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African Big Five Safaris and Tours

Tanzania Safaris And Tours

African Big Five Safaris and Tours

Africa is a land of wonder and awe. The impressive geographical features such as mountains, stunning landscapes in the Great Rift Valley and the fact that this is the cradle of mankind all contribute to the safari experience. Africa is truly unique and has no equal. It is undoubtedly the world’s greatest wilderness. Crowning the whole safari experience is the wildlife spectacle that many can never get enough of. And as Karen Blixen once said, “If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.”

Talk about a game drive past huge herds of antelope and zebra in the open plains, warm camp fires in the night under starry skies and sights and sounds of animals in the bush – Africa has these moments to offer you. East Africa, in particular, is home to the Big Five. This term was originally used by hunters during their pursuit of big game on foot. This later led to the famous and modern African Big Five Safaris and Tours.

Tarangire National Park

 Today, the term African Big Five refers to the animals of Africa that have to be seen to be believed. A tour to East Africa cannot be complete without you seeing the Big Five of Africa. These five animals have also been a part of the lives of many African communities. Due to the fact that many communities live next to the wildlife and vice versa, constant interactions between them have allowed our ways of life to be influenced by the behavior of these animals. These animals make up part of our wise sayings and proverbs and thus through these, many Africans are able to appreciate the value of life. Here we look at these five iconic species.

 “An elephant does not get tired carrying his trunk”- African Proverb

One of the most outstanding features of the African Elephant is its trunk. It is a fusion of nose and upper lip. It contains over 100,000 muscles giving it exceptional strength and flexibility. This is no comparison to our 600 plus muscles in our entire bodies. An elephant has twice as many smelling genes as a dog. They use their trunks for smelling food, drinking (they can hold three gallons of water at one time), dusting, showering, and greeting. It is so complex and has varied uses that a young calf may take up to two years to master its use. The elephant’s trunk has been termed as the most amazing body part in the animal kingdom. These amazing giants are best seen in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in Tanzania.

The above proverb is used by many African communities to shed light on the concept of responsibility in the family set up. The “elephant” is the parents while the “trunk” is the children. This shows that every parent does not tire to bring up their children.

Masai Mara National Reserve Safari

 “When a lion runs and looks back, it is not that he is afraid, rather he is trying to see the distance he has covered.”(African Proverb)

The African Lion is described as the King of the Beasts – and is a top species on all African Big Five Safaris and Tours. He is the defender of his pride and keeps it safe. During a hunting expedition, only one in three attempts will end in a kill. The lionesses do the main job of chasing. However, once the pride of lions has brought the victim down, the quarry belongs to the King. Eating first is his right. It is also his reward to mate with all his females and expand his personal army. His cubs are his legacy. The African lion populations in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya are stable and visitors have good chances of spotting them. The African lion is a source of wisdom among the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania by being icons of courage and gallantry even in the face of adversities in life.

 “Every Rhino is proud of its horn.”African Proverb

Despite its name, this rhino is actually grey in colour. It is easily told apart from the White Rhino by the shape of its lip. A black rhino has the upper lip hooked while a white rhino has it square. The males’ large horns are used as threat displays to other rivals. It was the uniqueness of the size of these horns that fueled the rhinos’ hunting. These horns were used in the making of dagger handles and other equipment. The Black Rhino is very aggressive and will readily charge at any threat (including at the hunters back then).  Today, this species inhabits many parts of Africa and relishes on woody plants and leaves. This results in more grass growing for the benefit of other animals of the bush. A single rhino can produce about 20kgs of dung in a single day which is deposited in a pile. This pile is used to mark their territories. The Black Rhino is resident in Nairobi National Park – a top destination for African Big Five Safaris and Tours.

 “The skin of the leopard is beautiful, but not its heart- African proverb

African Big Five Safaris And Tours


Imagine you are on a game drive and suddenly there is a leopard right in front of the vehicle on a termite mount. A visit to Africa makes this imagination a reality. Introverted and withdrawn, the African Leopard is the most agile tree climber and this big cat has earned its title as Africa’s silent assassin. With a hunting strategy akin to that of the domestic cat, leopards also remain close to the ground. They creep towards their target till they are just about few feet apart. The leopard’s greatest asset in the savannah’s long grass is stealth. Its spotted coat helps it blend into her background. It locates her prey via sound and then singles out her targets. It focuses solely on the sound of their movements to track them. Tufts of hair between her padded toes muffle the sound of her approach. These beautiful cats are found in Masai Mara National Reserve as well as in Serengeti National Park. These locations are some of the best places for African Big Five Safaris and Tours.

Once you have been tossed by a buffalo, a black ox looks like a buffalo.” Kenyan proverb.

Just as an elephant never forgets, the buffalo never forgives. They are nicknamed as the “black death.” About one ton in weight, the Cape Buffalo has wide horns that are capable of goring an enemy to death. A herd of buffalo is one of Africa’s mightiest animal armies. Occurring in their hundreds, buffalos are a common site in many national parks in East Africa.

Africa’s Big Five species continue to marvel the hearts of many. Coupled with other wholesome moments of interacting with the local people, there is always something new out of Africa. Whether you intend to visit for a short stay or a long one, Africa beckons.


We, at Bovid Africa Safaris look forward to hosting you on many African Big Five Safaris and Tours. Please contact us today to start planning your next safari adventure…

African Big Five Safaris And Tours