African Big Five Animals: The word African big 5 animals originated from way back referring to those animals that were very difficult to hunt thus named them the African Big 5 not specially by size but by the fact that they were so difficult to hunt. These African big 5 animals include Lions, Rhinos, Leopards, Elephants, and Buffaloes. These mentioned animals are as well not easy to capture with the camera while on an Africa safari and they are basically residing in the major safari parks in Eastern parts of Africa and Southern Africa any they are so interesting and fascinating animals to watch while on your wildlife safari in any savanna destination in East Africa. In East Africa, these African big 5 animals are found in several destinations including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and DRCongo to mention but a few thus while on any wildlife safari in these countries, you have an opportunity to encounter with either all or a few of them in different parks.

Kenya is one of the luckiest country in East Africa where all the big 5 animals are seen in different savanna destinations including in Maasai mara national reserve the top visited destination one of  the most stunning savanna destination in East Africa. Other destinations include Amboseli national park, Tsavo National park, Lake Nakuru national park, Hells Gate national park, sweet waters, Ol Pejeta conservancy, Samburu national reserve and many more.

In Uganda the pearl of Africa, these African big 5 animals can be seen in some of the savanna parks including Murchison falls national park where you are sure to spot all the Big 5 animals with an enroute stopover at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary which is the only home to the endangered Rhinos, Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth national park and many more.

In Tanzania, these big 5 animals can be spotted in Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro conservation area, Lake Manyara national park, Tarangire national park and many more.

In Rwanda, these big 5 animals are seen majorly in the one and only savanna park, Akagera national park.

Let’s talk about these African big 5 animals;

  1. LIONS

Without any doubt, lions are the most majestic animals amongst all the big 5 animals in Africa. Lions are small in size yes, but surprising they are termed as the Kings of the jungle because of their pride and their ways of living while in the jungle. Lions are found of marking their territories with Urine or fur and no intruders are allowed in a particular territory.  Lions are carnivorous and depend on fresh, they prey on other animals whether big or small, they never get afraid of any animal’s size. A matured lion (MALE) is identified by the existence of Mane around its chest, to the head. And it can be as long as 7 ft. Lions are good hunters and that’s the reason they can put down even the largest animal in the wild. The population of the lions in the wild has declined for the past 2 decades thus now listed amongst the endangered animals. This is due to poaching, hunting and other threats. In Kenya, Lions are spotted in most of the savanna destinations since they enjoy staying in long shrubs where they can easily hunter for food. Be sure to watch lions in Masai Mara and some other savanna destinations in Magical Kenya. While in Uganda, Lions are found most of savanna parks including Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth national park which harbors both the common lions and the rare tree climbing lions with in Ishasha sector. These tree climbing lions are also found in Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania. In Tanzania, you will spot tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara national park, common lions in Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro Conservation area and many more. And finally in Rwanda, Akagera national park should be on your bucket list in case you will to encounter King of the Jungle.

African Big 5 Animals

Just like Lions, Leopards are as well a member of the African big 5 animals. Leopards are shy cats and they mostly prefer to move late in the night and early in the morning thus very rare to spot during the day as they be in their hideouts. Leopards are as well in a family of cats and can easily be differentiated from Lions by their whitish and yellowish color and the black spots. Leopards reside in both savanna grasslands and woodlands and trust me, Leopards are some of those animals that are very difficult to hunt or even capture on a camera as they are good at camouflaging as they target their next hunt/ meal. Leopards are known for being solitary animals and as well independent animals making it rare to spot a group of these animals moving together.  After a hunt, Leopards are known for keeping their meat up in the tree branches when they enjoy during their free time. Being carnivorous, Leopards depend on meat just like their cousins the Lions. They majorly prey on small animals like impalas, elands, wildebeests, gazelles, small primates like monkeys and many more to mention but a few.


Elephants take up the position of the largest land mammal and is one of the African big 5 animals. Elephants are herbivorous thus prefer to reside in both savanna grassland and savanna woodland areas where they can have plenty of food. There are both savanna and forest elephants depending on where they reside. Elephants are not only the largest but as well strongest characterized by their trunk that is used to hold something, as well used for feeding and many more. Elephants have large flat ears which serve the purpose of fan in cooling the huge body of this animal. The savanna elephants is bigger than the forest elephants. While on a safari in any African destination, ensure that you keep a distance between you and elephants especially the male elephants since once they charge, they can be dangerous. The best way to know that the elephant is about to charge is when it starts kicking the ground, flapping its ears, or making a sound of a trumpet. Elephants prefer to live in large groups.


Buffaloes are as well part of the African big 5 animals with a resemblance to the cows. Cape buffaloes just like Elephants, buffaloes live and move in large herds, they are herbivorous majorly prefer to reside along the river banks and in the savanna plains thus on your next safari to the savanna destinations in East Africa, you will be able to see these animals in their natural habitats. However, Buffaloes are very dangerous and short tempered thus try to keep a distance from them and they can run as fast as about 55kilometers per hour.

African Big 5 Animals

Also known as Rhinoceros are a member of the African big 5 animals and one of the most endangered animal of all the big 5 games this is due to poaching for their horns.  There are both black and White rhinos in Africa that can seen while on a safari in different destinations including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. In Uganda, Rhinos were hunted to total extinction but they were later on re introduced and are being protected in a sanctuary, Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. While on a safari, Rhinos are some of the animals tourists wish to encounter though sometimes, it becomes rare to spot them in some countries but once proper arrangements are made, you will surely be able to spot these endangered animals.

Conclusion: Interested in encountering these African big 5 animals, look no further than confirming your safari to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. You may as well choose to enjoy gorilla trekking, mountaineering and many more. Chat with our professional tour consultants to get the best itinerary today.

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