The Big 5 of the safari are known to each and every one of us: lions, elephants, buffalo, leopard and rhino. In South Africa, when you’re rolling along the savannah, it feels like you’re passing through the world’s biggest open zoo.
But if you’ve done it once, the excitement of seeing these creatures tapers off. Nothing beats the first time you see a lion in the wild, and you can become jaded as you roll past another cluster of dozing animals.
What if there was a new Big 5 though? Creatures that would reignite your love for discovery, for the new, the different, the special. You’re in luck, because there is a new Big 5, and you don’t even need to go beyond South Africa to discover them.
Leave the savannah in the rear-view mirror as you head to South Africa’s indomitable coastline. Look across the crisp, clear waters and you will see the setting for your place of tomorrow. A special experience awaits here.
Mark your cards as you tick off a new Big 5. Start with leatherback and loggerhead turtles, and see them nest on the beaches around Mabibi. Watch as tiny newborn turtles make their first uneven strides for the ocean. Next on the list are dolphins. They’ll follow your boat, skipping through the water as your very own chaperone on the big blue. Raise the stakes by diving amongst the staggeringly beautiful coral at Aliwal Shoal and get close to Tiger and Hammerhead sharks. To get really close, you can even do cage diving, safely allowing the sharks close enough to see the shine on their teeth.
Heading back to calmer waters, next to tick off is the Humpback whale. Enormous, majestic, this is a mammal you don’t find in aquariums. Finally, the last on the list to find is the Manta Ray. We were taken aback by their huge size, and slow, becalming movement through the water. It’s a Big 5 that really live up to their name.
Do away with what people think a safari vacation should be and do things differently. This is a Big 5 like no other; bigger, better, and closer than ever before. It’s a place of tomorrow you thought you knew, but will make you think again as you discover South Africa’s big ocean secrets.