The big five is a term that big game hunters came up for the hardest animals to catch on foot in Africa. The hardest animals to catch are the Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo, and the Rhinoceros. All five are known for their ferocity when cornered by hunters. Most people that travel to Africa these days are more interested in shooting these animals with their cameras. If you are interested in seeing a tower of giraffes, pride of lions, gang of cape buffalo, herd of elephants, or a leap of leopards Kruger National Park in South Africa is a great place to head.
Kruger National Park was established in 1898 by the government of the South African Republic and it became the first national park in South Africa in 1928. It is almost 20,000 square kilometers of savannah with areas for the people that live there and the accommodations for tourists. It is about a five hour drive from Johannesburg.
Millions of people visit the park each year and the accommodations are set up in four different locations: The Kruger Private Reserves, Kruger Park South, Kruger Park Central, and Kruger Park North. Each area has many options to choose from five star bungalows complete with personal swimming pools to camping. The Kruger Private Reserves is the most expensive area of the four and some of the tours included have helicopters or airplanes that will carry you over the park. There are less people in this section of the park which generally means more animals. No one really wants to travel all of the way to Africa to see wild animals and not see at least one of the big five.
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and it has lots of different adventures to offer. Why not fly to Tanzania to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro? There are different packages that offer accommodations, cooks, porters, and guides for one set price. It is best to start training for the trek at least two months in advance. A program that includes weightlifting, aerobic training, and endurance training is best. It is also not advised that you break in a new pair of hiking boots on the trip. The best thing to do is day treks up local hills that are at least two hours long. Be prepared to train hard. The experience, the sense of accomplishment you will feel, and the view from the summit is well worth the hard work. This really is a once in a lifetime experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
There is a company called My Adventure Store which offers some fantastic packages to both of these destinations. If you are interested in checking out the big five and climbing the highest freestanding mountain in the world this is the company you should contact for your big adventure.
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Photo by Steve Evans