Discover the Big 5 from land, water and sky

by MMC
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Africa is so incredible and so vast that you have to see it several times – and from different angles! Live a The 5 great safaris in real life moves you deeply, and seeing these world-famous creatures in their natural habitat is a real treat. I still remember my first time, staring in awe at the wrinkles of an elephant that towered over me, blinking slowly with its long eyelashes as we drifted on a boat. And, of course, I got goosebumps when a lion stared straight into my soul as he walked right past our safari vehicle. Seeing these creatures will change your life, and even more so when you experience the Big 5 from land, water and sky. Here’s how and where…

Discover the Big 5 from a boat

Experiencing the Big 5 from the water will float your boat, image credit: Lolebei Safari Camp

We love the Big 5 and we can’t lie

The Big 5 includes the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo, which are the most famous large animals in Africa. There are many reasons why they made this short list, and experiencing the size and strength of the Big 5 is something you’ll always remember.

Each of these wildlife species has its own charm, making ticking all five off your list a real treat! In Africa, certain places are the best for observing the Big 5, whether from land, water or even the sky! And as the world’s most awarded safari company, we know these places better than an elephant knows its trunk!

sabi sabi bush lodge safari kruger

I always shudder with wonder and awe when I encounter a lion

Where to see the Big 5 from land

The classic safari involves setting off in an open 4×4 vehicle in search of wild animals. Most lodges offer game drives twice a day, one early in the morning and another in the late afternoon, when the wildlife is most active. You will stop for a coffee or aperitif break, which is a highlight in itself!

Experiencing the Big 5 like the leopard in Londolozi

Imagine following in the footsteps of leopards

If you stay in certain luxury lodges, such as those in private game reserves, you will also be able to enjoy night safaris. This means you stay out after dark to see nocturnal animals. This is one of my personal favorites because you feel like you’re looking through the peephole of another world since few people see them as they hide under the cloak of night.

On a night safari at Little Makalolo Camp in Hwange National Park

Night safaris are always an exciting experience, image credit: Wilderness

One of the best known Big 5 safari destinations in Africa and one of our most requested destinations is the Kruger National Park In South Africa.

But amidst these wild landscapes teeming with wonderful wildlife, you also benefit from some of the best luxury lodges in the world. Greater Kruger is home to many private concessionswhere you can opt for a more private room or even exclusive use option.

Observation of the Big 5 in Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Our real unicorn, the rhino

Get even closer to the ground on a walking safari

When you stay on a private reserve, you can also participate in special activities like walking safaris, where we go on foot to discover the African bush! Yes, just you and your hiking boots, following your guide in single file as a whole new world opens up. These are my favorite safari memories, and I’ve made quite a few! It never gets old because you notice all the little details and connections you might have missed otherwise.

Plus, walking freely through the bush makes you feel both extremely powerful and extremely vulnerable, a delicious juxtaposition of emotions.

If you want to experience the best of Big 5 walking safaris, we also highly recommend the birthplace of this activity, South Luangwa National Park In Zambia.

Kruger Walking Safari with Elephant Watching

Walking safaris in Africa are the perfect way to see nature at eye level. Image credit: Rhino Walking Safaris

See the Big 5 from the water

There is something magical about gliding silently across the water and catching the gaze of the wildlife lapping at the water from the river banks. It moves you, just like water.

Botswana is by far our most popular water safari destination, home to both the Okavango Delta and the Chobe River. I particularly like to go mokoro safari, a traditional canoe reminiscent of the gondolas of Venice. Because you sit lower than on a boat, you feel closer to the animals and can take truly spectacular photos!

Discover the Big 5 on the water in Botswana

A whole new world, a dazzling place I’ve never known, image credit: Wilderness Vumbura Plains

That said, if you are a true wildlife photography enthusiast, amateur or professional, some lodges offer cruises on boats specially adapted to allow you to obtain perfect, stabilized and crystal clear shots. THE Chobe River the region is renowned for its photo safarisas well as being the ‘Land of the Gentle Giants’, so expect some fantastic elephant sightings!

Other recommended destinations for water safaris are Zimbabwe And Zambia, both sharing access to the Zambezi River. Feeding the famous Victoria Falls, it is the fourth longest river in Africa and the largest river in Africa which flows into the Indian Ocean. It’s big, it’s beautiful and it has a view of the Big 5! There are many excellent lodges located directly on the river.

Elephant watching on a Zambezi River cruise

Explore the banks, islands and canals on a comfortable river cruise. Image credit: Chiawa Camp

And now: discover the Big 5 seen from the sky

Take your safari to new heights (literally!) by taking a hot air balloon ride. It’s as dreamy as it sounds and often ends with a bubbly breakfast under a tree in the middle of the savannah. This is the kind of life you were meant to live, right?

The best places to see the Big 5 from a hot air balloon are East AfricaIt is Serengeti National Park In Tanzania and the Masai Mara National Reserve In Kenya.

Heißluftballons über der Serengeti - Romantikurlaub en Afrique

A hot air balloon safari in East Africa is one of the most romantic experiences

But it’s not just the Big 5 that steal the show… These countries are also the ones where Great wildebeest migration gives its annual show! However, be aware that you need to plan well in advance and get expert advice as they don’t stay in one place for long. But don’t worry, our Travel experts have the right people on speed dial to help you get a front row seat.

A great crossing of the Migration River

Seeing the Great Migration from the sky will give you a complete picture of the wildlife.

Experience the Big 5 in just a few clicks

So now you know your Big 5 better than your ABCs, and you also have an idea of ​​where to go! However, Africa has much more to offer than the Big 5. Yes, there are many other fascinating animals and experiences that we can recommend.

Just a word of warning: you may never want to go anywhere other than Africa for your vacation after experiencing it once. But the good news is that we know our continent better than anyone and will tailor-make a highly personalized adventure that will blow you away on safari!

The first step? Contact our Travel experts, who will get to know you a little better before recommending the safari that you couldn’t even have imagined in your wildest dreams. Come on, try it. See you in Africa!

Buffao on safari at Elephant Camp in Victoria Falls

A buffalo is known for its character and impressive horns, image credit: Tania de Kock

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