If you’ve ever shown an interest in booking a safari trip, there’s a strong chance that you’ll have been lured by the appeal of seeing some majestic wildlife, none more so than the so-called ‘big five’ game.
This term is used to describe Africa’s five most iconic and popular species of animal, including lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos. The big five originally earned their selection during the early 20th century, largely because they were the hardest animals to hunt by visitors from Europe and North America.
Since this time, the big five have become a key selling point of African safari holidays, and going on a safari adventure is a great way to travel. There are also a plethora of other animals that provide a spectacular sight when you see them up close in their natural habitats.
But where exactly is the best place to see these species?
Where To See Lions
We’ll start with magnificent lion, which is the most famous of the big five cast and is often dubbed as the ‘King of the Savannah’. Perhaps the best place for viewing lions is the Kruger National Park in South Africa, with this premium location home to high concentrations of all big five game.
It’s lions that steal the show here, however, with the most recent estimates suggesting that there are 1600 situated in the park (with many congregated around the Satara Rest Camp towards the eastern boundary).
Elsewhere, Tanzania’s iconic Serengeti National Park is also home to a large population of lions, with 3000 of this magnificent creature known to prowl the endless plains of the resort. Visitors to Kenya should also consider checking out the Masai Mara, which is one of Africa’s most famous national reserves and home to various big cats and especially lions.
Where To See Leopards
We feature the leopard next, primarily because this fascinating creature is widely considered to be the hardest to find whilst on safari. While these elite hunters are incredibly cunning and capable of exceptional camouflage, however, you can typically see large volumes in the aforementioned Serengeti.
This location boasts a healthy leopard population, while its famous river valleys (including the Seronera Valley) offer a popular congregation point for these animals.
At the same time, you could also consider booking a trip to the Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya. Interestingly, this location has a relative lack of lions, making the leopard population even more prominent and commonly seen during the daylight areas.
Where To See Wildebeests And Zebras
Head to Northern Tanzania or Kenya and you can witness the iconic Great Migration where more than two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles move through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems in search of green pasture, every year.
Although you can witness this iconic scene and book a Great Migration safari holiday all year round, the best time to head over is between July-October when the wildebeest are in the northern Serengeti plains.
Where To See Elephants
We close with the giants of the savannah, with African elephants renowned as the world’s largest and biggest mammal. Of course, given that they weigh up to six tonnes on average and tower over three meters tall, you may be forgiven how you could possibly miss these creatures during a safari trip.
Some places are home to higher concentrations of elephants than others, however, with the Chobe National Park in Botswana offering a relevant case in point. This park is home the biggest elephant population in Africa, while this also includes some of the most impressive physical specimens on the continent.
The Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is close to the Chobe resort and also home to a large herd of elephants, many of which traverse the land between these two locations in search of lush grazing lands.