The African Big Five 5 Wildlife Animals - Discover Africa


The African Big Five wildlife are some of the great attractions to international guests who visit Africa for Wildlife Safaris.

Big Five Wildlife was classified back in the days when hunting was legal and practiced as sports. Currently, some African countries have imposed a strict ban on wildlife hunting as sports and poaching. The hunting sport back in the early 20th Century was practiced and played mostly by the colonial communities who were in Africa for trade, travel, and others to search for treasures and conquer to acquire colonies in Africa.

They categorized the big five wildlife species as per their behavior and how hard it was to get them or rather hunt them down. They were known to be fierce, dangerous and tough.


Below are the Big Five Wildlife Species that hunters back then found it was hard to hunt them down.


The Lion – King of the Jungle / Wilderness

Referred to as the King of Wild, The savanna, The lions are the biggest cats in the African wilderness. They live in pride and pose danger to any threat they get. They are also powerful and strong. They kill huge animals, even more, heavy than them like buffalos, giraffes. Lions population has been dropping due to poaching and human-wildlife conflict that’s experienced in Africa.

You Can find lions in many major parks and reserves in Africa when visiting for holiday travels and vacations.

Lion Walking in African Savannah - Part of Big Five
Lion Walking in African Savannah – Part of Big Five – Photo by Piper Mackay

The Buffalos – African Cape Buffalos

African Buffalos are huge and quite strong and very dangerous if they are found alone, secluded and when angry. Buffalos are the most feared wildlife by the Lions. They are fearless and fight these big cats to fight for their lives. In most cases, buffalos kill lions cubs to show angriness and to lower their growth rate.

They move in huge numbers in a group to protect the calves and those that are not well and not strong enough to fight. They keep the weak at the back of the group since they walk slow and don’t have the strength to move, hence exposed to predators such as the big cats.

African Buffalo - Part of the Big Five
African Buffalo – Part of the Big Five – Photo by Piper Mackay

The Rhinos – Rhinocerous

We have two types of rhinos in Africa, The Wide (White Rhinos) and the Black Rhinos. Most of which are endangered and some extinct such as the Northern White Rhinos. They are poached due to their horns being processed and lied to people as medicine. The illegal market has rendered most of African Wildlife especially to the Northern White Rhino. They are always under guard and protection of the rangers and forest officers.

They were considered big five due to their aggressiveness and danger they possed to hunters in the early days. They are fast and strong as well.

Rhino - Park of the Big Five
Tswalu Reserve – Black Rhino and Calf – Photo by Unknown

The Leopards

They are known to be very elusive, and dangerous when attacking an enemy or when hunting for food. They are short and have huge bodies compared to cheetahs. Their spots are big and close to each other. They are predators that love to spend most of their time up the trees. Trees are essentials in a leopards life, it helps them as vantage points, food hides, escape point, and resting places during the day. Leopards are lethal and very dangerous to humans.

Leopard - Part of the Big Five
Leopard on a Tree – Photo by Google

The Elephants – African Savannah Elephants.

Known as the African Giants on Land, they mostly live and spend their lives in the African Savannah lands. Mostly found in the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa. They have always suffered and threatened due to their ivories, they get poached, killed and their tusks sold out into illegal markets around the world.

They are much protected similar to rhinos due to their horns and elephant tusks. In these cases, we have a lot of conservation initiatives that have been brought up to protect these wildlife species in Africa.

Elephants Fight - Part of the Big Five
Elephants Fight – Part of the Big Five – Photo by Silverless

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