Introducing the Funny Five

The Big Five concept, though incredibly popular, has certain limitations. So we thought we'd try something different...

With controversial origins in the hunting fraternity, the term ‘Big Five’ denotes the animals traditionally viewed as most desirable to spot on an African safari. However, many believe that this represents a simplification of the beauty and emotion of a safari and neglects the vast array of other equally interesting and ecologically-important animals.

Other monikers have been suggested, such as the Big Seven (Big Five plus Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale) and the Super Seven (Big Five plus Cheetah and Wild Dog). However these lists still focus on animals whose presence evokes a sense of danger, thrill and unpredictability. When it comes to family friendly safaris, this element of danger often excludes children and even some young adults from the safari experience.

Samara is a family-owned and family-run business that welcomes children of all ages. We firmly believe in educating the next generation of passionate environmentalists. In a world of rapidly diminishing biodiversity, we desperately need to raise children who care about and understand nature in all its glory. And in our experience, one of the best ways to get kids engaged is through humour.

So, without further ado, we present to you... the Funny Five.

Chosen for their quirky disposition, unusual looks and sometimes hilarious behaviour, the Funny Five is a novel and family-friendly alternative to the Big Five. We have made sure to pick animals whose nature, diet and habits pose a minimal amount of danger in approaching and tracking them on foot (always with trained guides), so that kids can have a safe and enjoyable safari experience. We have also chosen species that live across sub-Saharan Africa, so as not to restrict the list to specific wildlife found only at Samara or in the Karoo.

Meet the Funny Five:

Introducing the Funny Five

The Giraffe

Odd-looking, yet beautiful

Giraffes are an obvious inclusion in this list. Not only are they striking, but they exhibit plenty of funny behaviour, from chewing bones for calcium to fighting with their long necks.

Introducing the Funny Five

The Warthog

More beast than beauty

The warthog isn't known for its good looks. But what a funny creature it can be! When running, it sticks its tail straight up in the air like an aerial so it can be seen through the long grass.

Introducing the Funny Five

The Wildebeest

An animal of leftovers

The wildebeest is said to have been put together with all the spare parts from other animals. Its funny physique is matched by its funny habits, such are running around in circles for no apparent reason.

Introducing the Funny Five

The Monkey

Cheeky yet lovable

With their human-like habits and demeanour, monkeys have a special place in our hearts. Their behaviour can be incredibly funny, perhaps because we see a lot of ourselves in it!

Introducing the Funny Five

The Aardvark

The strangest creature in Africa

It would be tricky to make up a funnier beast than the aardvark. This creature combines the ears of a donkey, the snout of a pig and the tail of a kangaroo... and that's before you mention the 40cm tongue and sharp claws.

Watch our Funny Five video below:

Explore our Funny Five gallery:

Meet the Funny Five on safari: