In South Africa, the big five game animals are the African lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, African Leopard, and Rhinoceros. The term "big five game" (usually capitalized or quoted as "Big Five") was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Subsequently the term was adopted by safari tour operators for marketing purposes. The term is used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.
The big five are among the most dangerous, yet most popular species for big-game hunters to hunt.