To help with this, someone out there came up with a few more "5" lists. There are the Big 5 herbivores, the Little 5, the Big 5 birds and so on.......
One of my favourite lists is the "Ugly 5".
Of course, one could also debate the label "ugly". This is always a matter of personal taste, and quite frankly I think it is rather insulting to most of the animals.
Never the less, it is always good for a laugh when we discuss the list and think about what we still need to find.
Arguably, one of the ugliest of the 5 is the warthog.
We almost always find this animal at some time on safari, but it is not always easy to get a good photo of. They tend to be either very shy, and skitter off as soon as you slow down, or are occasionally very brazen, rooting at the grass right in front of you.
This last summer we have had a couple of trips where we saw many of this seasons warthoglets scampering off after their mothers, tails held rigidly up right.
There was no way we could call these little speedy animals ugly, no way!
Then, definitely on my "ugly" list is the Marabou Stork. As much as I hate calling anything ugly, I have yet to see a beautiful looking Marabou. Maybe it's all on the inside?
These very large, and near-threatened birds, are however, not that easy to find. There is a reasonable population in Kruger National Park, but they move around and I can go for a few weeks without seeing any.
Carrion eaters, they also eat fish, eggs, and other birds so we can find them at waterholes, or roosting near the rivers where there are suitably large trees.
Number three on the Ugly 5 list, is the Spotted Hyaena.
This is another predator, which can be quite elusive unless we are fortunate enough to have a hyaena den nearby.
As with the warthog, the adults become quite "weathered" as they grow older, but the young are definitely "cute"! I have published quite a few photos of hyaena and you can even read a bit more about them at this posting.
The reason I have posted about them so often is that I think they are both fascinating and beautiful creatures.
No matter how threadbare the adults get, their eyes always get to me!
One of the more common mammals in Kruger is the Blue Wildebeest, or Brindled Gnu. However, in the thickness of the summer bush in southern Kruger it can be very hard to find these awkward looking antelope.
I will admit that they are strange looking..... long faces, tiny beady eyes, a lolloping gait, peculiar habits.... but ugly?
And finally, the last of the so-called Ugly 5, is the magnificent Lappet-faced Vulture.
I see these less often than the leopard (the most elusive of the Big 5) and it is always exciting to spot!
The photos I've got here were all taken at one sighting - the only time I have ever managed to get close enough to these birds to get a reasonable capture.