The Shy Five and the Little Five

The Shy Five

The shy five is a term from the people at Meerkat Magic and is for some of the animals found in the little Karoo of South Africa. It consists of the:

  • Aardvark
  • Aardwolf
  • Bat-eared fox
  • Meerkat
  • Porcupine

An Aartvark – one of the Shy Five

The Little Five

The little five consists of the:

  • Ant lion – is a larva which digs a funnel shaped crater which it carefully prepares.  It burries itself at the bottom and awaits its prey (ants).
  • Buffalo weavers – Nest in open colonies.  Their nests are untidy and are made of twigs and coarse grasses.
  • Elephant shrew – gets its name from it long nose and is said to be the most successful ground-dwelling insectivores;
  • Leopard tortoise – it is the largest tortoises in Africa and its name come from the colour of its shell.  They grow to approximately 60cm or more in length.  Their eggs only hatch a year after being laid.
  • Rhinoceros beetle – one of the largest beetles (3 – 6cm long) in Southern Africa and it has huge spikes similar to a rhino’s horn, the beetles use them mainly for combat but also for digging, climbing and mating, not for defense.

Ant Lion, one of the Little Five

Not sure which are the Big Five? – Read our post here: BigFive

If you would like to find out about our Academic Field Trips, please feel free to contact us, and visit our website: African Insight

Gwyn Fryer

Self-drive Consultant & Administration

087 940 3553


We used information from the following websites to write the article:

About Andrew Anderson

Managing Director: African Insight - Travel Experiences That Make A Difference African Insight - Explorations Tourism Concessionaire - Somkhanda Game Reserve
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2 Responses to The Shy Five and the Little Five

  1. These are so much more interesting than the Big Five! Thanks for sharing. Your blog is crammed with fascinating information.

    • Andrew Anderson says:

      Yes Nikki, we agree that these are way more interesting that the Big Five! And thanks for the feedback, it is great that you are finding the blog fascinating!

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