The Big 5

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Not the largest or most elusive, the "Big 5" term was coined by early Western hunters who considered these 5 animals the most dangerous to hunt. So, while Canon and Nikon have replaced the Winchester as the preferred method of shooting, bragging rights still exist for those lucky enough to capture all 5 on camera.


The undisputed 'King of the Jungle' (actually grassland), the lion is the iconic predator of the African savannah. The more agile females work together to bring down large game while the males stay back to protect the pride.


Perhaps the misfit of the group, the cape buffalo is by far the most dangerous of the Big 5 to humans. They can reach 900kgs (2000 lbs) and inhabit a variety of climates in Africa.


The rhinoceros has become the most rare of the Big 5, due mainly to illegal poaching. Two species exist in East Africa, the white rhino and the less common black rhino.


Solitary and nocturnal, the leopard is the most elusive of the Big 5. Swift, agile, and extremely stealthy, the leopard will consume almost any animal it can bring down. It takes a keen eye to spot this secretive creature.


The African elephant stands as the largest land animal in the world at over 4m (13 ft) and 6,000 kgs (13,000 lbs). Conservation efforts have helped to revive the species, long hunted for it's valuable ivory tusks.