Know the Big Five on Your Safari

There are an endless number of wild animals you might encounter on a luxury safari. The most well known wildlife you might see on your safari has been labeled the Big Five.  Lions and tigers and rhinos? Oh my! Get to know Africa's Big Five so you know exactly what-and who!-to expect on your next safari.


Name: Leopard

Size: 1.5-2.6 ft tall, 3 to 6 ft long with a 2-3.5 ft tail, 70-180 lbs

Lifespan: Up to 20 years

Diet: Gazelle, impala, deer and wildebeast are a leopard’s favorite. They also might hunt monkeys and birds.

Where in Africa do they live?: Throughout most of Africa on rocky landscapes with dense bush. They can, however, adapt to cold climates as well. 

Fun Fact: Leopards are amazing swimmers! They can hunt on land and in water.


Name: Rhino

Size: 4.5-6 ft tall, 750-8,000 lbs!

Lifespan: Up to 35 years

Diet: All rhinos are herbivores. White rhinos use their square-shaped lips to eat grass most efficiently, while other types of rhino prefer eating the foliage off trees and bushes.

Where in Africa do they live?: Various parts of Africa. From savannas to tropical forests, rhinos adapt easily. 

Fun Fact: Although rhinos are one of the most endangered species on the planet, they are getting help! In 2010, all countries with rhinos signed an agreement to monitor populations and increase law enforcement surrounding these creatures.


Name: Lion

Size: Up to 9-10 ft. in length and anywhere from 265-550 lbs

Lifespan: 12-15 years

Diet: Lions have strong jaws and forelimbs that enable them to hunt large prey such as zebra and wildebeest. Females are the primary hunters in a pride, and lions are known to steal food from other animals like their Big Five friend the leopard. 

Where in Africa do they live?: Lions live in a savannah habitat, anywhere from the southern Sahara to northern South Africa.

Fun Fact: A lion's roar can be heard from up to five miles away!


Name: African Buffalo

Size: 6-11 ft in length and 1,100-2,000 lbs in weight

Lifespan: Up to 20 years

Diet: They consume various grasses and other vegetation. It is also extremely important for them to drink enough water, so these buffalos rarely stray far from a water source.

Where in Africa do they live?: Various woodlands, savannahs, and grasslands of Africa. 

Fun Fact: A buffalo's hide can be 2 inches thick, making it difficult for other bulls to penetrate with their horns when they fight.


Name: African Elephant

Size: Between 5 and 14 ft tall, weighin in at 6,000-15,000 lbs

Lifespan: They can grow as old as 70 years old

Diet: Elephants eat about 350 lbs. of bamboo, grass, leaves, and roots per day. Sometimes they will even steal farmer's sugarcane and banana crops.

Where in Africa do they live?: South of the Sahara Desert, African elephants live in the rainforests of west and central Africa.

Fun Fact: The phrase "memory like an elephant" comes from an elephant's ability to remember the journey to a distant watering hold during the dry season.


If you are fascinated by all of this wildlife, a luxury safari is certainly the trip for you. Take a look at our many luxury African safaris right here!

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