Despite the name, they are not the five biggest mammals, but rather the five most dangerous
ones to hunt, especially on foot. (For the five truly biggest species, see 'The biggest
five' in the column to the right.)
The fascination in the Big Five has been inherited by today's safari-goers, who, hunting
with cameras only, are often happy to see all five.
Big Five parks
Today, some parks
are referred to as Big Five parks. This means that the Big Five can be seen there, but
also implies that the park has a wide variety in species in general.
Most packaged tours to Kenya or Tanzania include Big Five parks, such as Serengeti
Mara in Kenya.
As these parks are often combined with other good parks, you have a good chance to see
all five species on such a safari.
On a normal safari, you will probably see elephants, African buffalos and lions at least
a couple of times, as they are not very rare or shy animals.
Leopards and rhinos
You need more luck to see leopards and rhinoceros. Leopards are secretive and spend
most days resting in places where they are difficult to spot.