A Big 5 Safari in Rwanda.

August 26, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

A Big 5 Safari in Rwanda.

The phrase big 5 animals originated from way back in the early 1990s where trophy hunting was an activity of leisure. The name big five was coined by the big game hunters and it was used to refer to the difficulty in hunting and getting a catch of these land animals. The big 5 animals are; 

1. Lions

The lion is a large cat belonging to the genus panthera family. The family has its origin in Africa and India. The lion has a muscular, broad chested body, rounded head, round ears and a well-built hairy tuft at the extreme end of its tail. The lion is sexually dimorphic in nature, adult males are larger than females and have a prominent mane.

2. Leopards

Leopards are also one of the species of genus panthera. Leopards have a pale yellowish to dark golden fur on their bodies, well designed with dark spots grouped in rosettes, they have slender and muscular bodies of approximately 92 to 184 centimeters in length and 66 up to 100 centimeters long tails and with a shoulder height of up to about 65 centimeters.

3. The African buffaloes.

These are also known as the large sub-Saharan African bovines. There are only five valid species that are present today. The female buffaloes have W-shaped horns whereas males have U-shaped horns. They always move in large herds of about 200 to 300.

4. Elephants.

Elephants are the largest existing animals on land and have 3 living species today, that is to say the African Bush elephant, Asian elephant, and the African forest elephant. Fully grown adults may weigh up to 6 tones. They are characterized by large ears, a thick grayish skin, their trunks have fascinating skills especially the skills of sensing water bodies far away and they are also used as limbs to catch their food off tree branches - more like human hands in purpose. Elephants are known to communicate through vibrations.

5. Rhinoceros 

Rhinos are also large animals that can be identified by a horn protruding in their face. They are some of the members of the five existing species of the odd-toed animals on earth. Rhinos belong to the family rhinocerotidae. Two of the five existing species are native to Africa. They can be found in Akagera National Park in Rwanda.

Akagera National Park.

Akagera National Park is located in the eastern province of Rwanda on the border of Rwanda and Tanzania. The National Park covers an area of approximately 1,122 square kilometers. The National Park was established in 1934 as an area for conservation of endangered wild animals in the country and subsequently tourism activities started taking shape. The National Park is covered by woodlands, swamps, savanna vegetation, and low land mountains.

There's also a variety of terrain in the national park which is a home to various species of wildlife such as jackals, zebras and the big five animals. 

Big 5 encounters in Akagera National Park.

The big five animals can be encountered in the national park on game drives that are usually conducted early morning at dawn or evening dusk hours. This is because at this time most of these animals are outside on their hunts trying to find something for their stomachs. Game drives in Akagera National Park are normally conducted in 4-wheel drive cars by professional guides who share intensive knowledge about the big 5 animals. 

Other activities done in Akagera National Park

Various other activities are possible in Akagera National Park and these include Bird watching. Various species of birds can be watched such as cinnamons, egrets, jacanas, village weavers and shoebill. 

Sports fishing is also done where species such as the Nile perch and tilapia are caught on lake Ihema.

 Nature walks are also conducted through the various tropical rain forests that cover a bigger portion of the park which helps visitors to connect with composed forests and appreciate nature.

Boat excursions are further conducted which elevates the experiences of the visitors and enables them to leave the country overjoyed.

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