About the Author

Jemma Thorpe

Londolozi Creative Hub

Jemma grew up on a farm in the Midlands Meander in Kwa-Zulu Natal and studied at the University of Cape Town. With little bush experience but with many hours of au pairing, teaching English and forming a love for travel, Jemma found herself ...

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on The Halloween Safari Cast

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I agree vultures are not lovely, but Maribou Storks are simply hideous!! I think they resemble elderly clerks or solicitors from a Dickens novel! We were in Botswana one year before coming to Londolozi and they were having a convention! Every water hole or lake there were st least 25 plus. (I am serious, even the ranger was surprised at the numbers. Victoria

I love your Dickens comparison Victoria. I saw my first Marabou stork at Londolozi, and I too, couldn’t believe what I was looking at through the binoculars. The most peculiar looking creatures!

Great blog for Halloween, or any day, about some very special creatures. And if you don’t mind one person’s opinion who has been on hundreds of game drives during 20 years of travel to Africa . . . I so wish the term ‘Big 5’ would disappear forever.

Thank you Jeff. They are very special creatures, lovely to shed some of the spotlight on them.

Agree with you Jeff. I would like to the small 5, ugly 5 etc.. Fantastic blog Emma!

Thank you Gawie, hopefully you can tick all of them off your list soon.

I’ve always been creeped out by the golden orb spiders, too! ?

Absolutely Mary Beth! We could have added golden orb spiders to the Halloween list too!

Senior Digital Ranger

Yes Jeff I agree as its all people want to see, but they are missing out on the whole beauty of the wild! In Addo there are no vultures or eagles & a carcass can lie around for months as the cleaners of the bush aren’t present. Don’t get me wrong, They have hyenas & jackals that do a good job, but vultures do a perfect one. Thank you for this amusing blog, but we all know that God created everything to serve a purpose:)

Thank you for your comment Wendy. These animals really do play vital roles, lovely to hear that you agree too.

Every animal has a special place in the “bush”, no matter the species. We could add large lizards, crocodiles and snakes to your list……

I completely agree Denise, and yes, I’d definitely add most lizards, crocodiles and snakes to the Halloween list (especially snakes)!

I had rather a ‘not nice’ opinion of hyenas before my life-changing visit to Londolozi. All that has changed–despite the one incident we had while on an afternoon/evening game drive. Our Ranger Kevin and Tracker Ray stopped at sunset for our glass of wine and munchies, and a lone hyena slowly approached us. I hadn’t noticed until Kevin and Ray took off running and pitching stones at the hyena. It was all rather exciting.

Wow Doug, sounds like you had an eventful evening! One tends to grow fond of these interesting animals with time. I’m glad to hear Kevin and Ray saved the day.

Good idea for the ugly 5 on Halloween. Some reminded me of a few of my ill patients . . . grumpy and stubborn. The one that is the least appealing, to me at least, is the marabou stork. Oh my! Others I don’t find very ugly. Ultimately what’s important is the exceptional and needed job they do in the bush. Great images, Jemma.

Thanks Joanne. They are all so peculiar and intriguing, especially the Marabou!

Jemma: We loved your Ugly Five blog – We were lucky enough to see that elephant carcass when the vultures and hyenas were still interested in it – five days later, just some bones and the tusks. Sam and Mary Jane

So great to hear from you Sam and Mary Jane. It’s amazing how quickly things are cleaned up in the bush, glad you managed to experience that while you were here. Looking forward to having the both of you back soon.

I love and respect each one of these “ugly” creatures – especially the hyenas! So powerful and resourceful! I will be at Londolozi in a month, for my 60th birthday – my third visit! – and I would be happy with the “Ugly 5″…well, and an elephant:-)

We look forward to welcoming you back Linda, so glad we can celebrate your birthday with you. I’m sure the ‘The Ugly 5’ will grace you with their presence as well as a couple ellies.

I love all of those animals!!

Even if they are called the ugly five, these animals are amongst my favourites. They are fascinating to watch and the warthog babies are some of the most beautiful.

No, no. Don’t malign the wart hog. I love them.

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