The big five of African - elephant at etosha national park watering hole

What are The Big 5 of Africa

The term originally referred to the difficulty of hunting the big 5 of Africa animals. These included lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo’s. Today it takes on a gentler form as photo tours take tourist to view and photograph these animals rather than hunting them.

What are the African game animals known as Africa Big five ?

The big 5 animals Africa  are the lion, the leopard, the elephant, the Cape buffalo, and the rhinoceros. These animals are considered the most dangerous animals to hunt on the African continent.

There are many animals that can be found and photographed in Africa, but the Big 5 of Africa are the most well-known.

Once a term used by hunters, these large animals are “awe-inspiring” sight, and a thrill to photograph.

These animals are so-named because they were the most dangerous to hunt on foot. They are all large and awe-inspiring sights, and a thrill to photograph.

The Big 5 of Africa have been around for centuries and were hunted as trophies during the colonial period. These animals are “amazing”, and photographing them is a thrill for any photographer. The term “Big 5 safari animals” originated in the late 1800s during Africa’s colonial period when trophy hunting was popularized.

All the big 5 of Africa are listed as endangered or vulnerable today, but a shift toward tourism has increased the number of tourist wanting to see them. Hunting has led to the decline in population for all five species, with lions being one that is struggling most because of their loss of habitat.

African Bush Elephant

The African Bush Elephant is the largest land animal on the planet. These elephants can weigh up to two tons and can be up to six and a half feet tall at the shoulder. They are herbivores and can eat up to 300 pounds of food per day.

The African bush elephant is the largest land animal in Africa, their tusks never stop growing. They can also live for a very long time in the wild. In addition to parents, adults help to look after calves, too.

African bush elephants have very thick skin and are different than their closest living relative, the African forest elephant. They also have long tusks which they use for defense, feeding, and digging up water sources. Adult elephants are really big – even bigger than most cars!

When elephant babies are born, they are really cute! As they grow up, they learn how to take care of themselves and become a part of the herd. Elephants are difficult to hunt because they can hide in tall grass and charge when their young ones are being mistreated or their view is blocked. If an adult elephant feels like its young one is being threatened, it will become aggressive and could potentially charge at the photographer.

There are two types of African Bush Elephants: one type is the White-Lipped Elephant and it is smaller than the Savannah elephant with a lighter build. The White-Lipped Elephant weighs between 3,000 to 4,500 pounds while the African Bush Elephants weigh 6 tons or more.

African Lions

The African lion is the largest of the lion subspecies and is found in Africa. They are the national animal of several African countries. African lions are considered a vulnerable species due to poaching and habitat loss.

African lions have been listed as “vulnerable” since 1996. Male African lions are much larger than female, and the lionesses contribute to the hunting efforts by sharing with male lions of a pride. Lions are territorial and female lions spend most of their lives within their home ranges (prides).

Lions can be seen across sub-Saharan African national parks. The best places to see lions include Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa; Kruger National Park, South Africa; Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya; Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania; Okavango Delta, Botswana.

African Leopards

Leopards are the smallest of the big cats, but they are still an impressive sight. These beautiful animals can be found throughout Africa, and they are known for their strength, agility, and grace. Leopards are also very adaptable, which helps them survive in a variety of habitats.

African leopards are the most adaptable big cat in Africa. They spend sunrise to sunset hidden in trees to scan for prey and store kills away from scavengers such as lions and hyena. They have large territories and seldom stay in the same area for long periods of time. Male leopards can run at speeds up to 35 miles/56 kilometers per hour.

Leopards are strong climbers and excellent hunters. They are also nocturnal, which means they spend most of the day hidden in trees while they scan for prey. This also allows them to avoid danger from other predators such as lions and hyenas. Leopard’s spots are called rosettes, and each one is unique to that individual animal. Male leopards tend to range more widely than females, and they have large territories that seldom stay in the same area for long periods of time. Male leopards can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, and they can jump over 3 meters into the air! In addition, leopards can swim quite well.

