The Ugly Five Animals-African Safari Lingo

The Ugly Five in African Safari Lingo are the unfortunate African animals that do not meet the unrealistic beauty standards set by the Big Five & the Special Five. These poor souls include the hyena, wildebeest, warthog, vulture, and marabou stork. While they may not be considered conventionally attractive, these animals play an essential role in the ecosystem.  

Importance of the Ugly Five

1. Hyenas- The Clean-up Debris.

Hyenas are not just cunning killers, but they’re also valuable scavengers. The bone crushers will clean up any mess left behind by their prey and rid it of discarded bones or debris so that only tasty flesh remains for predators to enjoy!

Hyenas are the final arbiters of what gets eaten in a kill. Importantly, Without them, we would be covered with bones and bone fragments littering the park and reserves.

2. Prevent the Spread of Disease

 Vultures are a vital part of the ecosystem, ridding out decay and poison. They have highly acidic stomachs, which can break down the disease in their prey. If not cleaned up soon, they may make other animals sick.

3. Population Control.

Hyena society is a balancing act. Importantly, Hyenas are both successful scavengers and efficient hunters who balance population levels by hunting and preying.

4. Wildebeests – maintain the grassland habitat.

Wildebeests play a crucial role in grassland ecosystems, as their grazing helps to maintain the grassland habitat. 

5. Warthogs- maintaining vegetation levels. 

Warthogs are also crucial for maintaining vegetation levels, as they root around in the soil for food. 

6. Carrion birds. 

Like vultures, marabou storks perform an essential natural function by cleaning areas via their ingestion of carrion and waste. Over time, marabous have become so dependent on human garbage. Commonly seen in dumpsters or waiting in urban areas.


Book a Safari with us

Contact us to plan or Book a Safari

+254 729 257 317

+254 734 417 496
[email protected]
Parklands Valley View Office Park,
Tower A. First floor