Best National Parks for Spotting the Big 5

Best National Parks for Spotting the Big 5

The dream of all wildlife enthusiasts is to see the big five, and they will go to any corner of the world to spot the lion, the elephant, the leopard, the buffalo, and the rhino. Why these wild animals fall in the category of big five is not just because of their size but also as they were the hardest animals to hunt. As these animals are hard to track and have fewer natural predators, they can be very dangerous. It is indeed a thrilling experience to see those big five in their natural habitat.

Thankfully one can see those big five animals in some of the various national parks, game reserves and wildlife safaris in Africa.  The sight of these magnificent animals indeed makes for a great experience during the amazing wildlife holidays for naturalists. The national parks are the best way to see those animals, and an added advantage is that you get to see so many other wildlife species.  Along with wildlife spotting, one can look forward to other interesting activities like walking safaris, off-road driving, and camping within the national parks.

Some thoughts on the Big Fives

For all those who are set to embark on the journey to spot the Big fives, it sure is an exciting time as they wait in anticipation of sighting the highly coveted group of the leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. Well, you could do with some tips and suggestions as you drive through the animal rich land. For most of the tourists coming to Africa, it is like a mission for them to spot the five animals in their natural and wild habitat.

  • It is easy to spot the lion, but the best time to sight them is early morning when they are relaxing from night hunting. It is always a fantastic experience to see a pride of lions and with their cubs.
  • Be positive, but it is going to be tough to spot a leopard during a safari. These big cats are nocturnal and prefer to sleep high up in a tree during the day. You may be able to get a quick glimpse in the bushes or in a tree and between the leaves.
  • Do not take the wild buffalo lightly as it is one of the most dangerous animals out there. You will always find them alert and aggressive as they are easy prey for lions.
  • African elephants are easier to spot because of their size, and as they live in large herds. Still, maintain your distance as these from these beautiful giant animals.
  • The black rhino is more difficult to spot than the white rhino and is more aggressive in nature. Also, there are fewer black rhinos left in the wild than the white rhino.

Wildlife spotters and experts recommended the following national parks for spotting the Big 5.

Best national parks for spotting lions

best-national-parks-for-spotting-the-big-5
Photo via Unsplash
  • Kruger National Park in South Africa
  • Serengeti National Park in Tanzania
  • Masai Mara in Kenya

The lion is undoubtedly the most famous of the Big Five and the king of the jungle, and generally, lions live in groups and are territorial animals. The best parks to spot them are in South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. Generally, lions live in groups and are territorial animals. As these parks boast of thousands of lions, they are a great place to spot lions as well as the epitome of the safari experience. Kruger National Park is one of the few spots where you can see all the Big Five. Apart from spotting the lions, enjoy looking at the unique range of habitats and flora. The southern part of Kruger National Park is the best for game viewing.

Best national parks for spotting leopards

best-national-parks-for-spotting-the-big-5
Photo via Unsplash
  • Serengeti in Tanzania
  • Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya
  • South Luangwa National Park in Zambia

It is not easy to spot the leopard and can be the hardest to find when on safari as these nocturnal cats prefer to live solitary lives. They are strong and athletic and spend most of the daytime sleeping in trees. The leopards guard their territories fiercely. The national parks in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa carry a healthy leopard population, and leopard sighting is almost guaranteed here.

Best national parks for spotting elephants

best-national-parks-for-spotting-the-big-5
Photo via Unsplash

African elephants are the biggest land mammals on the planet and can reach well over 3 meters in height. These incredible creatures are the most commonly seen of the Big Five and live in big herds. It is easy to spot them in the national parks in Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa because of their sheer size and highest density. While the big-game sightings are certainly the main attraction, what makes the experience even more exciting is the feeling of true wilderness.

Best national parks for spotting rhinos

best-national-parks-for-spotting-the-big-5
Photo via Unsplash
  • Etosha National Park in Namibia
  • Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park in South Africa
  • Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya

Rhinos are the second largest land mammal, after the elephants and the white rhinos are the most commonly seen. It is interesting to note that both white rhinos and black rhinos are gray in color, the white rhinos are heavier of the two. The black rhino is considered to be more dangerous. You can easily spot the rhinos during the dry months in the national parks in South Africa, Namibia, and Kenya. It is best to camp in the park to raise the chances of seeing those animals. Be sure to carry good safari clothes and mosquito repellent.

ADVERTISING

Best national parks for spotting buffaloes

best-national-parks-for-spotting-the-big-5
Photo via Unsplash
  • Chobe National Park in Botswana
  • Kruger National Park in South Africa
  • Serengeti in Tanzania

The buffalo of the Big five should not be confused with other wild buffaloes found elsewhere as it is far more dangerous and ferocious. It is, in fact, the most dangerous of the Big Five because of its unpredictable nature. African buffalo lives in vast herds, and you are sure to spot the animals because of the impressive herd numbers. It is not uncommon to sight the bold creatures along the Chobe River during the dry season.

While you would, of course, love to spot all the five animals of the Big five but be open-minded when you come on safari. Count yourself lucky if you are able to spot all the fives but be grateful if you are able to spot 3 or 4 of them. After all, you are on a safari in the wild and amidst unpredictable wildlife. As Etosha National Park in Namibia boosts of many waterholes in the dry season, most of the wildlife gathers around those waterholes. Hence, the park raises the chances of seeing the Big Five. While most safaris last for about two hours, they can go on a bit longer if people are really engaged and enjoying the experience.

 

ADVERTISING

WHAT TO READ NEXT

Top 5 National Park Road Trips in America

How to Have an Amazing Road Trip Around Eastern Australia

Best Beaches in the World According to Travel Bloggers | Page 9

8 Best Big Island Activities for Nature Lovers and Adventurers (Hawaii)