Comparing the
hunter's and Hillman's
Big 5 safari lists

and why they're different


Hunter's Big 5

It was created in the bygone days when people went to Africa to hunt rather than unobtrusively observe the animals. The Hunter's list defines the top 5 animals that visitors like Ernest Hemingway wanted to shoot and kill for trophies. It celebrates the hunting and killing of safari animals.


Hillman's Big 5

I began my list decades ago to spotlight the animals that safari-goers want to shoot with their cameras, not guns.

While the Hunter's Big 5 list includes the buffalo, mine does not. It's replaced with the cheetah, which ranks higher with current safari-goers. Even the crocodile, giraffe and hippo rank higher than the buffalo.

Learn my other
safari tips & insights

Top 5 safaris
Top 10 safari mistakes
Kenya vs Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

Big 5 safari animal list
Big 10 safari animal rankings
Animal facts and tidbits
What it's like on a luxury safari
Comprehensive safari locator maps


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