What are the African big five and where can you see them in Tanzania?

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    When it comes to African animals, Tanzania is one of the best places in Africa to see up close the African big five, which include African elephants, tree-climbing lions, Cape buffalo, rhinos, and leopards. These were the most dangerous animals for traditional hunters, and can still be seen in their original habitat when you visit Tanzania.

    There are several countries within Africa wherein you can see the African Big Five—but the most incredible views can be found in Tanzania. This is due to Tanzania’s largest populations of each big five and is a suitable living environment for them.

    Typically, you can see the African big five in various Tanzania national parks like Arusha, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti national park, and Tarangire national park. If you’d like exclusive access to the ‘Big Five’ safari to any cited destinations, you can contact a leading and reliable local tour operator in Tanzania like Easy Travel to give you an extraordinary safari experience.

    In this article, we’ll give you some insights into the African big five safari animals located in the massive national parks of East Africa.

    To get all the details, kindly read all the given information below.

    African big 5 #1: The African lion

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    If you come and visit Tanzania, you’d never want to miss the sight of the abundant wildlife, especially the African big five animals. The African big five comprises the leopard, African elephant, rhino, African buffalo and African lion.

    The male lions are typically identified with their mane and don’t usually hunt. On the other hand, females do the hunting by tracking their prey until they’re close enough to attack.

    Believe it or not, there are practically no lion adversaries. However, these big cats can be challenged by packs of hyenas who often steal their kill.

    Fancy witnessing a Lion in the wild? Browse our Safari Tours today.

    Where can I see lions in Tanzania?

    Lions can be seen in several places within Tanzania, including Serengeti national park, Selous game reserve, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara national park and Tarangire national park. These national parks are their natural habitats and provide them with ample space to be vicious game hunters.

    African big 5 #2: The leopard

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    Leopards are remarkably patterned large cats that hunt at night and are generally asleep throughout the day. Moreover, they like to hunt smaller animals than lions, and they usually keep their kill high in the branches of the trees to prevent scavengers from grabbing their prey.

    If you’d like to take an exclusive ‘Big Five’ safari to any of the mentioned destinations, contact some of the trusted local tour companies in Tanzania that can give you an incredible safari experience.

    Where can I see leopards in Tanzania?

    While black leopards are missing from Tanzania, spotted leopards in northern Tanzania and southern Tanzania can be spotted on game drives at various national parks. You can see these enormous animals in Ruaha national park, along the Great Ruaha River. These predatory animals can also be seen in several other locations, including Arusha national park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro Crater.

    African big 5 #3: The African elephant


    When you go on a safari in Tanzania, you’ll not only get the chance to see the wildebeest migration but also the African elephant—the largest mammal on land with a recorded weight of 11,000kg. These massive creatures are herbivores, so they spend most of their day feeding on plants, including tree bark, leaves, and fruits.

    Where can I see elephants in Tanzania?

    Some of the locations where these mighty animals can be seen include Arusha, Nyerere (Selous), Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara.

    For large herds of Elephant, be sure to book a stay in Tarangire as they come by the dozen!

    African big 5 #4: The rhino

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    The rhino’s conservation status is critically endangered. These animals are at risk of becoming totally extinct, with their numbers dwindling very quickly in the past twenty years due to illegal trophy hunters and poachers.

    These gigantic and strong animals can weigh 1,400kg and mainly forage on leafy plants and eat branches, roots, and fruits.

    How many rhinos are left in Tanzania?

    There are less than 80 reported black rhinoceros left in Tanzania, and can often only be seen on private reserves. Rhinos are hunted for their horns, which are sold in illegal trade. The African rhino must be protected as there is a huge risk of their extinction, so we ask every reader to consider donating what you can to their protection.

    How many black rhinos are left after 2021?

    There are a reported 5,600 black rhinoceros left in the world as of 2021.

    Where can I see a rhino in Tanzania?

    Some of the sites where these animals can be visited within Tanzania include Serengeti, Tarangire, and the Ngorongoro Crater.

    African big 5 #5: The African buffalo


    The Buffalo is one of the African big five that can grow up to 1.5m tall and weigh around 700kg. These hefty, cow-like animals live in huge herds and continually feed on grass. They’re considered unexpectedly harmful when alone and have been proven to kill everything that gets close to them. Although their vision is pretty subpar, buffaloes possess an excellent sense of hearing.

    Where can I see the African buffalo?

    When it comes to popular destinations where you can glimpse these magnificent animals, visiting Kilimanjaro, Selous, Tarangire, Arusha, and Ngorongoro Crater won’t disappoint.

    Want to see the African big 5 in Tanzania?

    If you’re planning for an unforgettable experience in Tanzania, Africa, witness an African safari and see the big five in some of the well-renowned parks in the world. Then be sure to focus on a Tanzanian Safari.

    If desired, you can always opt to camp in one of the safaris and glimpse various wildlife, including rhinos, elephants, leopards, etc., and the fantastic landscapes, especially at sunset.

    You can visit Tanzania during the calving season between January and February and see the great migration if your schedule allows it. However, this will be a crowded event.

    So, if you want something planned out smoothly for your African adventure, contact your local travel experts like Easy Travel today!

    Getting you there

    See the big five in Tanzania by booking a safari with Easy Travel.

    When you book a safari with us, you’re not just getting an adventure – you’re getting an experience of a lifetime. Our team will take care of all the logistics so that you can focus on enjoying the wildlife and scenery. Tanzania is home to some of the most iconic animals in the world, including the big five: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos.

    No matter your budget or travel style, we have a safari that’s perfect for you. We offer everything from luxury lodges to camping trips, so you can find the perfect fit for your needs.

    Get in touch with us today

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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