Photo Blog: Africa’s Ugly FiveMay 22, 2017
We’ve all heard of the Big Five, and even the Little Five. But did you know that Africa also has an Ugly Five?
Every animal is beautiful in it’s own way, right? This might ring true for the majority of animals, however, there are still a few unfortunate looking species out there who definitely wouldn’t win any bush beauty pageants. Despite their bad reps, we find their ‘ugliness’ extremely endearing and always enjoy seeing these creatures while out on a game drive.
While extremely graceful during flight, vultures have a face that only a mother could love. However, their ugliness is efficient. Their curved beaks are effective in ripping meat, and bald heads are easy to keep clean after eating carrion.
Warthogs are the perfect example of something that is so ugly, it’s actually cute. Plagued with useful, but unattractive warts on both sides of their faces, these warts protect males when fighting. Their warts, shaggy mohawks and uneven, bristly body hair land warthogs firmly in the ugly crowd.
This is one animal that, at first sight, lacks any apparent form of grace. Wildebeest look like they were assembled from spare parts –the hindquarters of an antelope, the forequarters of an ox, and the mane and tail of a horse. However, once one gets to spend time with these animals, their strength, endurance, and doggedness, particularly during the Great Migration more than makes up for their long faces.
© Patrick Shah
The saying ‘never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose’ is particularly accurate when it comes to hyenas. Their scavenging, opportunistic ways in popular Hollywood lore have, somewhat unfairly, earned them a bad rep as the villains of the wild. However, as with all animals, hyenas exist in and off themselves, and within their dens, display all the characteristics we associate with a caring, nurturing environment.
© Patrick Shah
With its featherless, fleshy head and long bone-coloured bill, it’s really no surprise that the marabou stork ended up on Africa’s list of ugliest animals. It’s definitely not the type of stork you’d want to deliver your baby to you. Marabous fulfil a significant role in many African cities, foraging in the trash heaps and helping keep these cities cleaner.
For a chance to see the Ugly Five and more iconic African animals, get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan your perfect safari.
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