Eyes on Africa is becoming Eyes on Adventure and adding exciting new destinations - new and expanded website coming soon!
India, Madagascar, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, Galápagos, Pantanal and Amazon.

African Safaris with Eyes on Africa African Safaris with Eyes on Africa African Safaris with Eyes on Africa

Eyes on Africa on Facebook

Bookmark and Share


African Wildlife – “The Big Five”

Africa's Big Five - Lion Africa's Big Five - Elephant Africa's Big Five - Rhino Africa's Big Five - Leopard Africa's Big Five - Buffalo

Return to Safari Planning

African Wildlife – “The Big Five”
Everyone has expectations of what they want to see and experience on safari, but Africa’s “Big Five” are perhaps the most popular with today’s safari set.  An African Safari was traditionally a hunting safari and the Big Five (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo) were known as the most dangerous animals for hunters on a safari.  Today, these same five animals are sought after, not nearly so much for hunting, but for the excitement of seeing and photographing them.

Lion: Although they are popularly referred to as the “king of the jungle,” African lions are typically a plains game species, preferring more open spaces in which to hunt. Lions are the most social of all cats, with some lion prides totaling as many as 15 lions. At one time, lions were found everywhere from Greece through the Middle East to northern India, but today only a very small population remains in India and the rest are now confined to sub-Saharan Africa.

Elephant: The largest land mammal, an average male elephant weighs about 12,000 pounds and stands about 10 feet tall at the shoulder. The smaller forest elephant weighs a scant 10,000 pounds.  And believe it or not, an elephant's trunk has more than 40,000 muscles. The African elephant is adaptable to just about every region of the continent’s vast savannahs, endless deserts, and lush rain forests. Elephants can be quite dangerous, especially females in a breeding herd, but they are also quite intelligent and not usually outwardly aggressive otherwise.

Rhino: Second in size to the elephant, these astonishingly unique animals have diminished in numbers over the years due to poaching. The rhino horn, much like elephant tusks, is a highly prized item. In fact, rhino horn is used for medicinal purposes in some parts of the world.  A large, primitive-looking mammal, this creature dates back to the Miocene era millions of years ago. The two species of African rhino are the black rhino and the white rhino (actually most rhinos are more of a grayish color). The origin of the white rhinos’ name originates from the Dutch "weit," meaning wide--a present in many safari areas, but because black rhinos suffered the greatest poaching damage to their population, white rhinos are the variety more commonly encountered on safari.

Leopard: These beautiful cats of the Panthera family are most definitely the strongest climbers and also the savviest felines in the African wilderness. Unfortunately, they are also quite reclusive making them hard to spot. Leopards are cautious, active during both day and night, and can climb, swim and live in a wider range of habitats than most other wild animals. Leopards exhibit a wide variety of coat colors, from a light buff or tawny in warmer, dryer areas to darker shades in forested areas. The spots, or rosettes, are circular in East African leopards but more square in southern African leopards.

Buffalo: When viewing these creatures, you will, in all likelihood, see them in large herds, although small groups of adult males occasionally form bachelor groups.  The African buffalo also has an intimidating, odd stare that creates the impression that they’re looking directly at you even from miles away. Extremely dangerous, many game hunters have lost their lives to these animals because they are highly unpredictable and have been known to ambush people.  There is only one genus and one species of buffalo in Africa, but this single species has two different types: the large savanna buffalo and the much smaller dwarf forest buffalo. Cape Buffalo are heavy animals that vary in appearance, not only in size and coloration, but also in the shapes of their horns and faces.

Eyes on Africa, an African safari company, boasts an extremely knowledgeable team of staff members, who are passionate about every aspect of travel to Africa, including its wildlife and safari destinations. When you're ready to plan your African safari, a holiday in Africa, or if you just have questions, please feel free to contact us toll free at 800-457-9575 or visit our web site at http://www.eyesonafrica.net/contactus.htm and complete an information request form.

Eyes on Africa was selected most knowledgeable Regional Expert for Southern Africa / Safaris by National Geographic Traveler Magazine, 20th Anniversary Special Issue, October 2004.
Eyes on Africa was selected most knowledgeable
Regional Expert for Southern Africa / Safaris by
National Geographic Traveler Magazine,
20th Anniversary Special Issue.

Top          Return to Safari Planning

Travel Insurance

Wilderness Wildlife Trust            Eyes on Africa sponsors Children in the Wilderness            Eyes on Africa is a corporate sponsor of The African Wildlife Foundation

Eyes on Africa is proud to be a certified Fundi - a South Africa Tourism Specialist                           Eyes on Africa is endorsed by IATAN - International Airlines Travel Agent Network           Eyes on Africa is a member of the Better Business Bureau             Eyes on Africa is a member of ASTA - The American Society of Travel Agents (member #900143776)

African Safari - Home          Site Map          Currency Converter          Search          Links          Blog          Africa Weather          Budget Safaris          Photo Safaris

Botswana Safari          Kenya Safari          Malawi Safari          Mozambique Safari          Namibia Safari          Rwanda Safari          Seychelles Islands

South Africa Safari          Tanzania Safari          Zambia Safari          Zimbabwe Safari

Safari Map          About Us          Our African Safaris          Scheduled Safaris          Rates and Pricing          Planning          News          FAQ's          Photography          Contact Us

Eyes on Africa, Ltd.
1743 West Fletcher Street
Chicago, Illinois 60657
Tel: 800.457.9575 / 773.549.0169    Fax: 773.327.2977    Email: Eyes on Africa

All content © 2002-2016, Eyes on Africa, Ltd. All rights reserved.
All images © 1995-2016, James Weis/Eyes on Africa (unless otherwise noted). All rights reserved.
Legal Restrictions & Terms of Use  •  Privacy Statement  •  Travel Terms & Conditions  •  Travel Info Form  •  Travel Agreement  •  Travel Insurance Form  •  Credit Card Form

email webmaster: EOA Webmaster