It’s time to look out for more than the Big 5 on your Cape Town Safari.
People from all over the world often flock to South Africa in order to see the “Big 5” in action, but little do they know that there is a “Small 5” waiting for them on their Cape Town Safari as well. This should be just as celebrated and perhaps even more since they are part of the ecosystem which keeps the Big 5 alive. It’s time to make an addition to your to-do list and find out what exactly constitutes the Small 5.
Elephant Shrew – Cape Town Safari
The Elephant Shrew or the Elephantulus Myurus, truly is a magnificent creature. it gets its name from from its long snout which resembles an elephant’s trunk and can reach a size of 25cm and weigh 60 grams. They feed on nuts, fruit, seeds and insects and are the food of larger snakes. You can be sure that if you spot one of these little ones, you game drive has been a huge success!
Ant Lion – Cape Town Safari
The Ant Lion or Myrmeleontidae is a weird and beautiful creature with weird and beautiful ways. It traps its prey and then pounces, hence the name Ant Lion. If you see one of these, look out for the trap it has on the front of its head which it uses to ambush its prey.
The Scarabaeinae dynastinae or Rhinoceros Beetle is one of the biggest beetles in South Africa. It gets its name from the great horns on its head that resemble those of a rhinoceros. The horns are used to dig, mate and climb. This beetle is also known to be very aggressive and will always put up a fight. Definitely something to see!
The Buffalo Weaver, or The Bubarlornis Niger can be found in national parks all over. They should be fairly easy to spot. And if you can’t spot them, ask your guide what they sound like in order to listen for their amazing call. They weave their nests together from coarse grass in order to build thee most amazing structures.
The Geochelone pardalis has a striking resemblance to the creature it gets its name from even though they aren’t as fast as them. One of the Largest breeds in the South of Africa, it has a weight of 23 kilograms and an outer shell with a circumference of one metre to protect its body. This is a sight to see in the wild.
When it comes to spotting birds of prey, you don’t have to go further than Cape Town. Birds of prey ranging from the Verreaux’s Eagle, the Jackal Buzzard, the Black Harrier, the African Goshawk, the Kite and the Rock Kestrel all inhabit Cape Town.
All of these beautiful predatory birds can be found when taking your own safari drive around places like the Winelands and Cape Point.
Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle
This black beauty can be found in the more mountainous regions of Cape Town with rocky cliffs. They breed between April and July and feed primarily on Rock Hyraxes. The scientific name for this raptor is ‘Aquila verrauxii’. With a wingspan of 2.3 metres, these birds of prey can be seen from below with a white Y underneath their wings.
Jackal Buzzard / Cape Town Safari
The Buteo rufofuscus has ominous dark red and brown eyes which can be seen. These birds can feed on mammals up to the size of a hare! These buzzards breed between May and November and remain monogamous. It gets its name from the sound of its call which is very similar to the black-backed jackal.
Black Harrier / Cape Town Safari
The Circus maurus, or Black Harrier can be seen perched with yellow legs and eyes. They have a very distinct black and white striped tail. Their main food source is small rodents and mammals. Their nests are mainly built on the ground which consist of a clutch 3 to 5 eggs in each nest.
African Goshawk / Cape Town Safari
The Accipiter tachiro, or African Goshawk can be seen in Cape Town. These birds of prey can be spotted in woodlands and forested areas, typically soaring above the canopy of green trees. Its main meal is birds up to the size of Francolins.
These amazing creatures have a completely yellow bill as well as yellow feet and can be seen spreading their wings all across the farmlands of the Cape. These birds can weigh up to 1 kg and have a wing span of 1.5m. Yellow-billed kites really take a liking to aquatic areas as well but won’t dare be seen in forests.
If you’re interested in spotting some of these birds on a Safari then make sure to book a tour with us by following this link: https://africantraveldesk.com/tour-category/safari/