Kings, climbers, giants, tanks, and horns: Africa’s Big Five reign supreme in savannas and hearts.

The name “Big Five” for these iconic African animals actually comes from the dangerous past of trophy hunting.

Originally, the term referred to the five most challenging and dangerous animals to hunt on foot. Lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, and African buffalos were all renowned for their size, strength, and unpredictable nature, making them prized trophies for big-game hunters.

However, over time, the meaning of the “Big Five” has thankfully shifted. Today, it primarily refers to the five most sought-after animals for wildlife viewing during safaris and other tours. Seeing all five in their natural habitat is considered a highlight for many visitors to Africa, and thankfully, the emphasis is now on appreciating and protecting these magnificent creatures rather than harming them.

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