One of the main attractions in South Africa and Africa all over is the safari – the unique animals.And there’s always been an interesting relationship between tourism and animals. One of the attractions that tourists to Africa and especially South Africa want to see when they are on safari is the Big 5. The big 5 are known as the Big 5 because they are the five most dangerous animals to humans. They are the ones that have killed the most humans in the past. The Big 5, if you are wondering: Leopard, Lion,. Elephant, Rhino and Water Buffalo. I’m hoping to see the Big 5 on my safari. One of the fascinating things about tourism and animals as an attraction is the fact that they are wild. The fact that animals are wild makes it dangerous. You can’t get out of the cars. In fact, in the past some tourists have got out of their cars, thinking the animals won’t attack them, to disastrous consequences. Here are some news articles about that. So tour operators want to host the tours. They want the tourists to see the animals. but it’s variable. It’s random. If you go to somewhere like a National Park, like where I am here, the National Park is huge so you are not guaranteed to see any animals. If you don’t see the animals, this can lead to dissatisfaction with the tourism experience. However, tourists would say, in general, they want to see the animals in the wild, in their natural habitat, rather than in a zoo. In a zoo, you are 100% sure you are going to see the animals. but of course, it is very staged. It is a contrived environment. The animals are not in their natural habitat. And so there is a trade-off, isn’t there? 100% guaranteed to see the animals or see them in their natural environment. Of course, it would be great if you could guarantee to see the animals in their natural environment attacking other animals, feeding, sleeping, exercising but it’s not always the case. And this is what makes the safari interesting but also quite variable as a tourism experience. If you want to be guaranteed seeing the Big 5, head over to Johannesburg Zoo It’s definitely more assured than if you were going into a safari or a national park or game reserve. So, given the importance of animals as a resource that resource has been shared in the past between poaching: the killing of animals for things like their skins or especially the elephants’ tusks and rhinoceros’ horns for ivory, sometimes for Chinese traditional medicine. This provides the poachers, with obviously, a big windfall Also with hunting. you can get up to about USD 30,000 per male lion. This contrasts with the economic benefits of tourism, where tourists come and pay their fees to come into the park and can see the animals and, of course, that extends far more into the future, far more long term prospect than short-term hunting or poaching. Now inside the national park, there are some ‘hides’ This is some sort of structure, that has a viewing platform where the tourists can look out and the animals can behave in their natural environment without being scared of humans because , in general, animals would tend to run away from humans. But even in a National Park, when you’ve got cars, the animals are getting some habitualization. They are getting used to humans’ presence. So, I wonder if I dress up as a giraffe whether it would help me get closer to seeing the animals.