The term 'Big 5' originated from big game hunters who referred to their most desired prizes - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo - as the Big 5. These are also the most desired 'prizes' for most safari visitors.
A Big 5 safari is also another way to describe a more traditional 'savannah' safari experience in Africa as opposed to wildlife experiences such as primate safaris. Whilst the vast majority of parks across Africa feature the Big 5 animals as well as an abundance of other wildlife, it is important to note that not all parks feature rhinos that have unfortunately been severely affected by poaching.
These 'traditional' safaris are the most common and most recognisable form of safari. The vast majority of camps and safari lodges across Africa operate guided safaris. These involve largely game drives (although other activities are often provided such as walks, boat trips etc) whereby a specialist driver guide will 'guide' you through the wildlife experience. The drives are either privately operated or shared with other guests from the camp or lodge. Various countries and camps operate differently but by in large these guided drives are offered in the early morning and late afternoon / evening, providing the best opportunities for game viewing. Some camps and lodges will also offer night drives.
The advantage of this type of safari is that you can rely on the guide's specialist knowledge and tracking skills to locate the animals you wish to see, describe their behaviour and provide you with specific information on the fauna and flora which you will encounter.
First timers to Africa or those looking for a hassle free and exclusive experience should always consider a guided safari to make the most of their experience.
All Big 5 Safaris Itineraries