These Are Kenya’s ‘Big 5’- The ‘Wanyama’ In Kenya

The most well known Kenya Animals are known as ‘The Big 5’ and the creatures behind ‘The Big 5’ are: Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos and Rhinos.

It is a wonderful……well, in some cases its a little unnerving to hear the thunder of a Lion in the core of the night, amidst no place, in a tent without anyone close. It is an experience, that you will recollect as an exceptionally uncommon moment.

Besides these ‘Big 5’ there are many other animals and every single one is incredible to watch. From the Giraffes, Zebras, Hippos, Baboons, Wildebeests, Warthog to all the different Antelopes, Gazelles and numerous, distinctive Bird species

LIONS- simba

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In the animal kingdom, the predators seem to draw the largest amount of attention. The most famous in this category is the lion. The largest of the great cats in Africa, they spend a great deal of time resting in the shade. When the pride goes off to look for food at dusk or dawn, it is mostly the female who does all the hunting, but sometimes the males drive the prey towards the concealed females who then do the actual killing. Living on the Savannah in prides of one to three males and up to 15 females, lions can look like docile cats stretched out in the sun. Especially the young cubs, who find a lot of enjoyment in bugging their moms, who are taking their well deserved naps after a night of hunting.


The graceful leopard lives a solitary life except during the mating season. The beauty of the dark spots against the rich gold background belie the power these cats can muster if necessary, and it is indeed very hard to find them. Generally considered night-time animals, the best place to find them is in rocky hills, high in tree branches or in the thick woodland brushes. As agile as a common cat, they drag their kill to the top of a tree where they can be assured that no scavenger will find it and disturb their dinner. They are the only big cats who do that.

ELEPHANTS- ndovu/tembo

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The elephant can live up to between 60 to 70 years and will eat vast amounts of green material to survive each day. Elephants are found roaming in close knit herds with the matriarch in charge. Younger and older bulls live alone, away from the herd. These large beasts flap their ears to keep from overheating. When ear flapping is combined with snorting however, it’s usually a sign of agitation and a good time to put some distance between you and them. Elephants communicate with each other with any number of sounds and over long distances. They can quickly adapt from open plains to thick forests and are constantly on the move for food and shelter.


BUFFALO- mbogo

The African buffalo has a reputation of having a bad temper if disturbed. These huge ox-like creatures have some very heavy, dangerous looking horns and have no shame in using them to get rid of any kind of pest, humans included. They can usually be found near water, but also in Savannah areas, like the Masai Mara.

© Siggi Hosenfeld - Buffalo

RHINOS- kifaru

There are two species of rhinos, the black and the white. Both species are extremely rare, with the black one being the rarest, and tend to prefer living alone or in pairs. Their habitat varies from dense forest to open scrub where they feed on the leaves of bushes and trees. What they lack in good eyesight they more than compensate for with excellent sense of smell and hearing. Their lifespan is 35 to 40 years and they weigh up to 2 tons.


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