Big 5 – Africa’s Most Sought After Animals

The Kruger National Park big 5, lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards, are the animals that people definitely try to see when they’re in the park.

LionWhy? Because in the past these animals were most wanted for their ivory, horns and skins and this made them famous. Today they’re just wanted for photographs and good sightings.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these sought after animals. If you want to read more about any of them, follow the link in their section.


You’ll need to look carefully for lions. Their light yellow-brown colour blends in well with the bush and makes them difficult to see. Sometimes vultures circling in the air can indicate that lions are below them hunting.

Lions are lazy though. When they’re not hunting, they’re lying down, making them harder to see. There are also only about 1,500 of them, which makes your chances of seeing one smaller in the game reserve the size of Kruger National Park.


ElephantsOn the other hand, elephants are the easiest to see of the big five. Kruger National Park has around 12,000 of them! Plus it’s hard to miss a great majestic elephant lumbering close to you! If you only spend a day in the park you’re almost guaranteed to see an elephant.

Elephants are the largest land animal and can make the vehicle you’re travelling in seem very small! Be careful around them. They always have right of way!


Buffaloare tough animals. They look like placid grazing animals, but they’re very strong and have sharp horns.

Although there are only 2,500 of them in the park, they seem to be everywhere.

They usually stay together in herds, some of which are made up of hundreds of buffalo. You might have to wait a while for a buffalo herd to cross the road in front of you and, just like elephants, give them right of way.


RhinoThere are two types of rhinos in Kruger National Park. Black rhinos and white rhinos.

There are around 5,000 of the square-lipped white rhinos, but black rhinos with their pointed lips are far rarer. There are only about 350 of them!

If you spend a couple of days in the park, there’s a good chance that you’ll see a white rhino.


Leopardare the hardest of the Kruger National Park big 5 to find and the sleekest hunters in the bush. We once spent a week in the park and only saw one leopard 20 minutes before leaving! There are 1,000 leopards in the park though.

Seeing a leopard will come down to being in the right place at the right time.

Did you know that there’s also a little five? These five small creatures share part of their name with their bigger namesakes.