Kenya’s Big Five

Kenya’s Big Five

June 10, 2020 0 By admin

Kenya is recognized globally as a tourist destination particularly because of the big five. The big five comprises of these animals: buffalo, lion, elephant, rhino along with the rhino which the early game hunters regarded as the most challenging and dangerous to hunt on foot in Africa. It is worth mentioning that some of the ideal places to see the big five are: Lewa Conservancy, Lake Nakuru National Park, Tsavo National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara National Reserve. The big five is a source of income through local and foreign tourism hence, the need to understand the big five in detail.


The species in Kenya is known as the African elephant which is made up of savannah together with forest elephant. The locals refer to it as tembo or ndovu and both are Swahili words. The elephant is the largest in the world which is recognized as majestic as well as intelligent. However, despite the elephant being gentle, once it feels threatened it can attack humans, other animals, and vehicles. In fact, the mammal helps with the continuity as well as the sustainability of the savannah and forests as it eats seeds, fruits, and plants, it then travels for long distances and excretes in various places. Therefore, the elephant assists in seed dispersal and different plant species growing in different places resulting in many plant species in the Kenyan forests.


The lion is usually referred to as the king of the jungle since it is the largest and fiercest predator on land. The African lions’ prey on wildebeest, giraffes, impala, zebras, among others. Kenyan locals refer to the animal as simba which has a life span of up to 20 years in captivity or 10 to 14 while in the forest. The second-largest cat in the earth has been discovered to roam the savannah approximately 23 million years ago notably in the Tsavo and Masai Mara. Also, the lion tends to live in a group consisting of twelve and the female are mainly the hunters.


The African Buffalo is regarded as the perilous and destructive animal among the big five as they are extremely protective and once they feel threatened, they charge very quickly. The cape buffalo can attain a height of 3.2 to 5.6 feet, weight of 660 to 1900 pounds, strong legs, broad chest, and a large head. In fact, the buffalo has an excellent sense of smell but a poor sense of hearing and eyesight. Also, the African buffalo live in a large herd that can be one thousand but then divided into smaller groups of twelve on average. The herd constitutes one or more males, females, and their offsprings.


Kenya has approximately 1000 rhinoceros though they an endangered species because they are poached for their horns. The two main types are white and black rhinos. Rhinoceros have these characteristics: herbivorous, thick skin, small brains, large body size, and can weigh over 3500 kilograms.


Do you know that the leopard can run more than 35mph as well as bounce 10 feet? They are elusive animals since they usually hunt during the night. In fact, the African leopard can see seven times better in the dark than humans since it has adapted retinas. Moreover, the animal survives on a range of prey such as rodents, reptiles, fish, monkeys, mongoose, insects, among others. Not to mention, the African leopard makes various sounds namely: threatening hiss, territorial hoarse, contented purr, raspy cough, among others.

The big five are phenomenal creatures, they are a source of employment and earn Kenya a foreign income through tourism. They are mainly found in national parks in the country such as Masai Mara and Tsavo. The big five are leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino, elephant.

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