Tree Climbing Lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park

The African Big 6 Experience: Encounter the Ultimate Safari Thrills

by | Aug 1, 2023 | 0 comments

The African Big 6 Experience: Encounter the Ultimate Safari Thrills.

The continent of Africa is a famously known treasure trove teeming with untamed wilderness and awe-inspiring landscapes. Across its vast expanse and landscapes, lies a realm where the wild reigns with supremacy.

Africa is the best continent to encounter the well-known African Big 6 wild animals including the Lion, African Buffalos, Rhinoceros, Leopard, African Elephants as well as the Mountain Gorillas.

The term “Big Six” is attributed to the hunters of old whereby they used this term to describe what they determined were the most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa. And all these animals are “formidable foes” (meaning opponents who are very powerful, capable, and difficult to defeat) indeed when being hunted by man.

The term big six also refers to the six iconic and majestic animal species that roam the savannas, forests, and wetlands of Africa.

These animal species hold a special place in the hearts and minds of wildlife enthusiasts, adventure seekers and adventure lovers who seek an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa’s nature.

Countries where all the 5 of the big 6 can be found include Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Zimbabwe whereas all the big six can be found in Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.

The African Big Six (6) Game Include:


The lion holds a special place due to its powerful presence, symbolism, and significance in the region. Scientifically, the lion is referred to as “Panthera leo“, and it holds a place in the African Big six.

The lion is a large, carnivorous feline found in Africa. Lions are characterised by a short, tawny coat, a tufted tail, and in the male, a heavy mane around the neck and shoulders.

As large and charismatic apex predators, lions hold cultural significance and throughout Africa’s history, they have been featured in myths, folklore, and traditional ceremonies, while representing strength, courage, and royalty.

African Lions are native animals to various African regions, such as from the vast savannas of East Africa to the dense woodlands of Southern Africa.

Their prevalence and prominence in the vast landscape of Africa have made them a symbol of the continent’s untamed wilderness.

African lions are so unique with amazing tree-climbing skills which is rare in the lion population all over the world. Destinations to witness the tree-climbing lions in Africa include Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and Lake Mayara in Tanzania.

African Lions have exceptional hunting skills that have earned them a reputation as the “King of the Jungle.”


African elephants are magnificent as well as intelligent creatures inhabiting the diverse lush landscapes of Africa.

The African bush elephant (Loxodonta Africana) and African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) are the largest land animals in the whole world with males reaching heights of over 13 feet while weighing over 14,000 pounds.

These mammals exhibit remarkable social behaviours by forming complex family units led by a female elephant known as a “matriarch”.

African elephants are typically herbivores and they feed on lush vegetation, including grass, leaves, bark, and fruits. Unfortunately, African elephants face severe threats from poaching and habitat loss.

Ivory poaching is the demand for elephant tusks and has led to a decline in their populations.

However, conservation efforts, which include anti-poaching initiatives and protected areas, have been outstanding in safeguarding these majestic creatures.


Scientifically known as “Panthera pardus“, leopards are among the large, carnivorous feline. Their fur is typically tawny with dark rosette-shaped markings.

The leopards are normally nocturnal in that they are mostly active between sunset and sunrise, although they can hunt during the day.

Leopards are found in the savanna grasslands, and forested areas in Africa. Among the Big Six, they are the most difficult animals to acquire a hunting license for.

These apex predators are known for their powerful jaws that they use to suffocate prey and their skin texture that helps them blend in the lush savanna grasslands making them difficult to easily notice by prey and potential threats.

Leopards are good tree-climbing mammals which they use as a strategy to easily sight their prey and also run from potential threats and danger.

These apex predators also use their tree-climbing skills to hide their kills from scavengers like the hyenas.


African buffaloes, also known as Cape buffaloes, scientifically referred to as “Syncerus caffer“, are iconic and robust bovine mammals found across sub-Saharan Africa.

African buffaloes are one of the largest and powerful animals, with mature bulls weighing up to 900 kg while around 1.7 meters tall.

They possess distinctive, irresistible backward-curving horns that can span up to 160 cm in width.

These creatures inhabit various environments including savannas, grasslands, woodlands and swamps. They are often found near a water source.

Buffaloes are naturally social animals and form herds of various sizes, from a few individuals to numerous hundreds. These herds are usually led by dominant bulls.

Female buffaloes also known as cows, normally give birth to a calf after a gestation period of about 11 months and calves are protected and cared for by the entire herd.

African buffaloes are famously known for their unpredictable and aggressive nature, most especially when threatened.

They have a reputation as responsible for most deaths of people in Africa and they have reportedly been known to ambush and attack humans.

And as one of the “Big six” game animals they are a challenging target for hunters. They face challenges from natural predators such as lions.

However, buffaloes are challenging prey to lions because of their unyielding persistence. African buffaloes are also listed as “Least Concern” by the IUCN Red List because of their relatively stable populations in protected parks and reserves.


African Rhinoceros are magnificent as well as endangered creatures native to the African continent. There are two species of African rhinoceros including the black rhino (Diceros bicornis) and the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum).

The black Rhinoceros and white Rhinoceros are large herbivores mammals with two upright horns on their nasal bridge.

All these Rhinoceros species are classified as critically endangered because they face severe threats from poaching and habitat loss, leading to a critical decline in their populations and both are subject to extensive poaching and among the big-five game hunters, the black rhinoceros is more targeted and highly prized.

The white rhino is the larger of the two species, weighing up to 2,300 kilograms with a height of over 6 feet tall. Black Rhinos are smaller, with males weighing around 1,300 kilograms.

Both species have two distinctive horns made of keratin, and this is the same protein as human hair and nails. African rhinos are limited to habitats in a few countries in southern regions and eastern regions of Africa.

The demand for rhino horns as traditional medicine and also illegal wildlife trade have driven poaching rates to extreme levels.

Rhinos are normally solitary mammals, with a poor eyesight but excellent senses of smell and hearing. African rhinos are generally herbivores feeding on grasses, leaves, and fruits.

While in the wild, rhinos can live up to 50 years, while some individuals in captivity have lived for over 60 years. Rhinos are significant cultural symbols in Africa, representing strength, resilience, and natural heritage.

Mountain Gorillas

African Mountain Gorillas and scientifically known as “Gorilla beringei beringei” are critically endangered species of primates native to the dense forests and volcanic mountains of East Africa.

Mountain Gorillas are found in two isolated regions which include the Virunga Mountains spanning across Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The estimated total population of Mountain Gorillas is over 1,000 individuals are left in the whole world, making them one of the most critically endangered species on the planet.

Gorillas live in cohesive and close-knit groups referred to as troops or families whereby each troop is led by a dominant male, called a silverback which is named after its silver-grey hair that develops on back as they mature.

Mountain Gorillas are herbivorous, and their diet consists of leaves, stems, fruits, and shoots.

They are well known for their peaceful and gentle nature, whereby they rarely show aggression unless threatened or provoked.

Gorillas communicate through various vocalizations, such as body gestures, and facial expressions.

Gorilla trekking in Africa is a carefully managed tourism activity that offers a unique opportunity for small groups of trekkers to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat while fostering and exhibiting greater awareness and support for their conservation.

Inconclusion, Africa is the one and only continent that harbours the famously known big six game animals in her lush breathtaking landscapes.

Explore Africa with Friendly Gorillas Safaris today for an authentic and unforgettable African experience.


Our team of experts is waiting to assist you today!

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