The Big Five

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    Cape Buffalo

    Close up picture of cape buffalo grazing. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Safari Pictures of The Big Five Animals in the Bush

    "Going to the zoo is nothing like seeing the animals in their natural environment," says Magi Guinane of ImaginExpeditions. On a safari, "You wake up before sunset, have a quick cup of coffee and you’re off. You never know what you will encounter. The “Big Five” are the cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino."

    At Richard Branson's Ulusaba private game reserve in South Africa, game drives go out just before sunrise and again before sunset. All of the animals in these pictures were seen in the wild during a three-day visit.

    The cape buffalo is considered one of the "Big Five" animals to see on a safari.

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    Young female leopard. © Carol Cuddy.

    The leopard pauses in the wild; did she hear a sound?

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    Young Female Leopard

    Her every step is a study in grace. © Carol Cuddy.
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    © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    See more pictures of lions, including a lion kill elsewhere on this site.

    With one facing right and the other facing left, there's little chance another creature will surprise this watchful pair.

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    Herd of springbok in South Africa game reserve. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Springbok graze in the bush. Unfortunate springbok will become a meal for larger animals.

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    Don't let the toothy smile seduce you. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Crocodile suns itself on a rock beside a hippo pond.

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    © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    To see where you can experience tame elephants up close in South Africa, go to Elephant Whispers.

    Mother and young feed on grasses in the bush.

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    © Carol Cuddy.

    Reaching treetops is no challenge for the giraffe.

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    © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    The zebra travels with a small pack.

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    Many rhinos have been slaughtered for their horn, used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat fever and convulsions. © Carol Cuddy.

    Another member of the prestigious "big five" every safari-goer hopes to spot, the rhinoceros in this picture is a white rhinoceros, not as rare as the black.

    Small brain, big horn.

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    Hippos are equally at home on land and in water. © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Despite its size, the hippopotamus is not considered one of the "Big Five" animals that visitors seek in the wild.

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    Two Hippos

    © Susan Breslow Sardone.

    Despite their impressive girth, hippos can outrun humans.