When on Safari also look out for the Small 5.
The term Small 5 or Little 5 came into being, after nature conservationists requested visitors to also acknowledge the smaller, less noticed, but still astonishing, animals of the African Wildlife in South Africa.
Each of these species size is in major contrast to the Big 5 and the first part of its English name relates to one of the famous Big 5 animals one-on-one.
In the Kruger National Park, the Small 5 animals are:
- Leopard Tortoise, with leopard spot blotching on its shell, this animal can grow up to a 100 years, is one of the biggest tortoises found and the only one that can swim.
- Lion Ant / Ant-Lion or Doodlebug, a small insect that with its powerful jaws, kills predators, primarily ants, thus, the Ant Lion is, metaphorically speaking, a “Lion” among ants.
- Rhino Beetle, can lift 850 times its body weight which is more than any other animal recorded and it has a horn on the head and another horn pointing forward from the center of the thorax, similar to the horns of a Big Rhino.
- Elephant Shrew: a small, insect-eating mammal with a long trunk-like nose, twisting it about in search of food. They vary in size from about 10 cm to almost 30 cm, from just under 50 g to over 500 g. Elephants shrews are very common in Southern Africa but seldom seen.
- Buffalo Weaver, is the easiest to spot among the Small 5, often found in the wake of buffalo herds.