the big five serengeti butiama mara tanzania

Amazing Facts You Didn’t Know about THE BIG 5 – Serengeti

The Serengeti park situated in Tanzania is famous for the annual migration of over 1.5 million animals (zebra, wildebeest). This UNESCO site is one of the most nature spectacles visited in the world. This park is advertising because there are the five most popular animals in African, the lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros. It’s called “The Big Five”.  The term originated with big game hunters, who deemed these the most challenging large animals to corner and shoot, indeed there are the most dangerous animals in Africa.

1. Lions

There are about 16,000 lions in Tanzania. The Serengeti is believed to have the largest population of lions in Africa, with more than 3,000 lions in the park. They are the predators’ par excellence and their daily life is fascinating for animal lovers. African lions are social animals and live together in pride. Each troop has about 3 male lions, 6-12 lionesses and cubs.

Usually, it is the lionesses who go hunting to feed the young and the male lions mark their own territory.

2. Leopards

The leopard has an important place in some African cultures where the animal, considered as the king of animals, is the attribute of leaders. Leopards are more challenging, since their camouflage pattern makes them difficult to see on the ground. They are solitary animals, who are fond of hunting at night time and they are calm during the daytime.

African Buffalos

The African Buffalo is one of the most unique creatures on the planet. They look bovine and timid, but do not be fooled by their looks. These buffaloes are incredibly strong and ferocious when provoked. In fact, the African buffalo is the most dangerous animal to hunt in the continent more than the hippopotamus! The isolated male or women accompanied by their most feared young hunters, its charges are unpredictable and often fatal. The African Buffalo live in herd of almost 2000 animals near water source. They are active at night, during the day they rest in the shade of a tree or in the mud to cool down. This herbivore eats grasses, plants and foliage.


There are two types of rhinos in Africa: white and black rhino. Both of them have grey bodies. What sets them apart is the shape of their lip: the white rhino has a square lip, whereas the black rhino has a pointed upper lip.

Their diet and sizes also distinguish them.

The white is an imposing herbivore, 4 metres long and 5 tonnes long. Black is a phyllophagus that feeds mainly on shrubs and buds, it is smaller in size, 3 metres long and 1.5 tonnes long. The white rhino has completely disappeared from Tanzania.The rhinoceros can be the most challenging animal to spot in the Serengeti. But with an expert safari guide, you might get lucky!

African Elephants

African elephants are the largest land animals on the planet, you will definitely be stunned by their size when you finally get to see them. They are far larger than their Asian counterparts and have distinctively larger ears that set them apart. African elephants travel in herds of 2 to 24. They are frequent visitors to our watering holes.

An elephant consumes an average of 200kg of fodder and up to 140 litres of water per day. Elephants have many characteristics, first of all, their trunk, which is used to draw water, to recognize each other, to caress each other and to pick fruits and herbs. Its large triangular fan-shaped ears are used to regulate body temperature. Finally, its legendary defences fascinate all Ivory Hunters.