The Big Five List

We’ve been home for over a month. And within the first week, we completely unpacked. We’re unpacked, on east coast time and completed taking anti-malarials. Just like our previous big trips, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite things and random totals for our journey to southern Africa.

Our Big Five

  1. Thornybush Safaris to see the big five and other animals   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  2. Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls
  3. Boulders Bay Penguins
  4. Cape of Good Hope
  5. River Cruise on the “Mighty Zambezi” River


  • By water: ~5 mi
  • By air: 19,465 mi
  • By car: approx 900 miWA190870_edited
  • Total steps (via fitbit): 130,276
  • By walking: 53.5 mi
  • Total distance traveled: approx 20,420 miles

For reference the circumference of the Earth is 24,901 mi


  • Total watercraft: 4
  • Total aircraft: 7
  • Total hotels: 4


  • Total Countries: 5 (US, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
  • Total Continents: 2 (North American, Africa)
  • Total Oceans: 2 (North and South Atlantic, Indian)
  • Total Hemispheres: 2 (NW, SE)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Total Timezones: 3 (EDT, UTC, SAST)
  • Highest Elevation: 5750 ft (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Lowest Elevation: Sea level
  • Farthest point west: Thornybush Game Preserve (31°11′ 50″ E)
  • Farthest point south: Cape Agulhas (34°50′00″ S)


  • Total penguins species observed: 2 (African, Northern Rockhopper)
  • Total pinnipeds and cetaceans: 2 (southern right whale, cape seal)
  • Total primates: 4 (human, baboon, vervet monkey, lesser bushbaby)
  • All five of the Big Five (black rhino, african elephant, lion, african leopard, cape buffalo
  • Four of the Marine Five (african penguin, cape seal, great white shark, southern right whale)
  • Other animals we saw on safari include (but are not limited to): impala, kudu, nyala, steenbok, waterbuck, blue wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, hippopotamus, scrub hare, white rhino, tree squirrel, warthog, ground agama, flap-necked chameleon, cape dwarf gecko, bushveld lizard,rainbow skink, striped skink, mole snake, marsh helmeted terrapin, sand frog, guttural toad, olive toad, yellow-breasted apalis, arrow-marked babbler, acacia pied barbet, bateleur eagle, southern boubou, brubru, steppe buzzrd, honey european buzzard, yellow-fronted canary, reed comorant, white-breasted comorat, african darter, african morning dove, cape turtle dove, steppe eagle, tawny eagle, wahberg’s eagle, grey go-away-bird, southern fiscal, crested francolin, helmeted guinea-fowl, retz’s helmet-shrike, white -crested helmet-shrike, black heron, black-headed heron, grey heron, african grey hornbill, red-billed hornbill, southern ground hornbill, southern yellow-billed hornbill, trumpeter hornbill, african sacred ibis, brown-hooded kingfisher, pied kingfisher, striped kingfisher, blacksmith lapwing, various larks, banded martin, lesser morhen, red faced mousebird, ostrich, red-billed oxpecker, yellow-billed oxpecker, grey penduline-tit, african green pigeon, african pipit, buffy pipit, Richard’s pipit, blacksmith plover, crowned plover, marsh sandpiper, bearded scrub-robin, white bowed scrub-robin, lesser grey shrike, red backed shrike, magpie shrike, house sparrow, Burchell’s starling, cape glossy starling, african stonechat, wolly necked stork, red breasted swallow, wire tailed swallow, yellow fronted tinkerbird, cape vulture, white backed vulture, lesser swamp warbler, yellow warbler, spectacled weaver, thick-billed weaver, village weaver, long-tailed whydah, pin-tailed whydah, white winged widowbird, and lots of various bugs, insects, and arachnids.


  • Total pictures taken: 3,224
  • Total video taken: 92
  • Total selfies taken: 23
  • Total souvenir photos bought: 0



  • Total mosquito bites: 2 (from when we didn’t apply repellent)
  • Bug repellents used: 2 (Natrapel, BuggSpray Superior Protection. used together) And the flies and mosquito avoided us!
  • Vaccinations and medications required: 4 (each of us)
  • Total times people asked if we were on our honeymoon: 0

Join us again in a week when we go on pre-holiday Western Caribbean cruise to Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Mexico.


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