Did you know the Ugly 5?

by MMC
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One thing luxury safaris in Africa are known for is the chance to see the Big 5. And for good reason. These 5 animals are amazing and a real treat to see in their natural habitat. Build your routes around a wildlife safari is an absolute must when visiting Africa.

However, there is a list of animals that are a little less known: the 5 ugly ones. Even though their faces may put you off, these 5 animals still have exciting stories to tell. Yes, you might also see them a lot more often than the Big 5 when you go on safaris in Africa, but they are still an exciting sight.

Without further ado, we present to you the 5 faces that are the interesting kind of ugly:

Hyena

Did you know the Ugly 5?  »

Their ugly appearance makes excellent villains in the Disney classic, The Lion King. These predators are the famous rivals of lions and are best known for their scavenging habits. It may not be the most beautiful animal, but it still makes for a great sight on an African vacation.

Although they are best known as scavengers, they are very good hunters, statistically beating lions. In fact, they hunt 75% of their food, but will never pass up the opportunity to steal prey from other predators such as leopards and cheetahs.

Hyena clans are dominated by females, who are larger and stronger than males. Hierarchy is extremely important to hyenas. Subordinate members sometimes even walk on their knees in front of dominant members to show respect. Even the highest ranking men are outclassed by the women of the lower ranks of the clan.

While you’re on your holiday safari, be sure to listen for their “whoop-whoop” calls which you can especially hear at night.

Lappet-faced vulture

Did you know the Ugly 5?  »

These huge birds are easily distinguished from other vultures because of their facial appearance. Their purple, wrinkled facial skin sets them apart from any other birds you’ll see at a kill site. With their large beaks, it is easy for them to tear meat from carcasses, and thanks to their size, they will dominate the feeding of the carcasses after the lions have left.

Latvian vultures only reach sexual maturity after 6 years. Females lay one to two eggs and the eggs are incubated by both males and females.

Although they are quite common, you are more likely to see them at logging sites when touring Africa.

Marabout

Did you know the Ugly 5?  »

The second bird in the Ugly 5, and probably the most deserved inclusion on this list. Nicknamed the undertaker, his face seems resurrected from the dead. Combine this with some rather sinister habits, and the marabou seriously damages the reputation of the stork family. They are definitely ugly cousins.

But luxury African safaris aren’t about judging an animal’s appearance. Rather, it’s about appreciating what animals bring to the table. Marabouts indeed play a very important role in the ecosystem. These omnivorous birds will essentially eat anything they come across that is not too large to consume. They do not think too highly of themselves for food, but will also catch fish, small birds, reptiles, insects and even small mammals.

Despite the fact that they have gray legs, they will often appear white. Marabouts defecate on their own legs. There is a simple explanation for this: when feces evaporate, it cools them.

Warthog

Did you know the Ugly 5?  »

Named for the warts found on their faces, warthogs are the cute and ugly variety. Finding a family of warthogs on their knees while they forage for food during your wildlife safari is very nice to see.

Warthogs live in abandoned burrows in the ground. They will enter these burrows butt first. In the event that a predator enters the burrow, the warthog can defend itself by charging the predator with its tusks.

Every time a warthog runs away from danger, you’ll see its tail dart into the air. This will help other family members follow easily, as they will be able to see the hairy tip in the tall grass.

However, these animals should not be underestimated. They are brave members of the African bush and feed on puff adders – a fairly venomous snake. They also feed on roots, grasses, fruits, insects, small mammals and reptiles, making them diverse omnivores.

Wildebeest

Did you know the Ugly 5?  »

Usually spotted in large herds, the migration of these animals in their thousands has attracted tourists to Kenya And Tanzania for many years. Seeing these huge herds of wildebeest while on vacation in East Africa is truly unforgettable.

Wildebeest will often be seen with herds of zebras. Zebras prefer to eat tall grass, while wildebeest prefer to eat short grass. By following the zebra herd, the wildebeest can easily graze on the grass they prefer.

There is another advantage to this alliance. The zebra has excellent eyesight, but poor hearing. Among the wildebeest, it is exactly the opposite. When these two animals combine forces, it is easier for them to detect dangerous predators. If they fail to detect predators in advance, the wildebeest could likely outrun them. They may seem slow, but they are among the fastest antelopes, reaching speeds of up to 75 km/h.

Do you want to see the Ugly 5 in their natural environment? So book your luxury African safari via Destinations Africa Today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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