Leopards are the most elusive big cats in Africa and they’re also one of the most popular animals to see on safari. Leopard’s spots are called rosettes, and they usually have between 20 and 30 of them. Some leopard populations are doing well, such as those in Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Moremi Game Reserve, South Luangwa National Park and Samburu National Reserve. However, other populations are declining because of poaching and habitat loss.

Leopard sightings are becoming increasingly common in Africa thanks to conservation efforts. Some great places to see these amazing creatures include Londolozi Game Reserve, Moremi Game Reserve, South Luangwa National Park, and Samburu National Reserve.

Cape Buffalo

The Cape Buffalo is a large African bovine that is known for being one of the most dangerous animals in the world. They were sought after by big-game hunters for their size and strength.

The Cape buffalo is one of the “big five” animals in Africa, and it’s a fascinating creature. Weighing up to 920 kilograms/2,010 pounds, it’s the largest African bovine. There are four sub-species of Cape buffalo, and they can be found in many parts of Africa.

Buffalo often have a bad temper and are equipped with fused curved horns that are capable of taking out the largest game in Africa. They’re also quite fast capable of reaching speeds up to 55 kilometers per hour/34 miles per hour. Buffalo are typically peaceful with one another but can become aggressive quickly if threatened. Buffalo congregate in large herds of over a thousand individuals, and each animal consumes coarse grass and bushes daily. They cannot live in the desert because they need access to water daily.

A typical Cape buffalo is about 2 meters/6 feet 6 inches long and 1 meter/3 feet 3 inches high at the shoulder. They’re susceptible to domestic cattle diseases, so conservationists work hard to keep them healthy. You can photography these amazing creatures in Kruger National Park and other African parks.

White and Black Rhinoceros

There are two types of rhinos in Africa: black and white. The black rhino is the more prevalent species, while the white rhino is less common. In fact, three sub-species of the black rhino have gone extinct, while the northern white Rhino has become extinct in the wild.

The white rhinoceros is a large herbivore that is native to the grasslands of Africa. The black rhinoceros is a smaller, stockier animal that is also native to Africa.

As of March 2018, the northern white rhino population consisted of only two female rhinos. They reside in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy and are under guard 24 hours a day. Poaching for rhino horn has resulted in bringing them dangerously close to extinction.

Black rhinos are usually solitary animals that can be temperamental at times. They’re found in desert and scrub-land areas, while white rhinos live in pairs and prefer open savannahs.

The easiest way to tell them apart is to look at their lips,the black rhino’s are pointy, while the white rhino’s are wide.

You can often see both types of Rhinoceros in Etosha National Park; Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park; Lewa Wildlife Conservancy; and Mkomazi National Park

Best places to see all of the big 5 animals

These animals can be found in a variety of habitats across the continent, but some areas are better than others.

Some of the most popular destinations include the

  • Serengeti National Park in Tanzania,
  • the Kruger National Park in South Africa,
  • Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
  • Etosha National Park in Namibia.
  • Isimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa
  • and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park also in South Africa

The Big 5 in Botswana

The Big 5 in Kenya

The best place to see them of the big 5 in Kenya is the Masai Mara National Reserve. This reserve is located in southwest Kenya and is home to a large population of lions, elephants and cape buffaloes. Leopards can also be found here, as well as rhinoceroses.

These animals can be seen at various national parks and reserves in Kenya, including

  • Amboseli National Park,
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve,
  • Nakuru National Park
  • and Tsavo East National Park.

The Big 5 in Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are two of the most popular destinations in the country for photographing wildlife. You’ll have a good chance of seeing all of the big five there, as well as lots of other animals.

This lesser-known park is home to huge herds of elephants and Cape buffaloes, as well as lions, leopards and cheetahs. If you’re looking for a more off-the-beaten-path destination, then Lake Manyara National Park is worth considering – it’s known for its colourful bird life as well as its big cats.

The country has a wide range of landscapes, from rainforests and savannas to deserts and mountaintops, which means you can find all sorts of different wildlife habitats there. The Serengeti National Park is perhaps the best place in Tanzania to see lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos. But other parks like Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and Tarangire National Park are also home to large populations of these animals. So if you’re looking for an African safari adventure that will let you see all five of the big five animals, Tanzania is definitely worth considering.

