What to Expect on a Big Five Safari

Botswana’s national parks are teeming with countless species of wild animals. If you intend to tour this nation’s great parks, then the big five should undoubtedly be your biggest attraction. These include:

The African Elephant

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Chobe National Park is one of the most ideal places to watch the African elephant, which weighs approximately 6 tonnes and can reach a height of 3.3m.  The African elephant feeds on all types of vegetation, including grass and tree twigs, branches, bark, and leaves. They are generally peaceful and harmless species. However, they can get irritated if they feel that you’re encroaching on their space, especially when in the company of their young ones.

The Leopard

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The Mashatu Game reserve is home to a large number of leopards. The leopard has muscular limbs, jaws, and neck, which can allow it to tow a fully-grown antelope that weighs three times its weight up a tree. These beautiful tree climbers have a spotted body and can camouflage in their environment, thus making it hard to detect them. Leopards are some of the fastest animals on land, and they can also swim and fish while hunting their prey.


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The Savuti region is the best spot in Botswana to watch the lions. Their prey consists mainly of herbivores of all sizes. In fact, lions are known to attack even gargantuan herbivores such as the elephant, giraffe, and rhino. They are hard to spot because of their brown colour, which blends well into the brown grassland savannah background.

The Rhino

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The rhino is classified as an odd-toed ungulate. There are two species of the rhino – the white and the black rhino. These massive herbivores have two horns located squarely above their noses. The first horn is more prominent and larger than the second one. Rhinos have been hunted to near extinction because of their horns, which fetch a big price. In your self-drive road trip in Botswana, you’re likely to see many rhinos in Moremi Reserve than any other park or reserve in the country.

The African Buffalo

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The African buffalo has a subtly similar appearance to the domesticated indigenous cattle. But that should not fool you into getting any closer. Buffalos can charge and knock you down whenever they feel threatened. They’re more vicious when in the company of their calves or when cornered or injured. They are some of the most abundant herbivores in the parks, and you will not miss to see them in all the parks and reserves in Botswana.

Bottom line

Rather than travelling in an organised group tour with a pre-arranged schedule, stopovers, and timetable, it is better to opt for a self-drive road trip through Botswana. You’ll be able to extend your stay at the parks, get perfect views of the big five and have ample time to take videos and pictures.  However, as a precautionary measure, it is advisable not to venture out of your self-driven car when you are close to wild animals. If you’re wondering which vehicle is best suited for your self-drive safari,  book a 4×4 with 4×4 rental Botswana today! Most travellers opt for car hire to accommodate their travel plans.