The Big 5 in Plett

Written by AmakayaBP

Leopard-PlettWhen one thinks of Plettenberg Bay – beautiful beaches, towering mountains and the blue bay immediately come to mind. What you might not know is that Plett is also home to the Big 5 of African game viewing!

The Big 5 was originally coined by big-game hunters as the 5 most difficult animals to hunt in Africa. Today, however, the Big 5 is used to describe the most popular of the African wild animals to view. We are very fortunate to be able to offer visitors to Plettenberg Bay the opportunity to see the Big Five – those icons of Africa (not to mention other amazing animal attractions including whales, dolphins, monkeys and seals). Unfortuantely, they can’t all be seen in one place but fortunately there are many wonderful opportunities to explore Plettenberg Bay and surrounds whilst viewing the African Big 5:

  1. Lion: The “king of the jungle”; majestic and frighteningly beautiful, lions are the pinnacle of African wildlife and are a favourite with game-viewing tourists. Lions can be viewed at the Plett Game Reserve (which boasts 4 of the Big 5) and the new wildlife sanctuary, Jukani.
  2. Elephant: The Knysna elephant is legendary; once a regular feature in the forests of the Garden Route, it was hunted to near extinction in the late 1800’s. Today, there are rumours of wild elephants that still live in the Knysna forest, but sightings are very, very rare. There are 2 wonderful elephant sanctuaries, home to rescued elephants, where visitors can interact with, feed and view these largest of land mammals – The Crags Elephant Sanctuary and the Knysna Elephant Park.


  1. Leopard: shy, playful and super hard to spot in the wild, the Leopard is often the highlight of any game drive. Leopards have a mythical quality in the area as rumours abound of leopards still living wild in the green belt around Plettenberg Bay. For a more certain sighting, visit Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary or Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre.
  2. Rhino: the heartbreaking plight of the rhino is well known. According to SANparks, over 420 rhinos have been poached already this year. Poached for their horns because of a ridiculous myth of medicinal cures in the East and pushing them to the brink of extinction. Plett Game Reserve is the place in Plett to see a rhino. For more information on Rhino Poaching: Stop Rhino Poaching 
  3. Buffalo: view the beautiful Cape Buffalo at the Plett Game Reserve. At Amakaya Backpackers, we recommend the horseback riding safari at the Plett Game Reserve as a must-do activity.

The African Big 5 of game viewing should be on every bucket list and Plettenberg Bay is a great place to view these African icons. Please contact us for more information on arranging your Big 5 viewing and other fun Plett adventures!


[Cat images very kindly provided by Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary]