My years of organising travel in Africa has highlighted the importance of seeing the Big Five whilst on Safari. This often determines destination, game lodge and even price and has been know to impact on the whole experience.
That said, I’m not sure that the origin of the term ‘Big Five’ is widely known and I thought I’d talk about it. ‘Big Five’ is actually a phrase that was adopted by the great white hunters of early day and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The members of the Big Five are therefore not necessarily the biggest animals to be seen, but are rather named in relation to the degree of danger involved.
Not that a girl like me could imagine why anybody would want to hunt one of the following cuties …
African Elephant – Loxodonta Africana
Cape Buffalo – Syncerus Caffer – Nom Nom.
Leopard – Panthera Pardus
Rhinoceros- Ceratotherium Simum – who are today still at great risk of poaching as their horns are sadly highly prized and sought
Lion – Panthera leo