35. Sir Carl L. and The Big Five

The Big Five

These guys are at the top of every visitor’s Must-see Safari List. Travel books will tell you when and where to find them, and why these five animals carry the Big Five moniker.

Hippos aren’t on the list, and they’re bigger than the lions and leopards who are listed.


Giraffes, the tallest animals in the world, aren’t included either.


The large Kudu Antelope was snubbed as well.


So what gives?


The term “Big Five” was coined by game hunters in the late 1800s.
It refers to Africa’s five most challenging and dangerous animals to hunt on foot.
Nowadays the term is used by safari guides and game reserves, both public and private, to entice visitors to use their facilities. “Come visit our reserve and you will see all five of Africa’s most touted mammals. Prepare to be awestruck”

Want to be able to list the names of The Big Five in rapid fire order? Just think of that recently knighted zoologist and endangered species specialist, Sir Carl L.

C – cape buffalo
A – African elephant
R – rhinoceros
L – lion
L – leopard

We’ll begin to examine one or two of The Big Five in later posts.