For many of us, seeing the ‘Big Five’ in the wild is the reason we head to Africa. It is truly mind-blowing and a privilege to observe these amazing animals in their natural environment. South Africa really is the jewel in Africa’s crown when it comes to spotting the ‘Big Five’.
The ‘Big Five’ is compiled of the elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino, all of which I saw within 48 hours of touching down on African soil. However, that’s not the only incredible wildlife you can see in Africa. As magical as it is to see the big game, it was after this that we turned our attention to the ‘Little Five’! This set of creatures is a fantastic alternative to those that want to slow the pace down and really get to see and smell the African bush.
Who are the ‘Little Five’ I hear you say? Well, there’s the elephant shrew with its super-cute long nose, the antlion (a true minibeast) and the rhino beetle, a real favourite with the kids. Then, you have the leopard tortoise, who helps you slow down and take things at Africa’s pace and, finally, the buffalo weaver bird!
Slowing down on safari is a hard thing to do, as you are up and about early, out looking for tracks and making the most of every minute. But, I would highly recommend getting out on foot with the amazing guides at somewhere like Marataba Safari Lodge, turning over rocks, looking under shrubs and keeping your eyes peeled along the banks of the river. When you slow things down, it is amazing what you will see. Africa is the continent that just keeps on giving – you can never be ‘done’ with safari!