The Ultimate Big Five Animals Kenya Safaris & Guide

Big five animals Kenya -

The big five animals in Kenya have been renowned around the world, and nothing compares to seeing them in their natural habitat. From the majestic lion to the agile leopard, Kenya is home to some of Africa’s most iconic big game animals.

Whether you’re planning a safari or just want to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures, here is your ultimate guide to the big five animals in Kenya!

Contact Us to Book Your Big Five Animals in Kenya Safari

Are you looking for the best safari experience that takes you close to the big 5? Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you find a tour that suits your needs.

We can arrange big five animal viewing opportunities, from walking safaris to game drives. Reach us today at or to book your safari. We are also available through phone and WhatsApp at +254-748-258-880.

Our Most Booked Kenya Safari Packages Big 5 Tours

Masai Mara Safari Deals/Offers/Tours

High Season 1st Nov 2023 – 15th Dec 2023

Festive Season: 16th Dec 2023 – 3rd Jan 2024

3 Days AA Lodges Offer

KES 46,784 Per Person

KES 60,280 Per Person

3 Days Miti Mingi Eco Camp Safari

KES 48,400 Per Person

KES 53,400 Per Person

3 Days Orng’atuny Mara King Camp Tour

KES 49,400 Per Person

KES 58,400 Per Person 

3 Days Sentrim Masai Mara Offer

KES 50,800 Per Person

KES 63,000 Per Person

3 Days Zebra Plain Mara Deal

KES 53,500 Per Person

KES 71,100 Per Person

3 Days Mtito Safari Camp Offer

KES 55,100 Per Person

KES 62,650 Per Person

3 Days Basecamp Masai Mara Package

KES 55,950 Per Person

KES 64,520 Per Person

3 Days Mara Sopa Lodge Package Tour

KES 56,035 Per Person

KES 66,050 Per Person

3 Days Mara River Lodge Deal

KES 57,400 Per Person

KES 68,400 Per Person

3 Days Crocodile Camp Tour

KES 58,500 Per Person

KES 71,100 Per Person

3 Days Mara Maisha Camp Package

KES 59,800 Per Person

KES 77,400 Per Person

3 Days Mara Crossing Camp Tour 

KES 79,400 Per Person

KES 96,400 Per Person

Things Included in the Maasai Mara National Reserve Packages

  • A private tour for 2 adults (contact us to get a quote for a quote tour)
  • Pickup and return to your resident in Nairobi
  • Use of a safari van  – Upgrade to a land cruiser at KES 14000 Per Person
  • Professional safari guide 
  • Masai Mara Park Fee
  • 1-liter of bottled mineral drinking water per person per day
  • Afternoon game drive at Masai Mara on day 1
  • Full-day game drive at Masai Mara with picnic lunch on day 2
  • 2-night accommodation at Masai Mara on full-board basis (Supplement of KES 3000 Per Person Per Night will apply on 24th & 25th Dec & 31st Dec & 1st Jan)
  • High season runs from 1st Nov 2023 to 15th Dec 2023, Festive Season runs from 16th Dec 2023 to 3rd Jan 2024.

Images of the Big Five - Pictures of Big Five Animals


Who Are the Big 5 Animals?

Most national parks in Kenya protect the big five animals, namely lions, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants and leopards. These large animals are known as the ‘big five’ because they are the most difficult to hunt on foot.

1. The Africa Lion - The King of the Jungle

The lion is the top predator in Africa. These cats have distinctive manes and are very social animals, living in pride of up to 30 individuals.

They usually hunt during the night, preying on antelopes, zebras or wildebeests. Their roar can be heard up to 8 kilometres away.

Big five animals Kenya Lion- Masai Mara National Reserve
A Lion at Masai Mara National Reserve

2. The African Elephant - Intelligent and Social Creatures

Elephants are the largest land animals in Africa, with their tusks being used for defence and for digging up roots and water. They have excellent memories and use various sounds to communicate with each other.

Elephants can roam around 30 kilometres a day and can live up to 70 years.

Elephant at Masai Mara National Reserve
The Elephant at Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya

3. The African Buffalo - The Dark Horse of the Big Five

The cape buffalo is known as Africa’s dark horse as they are not often seen by tourists, preferring to stay in grassland areas in large herds. They have curved horns that are used for defence against predators.

They are tough animals, able to survive in extreme weather conditions and can even survive without water for periods of time. African or cape buffalo is the most dangerous animal in any national park and should be treated with caution.

Buffalos at Lake Nakuru National Park
Buffalos at Lake Nakuru National Park in Africa

4. The Black and White Rhinos - The Endangered Species

The white as well as the black rhino, especially the white rhinos, is an endangered species due to poaching for its horn, which can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market. It is estimated that there are only about 20,000 rhinos left in the wild.

In fact, there are only 2 northern white rhinos left in the world and are found in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Rhinos have thick skin and two horns and can reach speeds of up to 50 kilometres an hour.

White rhinos at Ol Pejeta
White Rhino at Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Land Cruiser

5. The African Leopard - Stealthy Hunter

Leopards are known for their stealthy hunting ability, as they can climb trees and pounce on prey from above. They have spotted coats that help them to camouflage in the tall grass of the savannah.

Leopards can live up to 20 years and are solitary animals, only coming together during mating season. They are also great swimmers, able to cross rivers with ease.

Leopard in Kenya
A Leopard Resting on a Tree in Kenya

5 Surprising Facts About Kenya's Big Five

All the Big Five and other wild animals can be found in Kenya and other parts of Africa. Below are some of the interesting facts about the big animals such as the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo.

  1. Lions are the only cats that live in social groups called pride, made up of related females and their cubs, as well as a few adult male lions.
  2. Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, making them one of the few species with this ability.
  3. Buffalo can reach speeds of up to 55 km/h, making them one of the fastest animals in Africa.
  4. Rhinos have two horns and are the second-largest land mammal after the elephant.
  5. Leopards can jump up to 6 meters in a single leap and swim across rivers with ease.

Our Top 5 Places to See the Big 5 in Kenya

Where can you find most of the Big 5 animals in Kenya? You can visit several national parks in Kenya to see the big five such as:

  • Masai Mara National Reserve – Home to herds of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhinos.
  • Amboseli National Park – Amboseli is among the best and one of the most popular parks in Kenya and offers great opportunities for viewing all the members of the Big Five.
  • Lake Nakuru National Park – This is the place to be if you want to see the rhinos up close. It also has lions, buffalos, and leopards.
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Lake Nakuru and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy are popular for rhinos. You will find the last two of the northern rhinos here.
  • Tsavo East and West National Parks – You can visit the two parks to see the big five, including the “red elephants”.
The Big Five Animals Kenya
Find All the Memebers of the Big Five During Your Kenya Safari

Big Five Animals Kenya - FAQs

Below are the most commonly asked questions about the Big Five animals in Kenya.

1. What does the Big 5 stand for?

The Big Five refers to the five most difficult animals to hunt on foot and includes lions, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants and leopards.

2. What are the big 7 African animals?

They are the Big Five plus hippos and cheetahs.

3. Where is Big 5 safari?

The Big Five and other wild animals can be found in several national parks in Kenya, such as Masai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Tsavo East and West National Parks.

4. How many big five are left in the world?

There are estimated to be around 20,000 rhinos left in the wild, making them the most endangered of the Big Five animals. The other four members of the Big Five can still be found in national parks throughout Africa.

5. What is a good way to see all the Big 5 on safari?

The best way to see all the members of the Big Five is to visit several different national parks in Kenya. That is enjoying the best of Kenya on a safari – Kenya the capital of wildlife safaris.

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