Africa’s Big Five – Witness them in Tanzania

Tanzania is the perfect African safari destination to encounter Africa’s Big Five! Facing them up close is a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience and many travelers look forward to see wildlife in its natural habitat. But why in Tanzania? Tanzania with its wealth on National Parks is home to a high concentration of wildlife surrounded by untouched nature – the perfect conditions to easily spot wildlife in an authentic atmosphere.

The term “Big Five” actually states back to the colonial hunting days and describes the most dangerous animals to be hunted on foot. Nowadays most of these animals are threatened or critically endangered as a result of poaching. Still, it is possible to spot them on a safari in Tanzania. Luckily today the term is rather used for marketing purposes to “shoot” these wonderful land mammals with our cameras.

What are the “Big Five” of Africa? The Big Five refers to the animals: African Elephant, African Leopard, African Lion, Cape Buffalo and Rhinoceros. It is very easy to came across these animals in Northern Tanzania – especially in Tarangire, Serengeti and the famed Ngorongoro Crater. Apart from the rhinoceros it is also possible to spot them in Southern Tanzania. Definitely an awe-inspiring sight for any safari-goer!

African Elephant

African Elephants are the largest mammals walking this planet. They are easily recognized by their long trunk – used for communication and handling objects and food; and their african-continet-shaped ears which help them to radiate heat.


  • Common Name: African Elephant
  • Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Group Name: Herd

African Leopard

African Leopards are the strongest climber of all the big cats. They are best identifies by their leight colored coat and distinctive dark spots – called rosettes. Each leopard has an individual pattern that helps them to camouflage as they move the through the grasses.

  • Common Name: African Leopard
  • Scientific Name: Panthera pardus
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Carnivore

African Lion

African Lions have been admired throughout history as a symbol of courage and strength. Lions are the only cats that live in groups – referred to as „prides“. Males defend the pride’s territory, while females are the pride’s primary hunters.

  • Common Name: African Lion
  • Scientific Name: Panthera leo
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Group Name: Pride

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalos are often overlooked on safari in favor for more interesting wildlife such as cats, elephants and more. Buffalos however work as a group to protect their young ones using their horns to fight off predators attempting to attack.


  • Common Name: African Buffalo
  • Scientific Name: Syncerus caffer
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Group Name: Herd

Black Rhinoceros

Black Rhinos are much small in size then their cousin – the white rhino. Surprisingly color isn’t the feature to distinguish the two. Both rhinos have a grey skin with one or two horns. For black rhinos their upper lip is pointed which is related to their diet – mainly browsing from eating bushes and trees.


  • Common Name: Black Rhinoceros
  • Scientific Name: Diceros bicornis
  • Type: Mammal
  • Diet: Herbivore

Interested? Talk to an expert!


As an adventurous European travel is in my blood! Tanzania is a fascinating country with so much to explore! It’s a pleasure to share my insider knowledge and offer first-hand advise. I take the time to listen to your ideas and create a unique safari adventure out of these – tailored to your indivudal requirements and designed just for you!

At Tanzania Safari Bug we will choose accommodations at the right place and right part of the parks to encounter Africa’s legendary Big Five.

Reach out

Phone/Whats App +255 788 391 600

Not sure – Talk to an expert


Let me show you my stunning home country and discover the true Tanzania – authentic and first-hand with a native at your side! As a Tanzanian myself, I am intimately familiar with the local conditions. With my experience in the bush and my passioan for wildlife, I will happily design an itinerary based on your travel interests.

You have any questions in regards to Africa’s Big Five and where to encounter them? Get in touch for a first chat to discuss your requirements!

Reach out
Phone/Whats App +255 787 298 159

Africa’s Big Five – Our Favorite Safari Packages

Did we inspire you to search for Africa’s “Big Five”? Seeing an African Leopard in the wild is the ultimate dream for many cat enthusiasts; or slowing down to watch the magnificent African Elephants with their incredible trunk that finds water even in the driest regions. Maybe our favorite safaris to encounter them will quench your travel thirst for more!

5-Day Adventure Safari

Tour Duration: 5 days, 4 nights
National Parks: Tarangire, Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater

6-Day Classic Safari

Tour Duration: 6 days, 5 nights
National Parks: Tarangire, Manyara, Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater

12-Day Venture Safari

Tour Duration: 12 days, 11 nights
National Parks: Mikumi, Ruaha, Udzungwa & Nyerere

Why Book With Us

Tanzania Specialists

Locally Owned Tour Operator
Everything is handled in-house
Extensive knowledge as we live & work on-site

Tailor-Made Journeys

Itineraries are designed to your individual taste & needs
Wide network of partners – not bounded to a property chain
Attention to every detail with excellent customer service

Responsible & Sustaibale Travel

Support locally-owned camps, lodges and suppliers
Giving back – social, economic & environmental impact
Waste management (re-fillable water bottles & humper lunches)