FIVE SAFARI, A WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER

30 August 2021
WITNESS THE MAJESTIC SPECTACLES OF NATURE ON THE LAND WHERE IT ALL BEGAN.

A wildlife safari is undoubtedly the top destination in mind when you think of Africa. Many tourists feel drawn to the Big Five safari experience in particular. There is nothing quite as cathartic as seeing wildlife roam free in their natural habitat. This is definitely a uniquely thrilling experience you must add to your bucket list.

What are the Big Five of Africa?

The term ‘Big Five’ itself was coined in the late 1800s by hunters in colonial times. It refers to the five most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. The list includes lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, and rhinoceroses. These majestic creatures have a notorious reputation. But don’t worry too much because on a wildlife safari you would encounter them from the safety of a vehicle and accompanied by trained rangers.

Many consider lions as a must-see on a Big Five safari. You may find them travelling in prides within a safari in South Africa. Similarly, the African buffalo also moves in large groups across the Serengeti. On the other hand, the leopard is a solitary species. Leopards are nocturnal animals, therefore the most elusive to spot among the Big Five. While the easiest Big Five animal to see would be the elephant. Lastly, the final member of the Big Five is the rhinoceros. There are two species of rhinos in Africa, the black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros. However, tourists would have a greater chance of meeting white rhinos in the wild.

Why choose a Big Five safari?

Africa is home to awe-inspiring wilderness. Prepare to be amazed by the lush rainforests, vast plains of the savannah, and magnificent mountains. On a safari, you would have the chance to immerse yourself in nature and wildlife in all their glory. Witnessing the Big Five as they roam about in stunning landscapes is a bewitching experience and a great photo opportunity.

Additionally, going on a wildlife safari also contributes to Africa’s conservation efforts. Nearly all of the Big Five are at risk of extinction. African black rhinos and elephants are critically endangered, while the lions are vulnerable. The majority of national parks and safari lodges in Africa invest their income into conservation. These funds help protect animals from poachers and ensure their longevity. Therefore supporting safari tourism is crucial to the preservation of African wildlife. 

Lastly, a Big Five safari journey is also a chance to escape your busy life. Breathe in the fresh air and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of Africa's nature. Most safari lodgings offer the finest luxuries, especially those in South Africa.

When is the best time for a wildlife safari trip?

It is best to embark on your Big Five safari trip between July to October. In these months, Africa experiences a cool, dry winter. The heavy foliage of summer would thin out during this time, thus making it easier to spot animals. Furthermore, the dry season would mean less water. This causes wildlife to congregate around large bodies of water. Some would even migrate in large herds such as the elephants and buffalos. In short, travelling to a safari in Africa during winter would increase your chances of seeing the Big Five.