Meet The Kruger’s “Little Five”

You have most likely heard of the Big Five – the iconic guardians of the bushveld… They may capture all the attention, however, lurking beneath the bushes, the unseen “Little Five” are waiting for their chance in the spotlight. Arguably even harder to spot than their larger namesakes, seeing these petite creatures is a sight to behold.

Let’s take a look at these fascinating creatures and where to find them:


Ant Lion: These fascinating creatures can be found in sandy areas, particularly around riverbanks, dry riverbeds or near termite mounds. They craft intricate traps, cunningly disguising them as innocent pits to trap their unsuspecting prey.

Elephant Shrew: Despite its name, the elephant shrew is more closely related to elephants than shrews. They are small, mouse-like mammals with a long, trunk-like nose. They can be found in a variety of habitats within Kruger Park, including woodland and scrubland. Keep an eye out, as you might just see them darting through the underbrush.

Leopard Tortoise: Known for their distinctive leopard-print markings on their shell, these slow-moving reptiles are easy to identify. They are also the largest tortoise species in Southern Africa and are often spotted in grassland or savannas, and occasionally even crossing the road.

Buffalo Weaver: Named after the animal which they follow around, the Buffalo Weaver eats the insects that are disturbed by the grazing of their namesake counterparts. These avian beauties are classically black or dark brown with a striking red beak. They can normally be found in the savanna or woodland habitats of the Kruger. They build a large untidy nest in acacia trees or shrubs which can be a great directional tool as they normally build their nests in tall, solitary trees, of which the nest is on the Western to North-Western side of the tree.

Rhino Beetle: These large, impressive insects are named after their distinctive horn-like protrusions, which they use for digging and even defence. They form part of the scarab family and are one of the largest, strongest, and heaviest insects in Southern Africa. They can often be found around the woodlands area of Kruger Park and are normally active around dusk and into the evening.

The diversity within the Kruger National Park forms the living drive behind the delicate, unique ecosystem that fauna and flora rely on. From the thundering footsteps of elephants to the shrill squeak of the elephant shrew, each has a function in ensuring nature’s balance continues.

Your search for the “Little Five” begins at Bushveld Terrace Hotel, the ideal base for your next adventure, situated just 200m from the Phalaborwa gate. After a long day of sightseeing, make the most of our onsite restaurant, gym, and swimming pool. Create unforgettable experiences and book your stay here.

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