Go Wild or Go Home !
Think South Africa. Think Safari. Think Big Five.
Even though you know that Africa and South Africa are so much more than the Big Five, the familiar images soon begin playing in your mind: lions roaring; elephants trumpeting; buffalos lurking in long grass; rhinos standing stately under a thorn tree; leopards prowling in the gathering darkness.
You’ve seen the Big Five in books and you’ve seen them on TV. But it’s time to come and see them for yourself.
The real thing.
And there’s no better place for this than South Africa, which offers the most exciting, memorable and exhilarating experience of your life – coming face to face with the Big Five.
How did these five animals – the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard – come to be called the Big Five?
It was originally a hunting term used by the so-called ‘great white hunters’ in the hunting heyday of the 19th and early 20th centuries, when professional hunters bagged as many trophies as possible in as short a time as possible.
Considered a rite of passage for seasoned travellers, everybody from American presidents to European royalty and heads of state came to Africa to shoot a large, dangerous animal.
The Big Five quickly became known as the most dangerous animals to hunt on foot, and the name stuck – although now ‘shooting’ is done through a camera lens
How to get here ?
It’s relatively straightforward to get to South Africa because over 70 international airlines fly into the country. South African Airways, the national carrier, connects to major international air routes.Talk to your travel agent or operator for advice on the airlines best suited for your journey, and also about special offers or cheap flights that are available. Expect long-haul flights, you may want to break your journey en route, but a direct flight – even if you’re longer in the air at one time – is often the best way to go. Upmarket game lodges often have their own airstrips (prepare for a safe, but bumpy landing) and your safari package may well include charter flights between Johannesburg, Cape Town or other airports and the various safari lodges.
If you’re travelling to the Kruger National Park or Mpumalanga, there are scheduled flights to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport outside Mbombela (Nelspruit). You’ll probably fly directly into OR Tambo International Airport or the multi-award-winning Cape Town International Airport. Stay overnight at an airport or easy-to-reach hotel to get your mojo back. You don’t want to arrive in the bush for the safari of a lifetime grumpy and exhausted.