Beyond the “Big Five”

The game parks of Africa are renowned for its stunning variety of wildlife. Travelers on our Best of Africa and On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania adventures are justifiably dazzled by the famed “Big Five”, but there are so many more creatures that leave our travelers in awe. Here are some of the others they regularly rave about:

The black and white stripes of the zebra make it stand out on the landscapes of southern Africa. Yet these distinctive creatures more often stand together as a group. In a pack, their unique stripe patterns make it hard to distinguish between them – making it harder for predators to pick out just one.

With a name coming from the Greek meaning “river horse,” hippopotamuses are instantly recognizable to people around the world. While these massive creatures may look portly (among the heaviest land mammals, in fact) they are quite agile – an adult can reach running speeds of more than 18 miles per hour, which is faster than most humans.

They are the fastest creatures on the planet – reaching speeds of up to 70 miles per hour – but the cheetahs uncommon speed and deft hunting skills haven’t been enough to keep it from precipice of extinction. In 1900, it was believed that there were over 100,000 of these sleek cats; today, less than 12,000 remain. Seeing one is a rare but unforgettable experience.

Known as the tallest mammal in the world, the giraffe was once referred to as camelopardalis, meaning “camel marked like a leopard.” The pattern of spots or blotches on every giraffe is completely unique – like human fingerprints, no two are exactly alike.

The most massive creature in Africa, elephants can live up to 70 years. While they have certain limitations – they are incapable of jumping, for example – these majestic creatures are so massive as adults that they have no natural predators.

See what awaits you in southern Africa and east Africa!