Big Five safaris, holidays & tours

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Big Five safaris, holidays & tours

A sighting of one of these five incredible African animals can change your life forever 

Big Five safaris, holidays & tours available in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania

A sighting of one of these five incredible African animals can change your life forever 

The Big Five was traditionally used as a hunting term to describe the five most dangerous animals in Africa to hunt. Their reputation has spilled over into the tourism industry and now elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino remain the most sought after species to see on the continent. 

But they're not really the most dangerous animals in Africa. In fact, the two species that kill the most people are not even part of the Big Five; they are the tiny mosquito and the lazy hippo. Out of the Big Five, the black rhino is the hardest to find by far, with the leopard coming in at second place.

Popular Big Five safaris in Africa

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Thornybush Game Reserve Safari (4 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Thornybush Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

Enjoy the city life in Johannesburg and track the Big Five in the Thornybush Game Reserve

per person

4 days

Nature, Romance and Exclusivity - A Complete African Honeymoon (14 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Nature, Romance and Exclusivity - A Complete African Honeymoon (14 days)

This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together

per person

14 days

The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

HerdTracker Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Adventure (7 days)

Experience the wildebeest migration in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park with HerdTracker

per person

7 days

Enjoying a sundowner whilst watching the wildebeest migration.

HerdTracker Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Journey (7 days)

Witness the wildebeest migration in Kenya's iconic Masai Mara National Reserve with HerdTracker

per person

7 days

The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days)

Get the best possible chance to see the Big Five wildlife in the iconic Kruger National Park and Manyeleti Game Reserve

per person

7 days

Wildebeest Migration Safari in Tanzania (11 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Wildebeest Migration Safari in Tanzania (11 days)

This tour is designed to allow maximum exposure to the Great Wildebeest Migration

per person

11 days

Lion Cubs

The Big Cats of East Africa Safari (10 days)

This safari to the Serengeti and Masai Mara in East Africa is all about big cats – lots of them and up close for outstanding photographs

per person

10 days

Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Wilderness and Wildlife in Northern Botswana (7 days)

From the Okavango Delta to the Chobe, this one-week journey is the perfect balance of wildlife and wilderness wonders

per person

7 days

Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Fall under the spell of three prime attractions in Zimbabwe and Zambia – Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Mana Pools 

per person

9 days

Botswana and Zimbabwe’s World Wonders (7 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Botswana and Zimbabwe's World Wonders (7 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – to the diverse game viewing at the Chobe National Park and ending at the thundering Victoria Falls

per person

7 days

More on Big Five safaris in Africa

There are a few sweet spots in southern Africa - the easiest places to spot the Big Five.

Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater combined with the Serengeti are the most sought after Big Five safari experiences. Ngorongoro has a healthy black rhino population and some leopard in the Lerai fever tree forest. It also holds some of Africa’s biggest elephant alive today and good buffalo and lion numbers. It's tricky to spot leopard in Ngorongoro, but if you combine it with the Serengeti then you'll almost certainly see leopard in its Seronera or Lobo areas.

Namibia’s Etosha is an incredible dry season park and wonderful for black rhino. Lion, elephant and leopard are often seen at Etosha's waterholes but there are no buffalo. The Caprivi strip and the Waterberg close by are great for buffalo.

In Kenya, the Masai Mara may be a tricky place to see black rhino, but the rest of the Big Five is guaranteed. Combine the Mara with Lake Nakuru and you're bound to see the entire Big Five in Kenya.

In South Africa, it's easy to spot all the Five in the Sabi Sands, as the rangers and guides are excellent trackers and communicate constantly. Finding the Big Five in Kruger National Park on a self drive is far more challenging. The south of Berg-and-Dal is good for rhino, the north of Satara for lion and Lower Sabie and the Sabie River loops for leopard. Buffalo and elephant are easy to spot.

Frequently Asked Questions about Big Five safaris in Africa

How does the weather influence a safari?

While a safari holiday can be at any time of year, it is worth noting that seasonality will impact the type of experience you’re likely to have as well as the cost of your safari. During the dry season, the wildlife tends to congregate… go there.

What is a typical day on safari like?

Life on safari has a rhythm of its own, largely dictated by the animal's movements. Generally, the most rewarding times for game viewing is in the cooler early mornings and also late in the afternoons when the animals are most active. A… go there.

How did the ‘Big Five’ get their name?

The term ‘Big Five’ refers to five of Africa’s greatest wild animals namely; lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino - Originally coined only by hunters. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt, the Big… go there.

Will I be able to use my smartphone during my safari?

Wi-Fi is the best option when planning on using your smartphone during your African safari. Using apps such as Skype for Android and iOS, Viber for Android and iOS as well as Google Hangouts for Android is the best way to stay in touch with… go there.

What happens if the weather affects my hot air balloon safari?

If the weather causes unforeseen problems on the day of your hot air balloon safari, we will try to move it to another day or you will be refunded. go there.

Is going on a safari dangerous?

You are putting yourself in a position where you are exposed to wild animals for which many of them are dangerous. However on a safari every precaution is made to ensure your safety when going on a game drives or walks. This is why it is of… go there.

What research should one do when thinking of travelling through Africa?

Africa for centuries has captured the imagination of explorers hence there really is a lot of information out there available on the continent from guide books to novels. go there.

Where is the best place to go for wildlife viewing in Tanzania?

Northern Tanzania! Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, has some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in the world as well as the Serengeti, but don't forget about the southern circuit. go there.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari?

Whether you are in the Southern or East Africa you will generally be able to see the big five. The difference really comes in when considering antelope as they are based on your chosen location. go there.

Big Five safaris in Africa - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Big Five safaris in Africa

This was my first safari. I didn’t expect to be so pampered. Everything was first class. We had everything provided for us before even asking. We had a dedicated team at our service. Megan was on call whenever we needed something and she…

Saada

from Nigeria

Tanya was an absolute delight to deal with. From the first phone call she was extremely polite, professional and very eager to facilitate my requests regarding our safari. Our 3 nights at the V & A Hotel were fabulous and Motswari Game…

Debbie

from Australia

Perfectly tailor-made tours that take all your wishes and requests into consideration. All my expectations were beyond fulfilled.

Henrik Wetterstrand

from Sweden

Living afar and trusting in an organisation with whom you have no previous knowledge can lead to feeling of mistrust and wondering whether what we have paid for actually exists. A little more proactive communication would have eased those…

Tony Russell

I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…

Margaret Dean

Planning the trip was managed extremely well especially since travel was at a busy time of year and not much notice was given. All communication was by email, and was responded to promptly and efficiently. Different options were provided…

Suzanne McKeen

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