Akagera national park

Big Five Game Safaris In Rwanda

Big Five Game Safaris in Rwanda
Much as most travelers to Rwanda opt for gorilla trekking as their first priority, a safari to see the big five game is undeniably a thrilling experience you should not miss out on your Rwanda safaris the land of a thousand hills. Done in Akagera national park, big five game is an exceptional experience that exposes you to the world’s biggest mammals. In history, the “big five” were animals, which were difficult and dangerous for traditional hunters who solely depended on hunting different wild animals for meat, hides, and skins. Hunting reduced the number of the big five animals to the point of nearly extinction. A close encounter with the big five game is therefore an extra ordinary experience you should not miss out on your African safari. Though some countries do not have all the big five, Rwanda is one of the few countries which have restored the big five game with the recent re introduction of black rhinos and lions in Akagera national park after several years of extinction. The big five game in Rwanda I therefore an added advantage for travelers who book gorilla safaris or any other activities in the land of a thousand hills. Though many people have on several occasions used the phrase “big five” there is minimal understanding of these animals. Big five game include:


Inhabiting almost all savannah national parks in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and other African countries, elephants are the largest mammals in the wild and the most seen animals among the “big five” game. Elephants belong to a family of elephantidae which comprise together comprise of African bush elephants scientifically called loxodonta Africana, the Asia elephant scientifically called elephas maximus and the African forest elephant which is scientifically called L. cyclotis. The large animals are distinguished by a large long trunk which they use as hands to pick eat, dink water, fight, break trees and pick any object from the ground. The Wide killing of elephants for ivory for manufacturing different precious products is a great threat to the increase of elephant population all over the world. Elephants are herbivorous animals, which entirely feed on grass, tree barks, bushes, roots, fruits, twigs and shoots among others. Also, elephants are ground animals, which spend all their time on ground. Elephants live in big groups called herds comprised of adult males, females and the young ones.

Also known, as the nose “horned animal” rhinos are the most scare mammal among the big five game. Just like elephants, rhinos are herbivores, which depend on vegetation, fruits, roots, and shoots. After 10years on non-resistance, Rwanda was able to re introduce black rhinos in 2016 making it one of the few places to see the big five game. Poaching is the major threat to the survival of rhinos, which are killed for their precious horns that are used to manufacture different expensive products. In Uganda, rhinos are found at the Zziwa rhino sanctuary an enroute to Murchison falls, Uganda’s largest and oldest national park in northwestern Uganda. There is too much demand for the rhino horns whose cost is equivalent to gold in the black market. Rhinos are classified into two species o southern white rhinoceros scientifically called (ceratotherium simum simum) and northern white rhinoceros which are also called ceratotherium simum cottoni. Unlike the white ones, black rhinos are divided into four sub species in south central, southwestern, north and South Africa.

Scientifically called (syncerus caffer), African/cape buffalo is a large African bovine. Of all the big five animals, buffalos are widely known as “killers” which attack and kill the highest number of people especially those who come so close to them. Lions and crocodiles are the major predicators for buffalos and their unpredictable behaviors make them the most dangerous animals. Buffalos mainly feed on leaves, fruits, shoots, roots and tree barks and is found in all savannah national parks in Uganda, Uganda, Congo and other African savannah parks. The different subspecies of buffalos include mountain buffalo (S.c.mathewsi), Nile buffalo (S.c aequinoctttialis), Sudaneses buffalo (S.c brachyceros), Forest/Dwarf buffalo (Sc.nanus) and Cape buffalo (syncerus caffer caffer.

Also known as the “king of the jungle” lions are scenically called panther Leo and is the second biggest cat after the tiger. Lions are carnivorous animals, which feed only on meat by hunting down other animals such as kobs and impalas for food. The major threat is the loss of habitat mostly threatened by habitat to local people who encroach their lands for agriculture. Also, lions live in groups called “pride’ comprised of adult male, a number of adult females and the cubs. Interestingly, lions are spotted almost in all grassland and savannah national parks all over Africa and are most active in the morning and twilight hours. A group of lions is called a pride, which comprise of adult males, females and cubs.

Leopards are hunting animals, which mainly feed, in the early morning, evening and night times. Leopards are strong peaceful and comfortable animals, which are mostly seen up in the trees as they rest after tiresome hunting. Just like lions, Leopards are carnivores, which feed only on meat. Scientifically, leopards are known as panther pardusis one of the critically endangered species listed in the red list of the international union conservation of nature (IUCN). Loss of habitat and disintegration are the major threats to leopards. The most distinctive features of leopards are their camouflaged fur, hunting styles and broad habitation.

Game driving is the best way to see and enjoy the company of the big five game. Game drives are well done in the early morning and evening hours to catch up with animals browsing and predators hunting before retiring to rest. More still night game drives have been introduced to help travelers see nocturnal animals which at night.

Conclusively therefore, book a Rwanda safari to Akagera national park, be part of game viewing and witness the big five game in the open savannah grasslands.

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