How to Photograph the big 5 on safari

Some tips for photographing the big 5 of Africa on safari:

  • Get close: get as close as you can to your subject for the best shot.
  • Use a zoom lens: a zoom lens will help you to capture shots of animals from a distance.
  • Use a tripod: a tripod will help to keep your camera steady when taking photos of animals in motion.
  • Be patient: take your time and observe the animal’s behavior before taking a photo.

First, try to go during the dry season, when animals congregate around waterholes. Second, use a telephoto lens to get close-ups. Third, stay in your vehicle and don’t make any noise. Fourth, be patient and wait for the animals to come to you. And fifth, take lots of pictures!

When you go on safari, it’s important to be prepared and know the right techniques for photographing the big 5. Here are some tips:

  1. Shoot wide enough of a scene so that you can capture all five animals in one photograph.
  2. . If possible, try to get close-ups of each animal.
  3. For shots of lions feeding, wait for vultures or hyenas to arrive as they will make for an interesting backdrop.
  4. Use your camera’s spot meter function to measure the light in a given environment and adjust your exposure settings accordingly.

How to photograph rhinos on safari

When photographing rhinos on safari, it is important to use a long lens and stay a safe distance away. Try to capture the rhinos in their natural habitat and avoid getting too close.

If you are too close, you may scare the rhino and cause it to charge. This could also lead to dangerous situations if the rhino is running towards you. It is also important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure that there are no other animals nearby that could pose a threat.

How to photograph leopards on safari

To photograph leopards on safari, you’ll need to have a lot of luck. You’ll need a good telephoto lens. Position yourself near waterholes or other areas where the leopards are likely to come to drink. Try to avoid photographing the leopards from too far away. Be patient and stay alert while on safari. You never know when you might get lucky and spot a leopard!

How to photograph buffalo on safari

Buffalo are herd animals and can be dangerous when threatened or cornered. It is best to photograph them from a distance, using a telephoto lens if possible. If you must get close to capture a good shot, make sure there is plenty of space between you and the buffalo, and avoid making sudden moves that could spook them. Remember to always respect the wildlife, remember that these animals are powerful and can be dangerous if provoked

How to photograph elephants on safari

When photographing elephants on safari, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings. Normally they will blow their trunk as a warning call.

Elephants are large animals and getting close is not as hard as you think. However, you will want to use a long lens if possible. They do move around, so it is important to have a good understanding of what the animal is doing. Finally, always be aware of the surroundings and make sure you don’t get too close to any other animals.

How to photograph lions on safari

To photograph lions on safari, it is important to have a good understanding of their behavior and to be patient. When photographing lions, it is important to use a telephoto lens be aware of your surroundings so that you don’t get too close and disturb them.

If you are lucky enough to have a good sighting of lions, stay calm and keep your camera ready. Lions are usually shy animals and will usually run off if they see or hear strange noises. Try to use the natural surroundings to camouflage yourself and your vehicle; this will help reduce the chances of scaring them.

You’ll want to make sure that you have a clear view of the lion. This means finding an open space where there are no obstacles between you and the lion. Try to avoid taking photos from inside of a vehicle or behind fences, as this can obstruct the view and produce poor quality photos.

As such, it’s important to be patient and wait for the perfect opportunity. Try not to rush your shots, as this can lead to blurry photos or missed opportunities entirely.

Never get too close or attempt to touch a lion – even if it seems tame. Remember that these animals are wild and should be treated as such!

When is the Best Time to See the Big 5?

The Big 5 of Africa are easier to spot in the dry, winter months because of the lack of rain. As vegetation dries and thins out during the hot, winter months making it easier to see a rhino or buffalo than in summer. Leopards are harder to find in summer because there is more foliage on trees and long grass. The dry conditions mean that pools, streams, puddles and smaller water holes are dry. Most animals must drink every day so they avoid wandering too far from water.

Bob Wild is a professional photographer and the former owner of African Photo Safari, having led guided photo safaris to numerous destinations including Namibia in western Africa. He owns Who Said Photography and continues to help introduce newcomers to the joys of photography.