Everyone who goes on an African safari for the first time wants to see ‘The Big Five’. It is a lifetime dream come true and watching the Great Migration for real is an incomparable experience too. Migrating wildebeest number 1.5 million alone, and on top of them you’ll see zebra, giraffe, and antelope all on the move.
There are many reserves and National Parks across Southern and East Africa where you can see the Big 5.
What is the Great Migration?
The Great Migration also known as the “Wildebeest Migration,” is the largest herd movement of animals on the planet. More than 2 000,000 wildebeest along with gazelle and zebra stragglers charge towards better grazing areas making it the most unique safari experience in Africa.
The circuit takes the animals from the Ngorongoro Conservation in the south of the Serengeti in Tanzania, up through the Serengeti and across into the Masai Mara in Kenya and back again.
Wen is the best time to experience the Great Migration?
The animals are constantly on the move all year-round. They stay in the Masai Mara from July to October before gradually migrating back to the Serengeti from November. So August and September are the best times to see the great migration, as the herds cross the Nile crocodile-infested Mara River crossing an international border between Kenya and Tanzania.
The “Big Five” is referred to the 5 African animals that are considered most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt on foot in Africa. These animals include the African elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros.
Where to Find your Perfect Big 5 Safari.
There are hundreds of safari lodges and camps across Southern and East Africa that offer you the chance to see the Big 5 on morning and afternoon game drives. Considering the size of the reserve, as this can also make a difference to the game viewing experience. A larger reserve will allow for bigger populations of animals, and this will make a real difference of you want to see a huge herd of elephants rather than a smaller family group.
The world-famous private game reserves and safari lodges of the Greater Kruger Park in South Africa offer possibly the best Big 5 game viewing opportunities to be found anywhere, with lion he Kruger is South Africa’s largest national park. With rolling savannah plains, thick, lush valleys, and woodlands filled with all the animals you could ever dream of seeing on a safari, it’s simply the best South African Big five safari. and leopard tracking a particular specialty.
The Masai Mara is the most popular safari destination in Kenya, with its abundant wildlife, iconic savannah views and of course the annual wildebeest migration and home to the Big 5 as well as large families of hippos, hyena, and topi.
During the months when the famous Great Migration reaches the Mara plains, the lion population are particularly active, as the millions of wildebeest and zebra provide a constant source of enticing meal opportunities
Tanzania is home to some superb Big 5 safari destinations, as it boasts the world-renowned Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the vast Selous Game Reserve – all names synonymous with some of the best safari experiences Africa has to offer.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the greatest all-round safari destinations, with the added bonus of being Big 5 territory too. Huge herds of elephant cross the waterways, and buffalo roam the plains under the ever watchful eye of the resident prides of lions waiting for a lone buffalo to fall behind the rest of the herd. Leopards lazily survey the savannas from their treetop advantage points. Seeing rhino, however, is a rare treat as their numbers in the Delta are few and far between, but small populations are gradually becoming established across this vast area.
Chobe also has the Big 5, but the undisputed highlight of a stay here and the reason most people come is for the unparalled elephant sightings – the Park is home to an estimated 100,000 elephants which is believed to be the highest concentration of elephants found anywhere in the world