Photo Blog: Who are Africa’s Ugly 5?

October 31, 2019

Which animals make up Africa’s Ugly 5 and are they all deserving of such an unfortunate title?

The cackling hyena

Journeys Discovering Africa, African Safari, Africa Ugly 5

© Patrick Shah

Whether you’ve watched the Lion King of the 1990′s or the recent remake, the commonality in both are the devilish hyenas. In reality, they have a hard time scavenging for scraps from kills made by large predators and have an important role in ensuring the natural environment stays clean of disease.

The villainous vulture

Journeys Discovering Africa, African Safari, Africa Ugly 5

© Patrick Shah

Iconised through popular culture as coming straight out of a dark underworld, vultures are not a particularly pretty sight to behold. Nevertheless, like their scavenging counterparts above, they too are a critical part of a healthy ecosystem.

The comical warthog

Journeys Discovering Africa, African Safari, Africa Ugly 5

© Patrick Shah

Warthogs are perhaps more cute than ugly. It’s hard not to chuckle at these little ‘Pumbas’ as they dash off through the shrubs, short legs working hard, antenna-like tails bristling in fright and fits of high-pitched squeals sounding the alarm.

The frightful marabou stork

Journeys Discovering Africa, African Safari, Africa Ugly 5

© Gregory Moine

With a nickname like “The Undertaker Bird”, it’s hard not to be a little frightened of the Marabou Stork. On top of their spindly legs sits a body of white and charcoal feathers and an unsettling bald head with long beak and large air sack dangling from its neck.

The ungainly wildebeest

Journeys Discovering Africa, African Safari, Africa Ugly 5

© Patrick Shah

We often see thousands upon thousands of wildebeest migrating across the plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti in search of food and water, but it’s when you get up-close that you realise just how strangely proportioned they are. Some even describe them as being made up of spare animal parts!

Contact us to plan your African safari, where you might encounter Africa’s Ugly 5, Big 5, Shy 5 and all manner of wildlife in between.


Posted by tfhadmin


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