Big Five Safaris

A Big Five safari is the stuff of legend.

Most safari experts will tell you not to expect to see all five beasties (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) in one go and, while we agree, there's no harm in being ambitious. As the famous Mike Ehrmantraut once said, no more half measures.

And why are those particular animals deemed to be the 'Big Five' we hear you ask? It's not because they are the largest, or even most interesting, it is that they are, traditionally, the hardest and most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. It is also worth noting that it is only black rhinos that feature in the Big Five, as white rhinos are much more docile animals.

If it's specific species that you're keen to spot, our experts can advise on where to go to see each one. To spot majestic lions, head to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, where they grow to huge sizes; or if it's elephants you're after, the Tuli Block of southern Botswana is where you'll get the best sightings. Damaraland in Namibia is a great place to see black rhinos, and buffalos can be seen in most major parks in Africa, but the Serengeti or the Masai Mara are the top spots. Leopards are the most elusive of the Big Five but to maximise your chances of seeing them, head to Sabi Sands in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where the guides and trackers are some of the best in the business at spotting these big cats.

Sometimes big game sightings can be few and far between, but a good guide can bring the bush to life by focusing on the smaller details - something we salute, naturally. Making a colony of ants sound interesting to those looking for lions and elephants is no mean feat, but passion and knowledge will always shine through.

For the best chance of seeing all five of these beasties in one trip (although of course this can never be guaranteed), take a look at our top destinations below, or get in touch with our experts, who know the safari game (pun intended) inside out and will give you insightful tips about where is best to visit at what time of year to give you the best chance of ticking all of the Big Five off your list.

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Isabel is our 'Big Five Safaris' expert and as a seasoned traveller has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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