Cape Town – Many have heard of the Big 5, but what about the Big 10? The Big 5, as you are probably aware if you have contemplated a safari to Africa, consists of the lion, leopard, elephant, African buffalo and rhino. In the past these animals were considered the most challenging to hunt, but tour operators changed it to the friendlier notion of the five most desired animals to see on game drives.
In the spirit of loving animals and viewing them in their natural environment, some marine biologists and tour operators decided to extend the idea to the Big 10, the extra five animals all coming from the ocean. The traditional Big 5 are all mammals, whereas the Marine 5 consist of three mammals, one fish and one bird. They are: the whale, dolphin, seal, shark and penguin.
The exciting news is that you can see all of these animals in and around Cape Town. There are game reserves close to Cape Town where you can go on safari and find the Big 5. The bonus is that you may see lots of other wild animals too such as cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, zebras and various antelope.
When it comes to the animals in the ocean, Hermanus is famed as a whale-watching spot; while a half-hour drive will bring you to Gansbaai where you can look for dolphins and go shark-cage diving. Simon’s Town is a great place for seals and penguins. You can hop on a boat and visit Seal Island or visit Boulders Beach and be amazed at the penguin colony that lives there.
The conservation statuses of these various animals range from Least Concern all the way to Critically Endangered. No matter where you go, you are sure to learn more about these animals and their place in the world. And whether you only want to see one group, one animal or the whole lot, Cape Town offers them all!