Big Five spotting on South Africa holidays

TV naturalist Chris Packham has seen his fair share of wildlife over the years, but it seems the attraction of South Africa's Big Five will have him coming back for more. He recently enjoyed a holiday in South Africa, where the country's fascinating and unique collection of animals made a lasting impression on the TV presenter.

Chris was keen to seek out the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. "I came back with photographs of creatures I feel very lucky to have seen," he told the Guardian after his holiday.

To catch South Africa's amazing animals, fly to Johannesburg and then transfer to Kruger National Park and stay at one of the game lodges bordering the park.

One of the best places to spot the Big Five is Kapama, one of South Africas largest private game reserves. It's located in Limpopo, in the northern part of the Greater Kruger National Park.

Where to stay

Buffalo Camp is a small tented encampment, but don't let the description fool you – the rooms are pretty luxurious. All come with a private bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, minibar and air conditioning. 

River Lodge, also in Kapama, is similarly well kitted out, but also comes with a spa – ideal for relaxing at the end of a hard day of game watching.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve is another favourite among Big Five spotters. There is a real chance of catching a glimpse of leopards here, often the most elusive creature of all.

Kirkman's Kamp is one of several places to stay at Sabi Sand. With an old-fashioned feel, this camp harks back to the 1920s and the days when a safari meant shooting the Big Five with a rifle rather than a camera.

"My mission has been accomplished," adds Chris, "but there's always more to see and learn in the bush, so I'll be back."