Category Archives: Wonderful

Explained: The ‘Big 5’ Animals on an African Safari

What exactly are the “Big 5” animals on safari?

When going on safari people often hear of the “Big 5” and wonder what is means. It refers to the 5 animals that big game hunters used to want to shoot to complete their collection of trophies. The animals were:

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Buffalo
  • Elephant
  • Rhino

Today the same phrase is used for those travelling on safari, the five animals that everybody wants to see, albeit these days to shoot only with a camera.

The Big 5 African safari animals includes the mighty lion

The one everybody gets wrong is the Cape Buffalo. They expect the hippo or cheetah as they are seen as more exotic. But the buffalo provided the biggest challenge to the old hunters; bad tempered, strong and quick, only a perfectly placed shot would bring it down before it charged right through you.

The Big 7?

Somebody always has to go one better. Addo National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa now offers trips to see the big 7! These are the traditional 5 plus 2 additional ones from the Ocean:

  • Southern Right Whale
  • Great White shark

Let’s hope people don’t get competitive or the list could grow for ever!

By Robert Ferguson

It isn’t what you have, it’s how you use it…

Sometimes you just need to look at something to know that there’s a mismatch. If I asked you to pick the winner between Mohammed Ali and Mary Poppins over 10 rounds for example, most I believe would select the former, even if the latter was allowed to use her umbrella. But sometimes it doesn’t work out as you would think.

On a recent visit to the Masai Mara I was enjoying a medicinal beer during the afternoon with a mate, while we watched 4 baby hippos try to take on a goose. The Camp, The Karen Blixen, overlooks a meander in the river where a pod of hippos lives. (It is a pod of hippos, maybe because they all lie tightly together like peas in a..) All the mums were asleep and the baby hippos decided it was time to establish who was boss to a lone goose on the water’s edge.

Click here to see the video

I hope I don’t get that goose served up to me this Christmas as that is one tough goose…

Lions for dinner

Everybody wants to see lions when they go on safari. Ideally, they would like to see lions making a kill but this is a fairly rare occurrence. Not so for clients staying at the Kicheche Bush Camp in the Masai Mara, Kenya at the end of September. Having returned from a day of game-watching they were just showering or enjoying a cool sundowner in the bar, when lions chased a wildebeest through camp, past the camp fire before catching it beside the adjacent safari vehicle park. The clients met for dinner in the Mess tent as usual (accompanied by armed Masai guards!) and watched the lions eating and watching them eating. Seems only fair really.