Big Five Animals


The big five mammals consists of the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and the rhino. These animals were first called ‘The Big Five’ by hunters due to the difficulty and danger involved in hunting them on foot. Nowadays the name Big Five are the animals that most of the safari tourists wants to see.

However, they are a;s called ‘The Big Five” by the ways they live. Most of them live in a way that favors the other animals, for example bufalloes as they graze, they normally feed on the tall grown up grass, giving a chance for the growth of short and delicious grass that is normally eaten by small animals like the antelopes, warthogs and others.

Also they are  called so because they are intelligent and they are very aggressive/dangerous. They are distributed in most of savanna and wildlife national parks like murchison falls national park, queen elizabeth national park, and others.

Here are some interesting and summarized  facts about each of Africa’s iconic Big Five animals.

  1. The female lions (lioness’s) have strong bonds as they remain in the same pride for life and raise their cubs together and even nurse other cubs.
  2. Female lion do most of the hunting, but normally the males eat first.
  3. When lions are born, they have dark spots on their fur.
  4. Leopards don’t roar, they bark and snarl.
  5. The leopard is the strongest climber of the big cats in Africa and they are also strong swimmers ever.
  6. Elephants have the longest pregnancy period of all land mammals (22 months!), giving birth to calves weighing 120 kg.
  7. Some baby elephants suck their trunks for comfort, just the way young children suck their thumbs.
  8. The elephant is extremely social and develops strong intimate bonds between friends and family members. They even mourn the death of loved ones performing rituals and returning to visit graves.
  9. Rhino horn is made of keratin, similar to our nails. The horn is not attached to the skull and if it breaks off it will grow back.
  10. The largest of the five rhino species is the white one, which can grow to 80 m tall and weigh the same as 30 men (about 2,500kg).
  11. Buffaloes have excellent memories and will ambush hunters who they have encountered before.​
  12. Female buffaloes have strong bonds and if one of them gets attacked the entire herd will defend her, even killing lions and other predators.

More about them;


queen elizabeth national park
Lions, the king of the jungle and weighs over 190kg for a male and over 130kg for famales and reaches a height of. Its one of the big five mammals. As commonly found in most animals, males are normally bigger and weighs much than females. They usually prey on antelopes and buffalos. The females are the hunters. They are quite common in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls and Kidepo Valley National Parks They are not present in Lake Mburo National Park though its said that there is one lion from lake mburo national park. . The famous tree climbing lions are found in Ishasha in Queen Elizabeth.

Family:   Flidae
Lifespan:  10 – 14 years (Adult, In the wild),
Speed:  80 km/h (Maximum, In Short Bursts),
Class:  Mammalia,
Diet:  Carnivore,
Mass: Male: 190 kg (Adult), Female: 130 kg (Adult)


uganda tours
Leopard are quite similar to the cheetah but can be differentiated from their rosette-shaped spots and are more powerfully built. And the tear marks found of a face of cheetah differentiates them from leopards. They are one of the big five mammals. They prefer wooded or rocky habitats and are present in most national parks in Uganda but regularly seen along channel drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia and uganda.
Speed: 58 km/hr (Running)
Scintific name; Panthera pardus
Gestation period: 90 – 105 days
Family: Feidae
Mass: Male: 31 kg (South Africa’s coastal mountains population), Female: 23 – 27 kg
Height: Male: 60 – 70 cm (Adult, At Shoulder), Female: 57 – 64 cm (Adult, At Shoulder)


Buffalo is among the big five and are known to be one of the most dangerous species in Uganda due to their unpredictable and defensive nature. They can easily trample on a lion that attacks them. They live in large herds in the savannah and smaller herds in the forests and are found in all national parks.

Mass: 590 kg (Adult) Encyclopedia of Life
Family: Bovidae
Scientific name: Syncerus caffer
Class: Mammalia
Kingdom: Animalia
Conservation status: Least Concern (Population is however decreasing)


queen elizabeth national park
visit queen elizabeth national park, and lake mburo national park

The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal weighing around 6,000kgs. They are in two types here in Uganda, ie african forest elephants (found in forests) and Africn Bush elephants (found in savanna national parks)

Phylum: Chordata
Length: Asian elephant: 5.5 – 6.5 m
Gestation period: African bush elephant: 22 months, Asian elephant: 18 – 22 months
Lifespan: African bush elephant: 60 – 70 years, Asian elephant: 48 years, African forest elephant:  60 – 70 years
Mass: African bush elephant:  6,000 kg, Asian elephant:  4,000 kg, African forest elephant:  2,700 kg

Rhinoceros –

Black rhino is extinct, and the white rhino has just been reintroduced in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in 2005.

A rhinoceros, commonly abbreviated to rhino, is one of any five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae, as well as any of the numerous extinct species therein. Two of the extant species are native to Africa, and three to Southern Asia….
Family: Rhinocerotidae; Owen, 1845
Order: Perissodactyla
Mass: White rhinoceros: 2,300 kg, Black rhinoceros: 800 – 1,400 kg, Indian rhinoceros: 2,200 kg
Gestation period: White rhinoceros: 16 – 18 months,  Black rhinoceros: 15 – 16 months,  Indian rhinoceros: 15 – 16 months
Speed White rhinoceros: 50 km/h, Black rhinoceros: 55 km/h, Indian rhinoceros: 55 km/h
Lifespan: White rhinoceros: 40 – 50 years, Black rhinoceros: 35 – 50 years, Indian rhinoceros: 35 – 45 years
Height: White rhinoceros: 1.7 – 1.9 m, Black rhinoceros: 1.3 – 1.8 m, Indian rhinoceros: 1.6 – 1.9 m



Found in Queen elizaneth national park, Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park


Found in Queen elizabeth national park, Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park ( Here we have African bush Elephants),  Kibale national park, Bwindi national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, (Here we have African Forest Elephants)


These are found in Ziwa rhino sanctuary found in nakasongola district in uganda, and on your safari to muchison falls national park, you could combine Ziwa rhino sanctuary with murchison falls national park for a complete “Big Five Safari”  For example 3 Days wildlife Safari to Murchison falls.


Found in Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, Queen elizabeth national park, and Lake Mburo national park.


Found in Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park,  Murchison falls national park, Lake Mburo National park.


For Chimpazee;
3 Days Chimpanzee tracking safari,
5 Days wildlife and chimpanzee tracking encounter in uganda,
For Gorillas,
3 Days ultimate gorilla tracking experience,
5 Days wildlife and Gorilla tracking in Uganda,
For Wildlife;
3 Days wildlife experience in uganda,
4 Days wildlife in queen elizabeth and lake mburo,
For Birding Safaris;

15 Days Birding Safari


This information was published by:

keneth safari guide
Hafasha Keneth
The tour and driver guide, Travel consultant,
Trip Organizer,, Tourism Trainer , And Tourism Expert
Watsap: +256-789210067


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