Big 5 safaris
Did you know?
It takes a while to develop ‘bush eyes' and spot wildlife.
If you're looking for a Big 5 safari experience in South Africa you can go to almost any province in South Africa, but the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces remains an iconic tourism drawcard.
The Big 5 - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo - abound in the park, and you see them by self-drive, guided drives or guided walks through the bushveld.
But remember, you are not in the middle of a National Geographic documentary. You may well see all Big 5, you may well not, although your chances are high. Drive slowly, stop at waterholes, listen for the warning calls of birds, watch when other vehicles stop, and always keep your eyes open.
Prepare to be awed. To see a leopard dozing in the bough of a tree, spotting a black rhino half-hidden in thick shrubs, finding a pride of lions in the shade after a kill, or watching a large herd of elephants or Cape buffalo move soundlessly across the road - these are all priceless moments.
Always remember that you're dealing with wild animals, and that you're in their territory. There are rules of engagement relating to Big 5 safaris in South Africa. Read your guidebook carefully and heed the words of your ranger at all times.
Accommodation for Big 5 safaris in Mpumalanga are either within the Kruger National Park or on the neighbouring private reserves such as Sabi Sand (which has the highest density of leopards in the world), Timbavati and Klaserie. Some lodges pride themselves on showing the Big 5 to guests in record time, and you'll even walk away with a certificate.
Once you've done Big 5 activities in Mpumalanga, it's time to ‘sweat the small stuff' and learn about wondrous creatures like the dung beetle...
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Kruger National Park
Tel: Inside SA 0861 KRUGER
International +27 21 468 7255
UK toll free 0800 014 8420
South African National Parks
Head Office:+27 (0)12 428 9111
The Sabi Sand Reserve