In Africa, the Big Five game animals are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. The term was coined by big-game hunters, and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot, but is now also widely used by safari tour operators.
Interesting facts about the Big 5
Lions: live in a group family called a pride which can be from 2-40 member lions. A female will have up to 6 cubs after a 105 day gestation period. They area social, related females suckle and look after each other’s cubs enabling other females to go out hunting till they return with food. Lions feed on any other animal for survival but they will feed on preferably what they’ve been brought up on so their main diet varies from pride to pride.
Elephants: Have a life span of 60-80 years. They have a gestation period of 22 months. When feeling hot and need to cool off in the hot sun, they flap their ears hence dissipating heat from veins lying underneath the skin. Their ivory tusks are modified upper incisors which never stop growing.
Leopards: Are nocturnal hunters, mainly solitary, feed on any animal protein like termites to antelopes but when desperate they eat livestock and domestic dogs, so as not to lose their kill to hyenas and lions they keep it in trees.
Rhinos: Here are two types of rhinos in Africa: white and black rhino. Both of them have grey bodies. What sets them apart is the shape of their lip: the white rhino has a square lip, whereas the black rhino has a pointed upper lip. The black rhino is defined by its hooked tip and narrower jaw; it has no incisors or canine teeth. After a 15 month gestation, a female rhino will have a calf only every 2-4 years. Rhinos when charging can reach up to 30mph/50kph
Buffaloes: Are very social and live in herds of up to a thousand. When they hear a distress call, they charge en-masse. Bulls past prime mating age live in bachelor herds or alone and are the most dangerous. The buffalo’s main predator is the lion, which must employ tactical methods to hunt them, especially to avoid the thick, bullet-proof horns on its head!
Where to spot the big 5
No single park independently has 5 in Uganda. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls, and Kidepo Valley have 4; lions, cape buffalos, leopards, elephants. Lake Mburo is home to 3; buffalo, Leopard, and lion. Rhinos are in the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary.
In Tanzania, the Big 5 game can all be seen in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, while Ruaha and Tarangire national parks have 3 of the Big 5.
In Kenya, the only places to see the Big 5 game in one place include; Maasai Mara National Reserve, The Mara Triangle, Nairobi national park, Borano Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Selous game reserve, etc.
In Rwanda, only Akagera National park is home to the Big 5 game.
AA Safaris has customized safaris to all the above-mentioned places for you to see the Big 5 Game if you are interested. Come see them hunt, live a normal day, groom family members, fight in the wild.