300+ mammal species
The different landscapes in South Africa provide plenty of ideal environments for the hundreds of different mammal species, including the Big 5. Many wildlife is kept and protected in National Parks, nature- and game reserves throughout the country.
Many parks are home to the Big 5, especially in the Greater Kruger area. The 5 animals on this list are the Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino. The term Big 5 was used by big-game hunters back in the day because these 5 were the most difficult to hunt.
Almost half of the mammal species in South Africa are bats and rodents and perhaps not on your safari bucket list. The other half consists of carnivorans, hoofed animals, dassies, pangolin, primates, elephant, aardvark and more. Especially the 40+ hoofed animals and 30+ carnivorans appeal to the imagination.
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyaena, African Wild Dog, Serval, Caracal and Jackal are always a special sight to behold. The same goes for the hoofed animals like Giraffe, Gemsbok, Kudu, Hippo, Roan Antelope, Sable Antelope and many more.
We have all seen African mammals in the zoo but seeing them in the wild, traveling in large groups and interact with each other is excitement on a much higher level. If you are lucky you will get to spot some of the much shyer and/or nocturnal mammals. Hard to spot but thrilling when you do.