When we travel, we’re looking for the little things that tell us the story of the new place we’re in. If we told you we were in Africa for a safari, you might think we came to see the Big Five (African elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, African buffalo). Sure, that would be nice, but our goal was to see the little things too.
We scheduled time for some walking on our safari and our guides – Mika, Chagamba, and the Maasai – knew just where to help us look.
Our Maasai guide climbed a termite mound and with his spear, broke away a small section of the mound for us to see. These mounds can be active up to 70-80 years. Dwarf mongoose colonies choose abandoned termite mounds for their homes. It’s all about recycling.
Among other insects that we saw were harvester ants, ant lions, numerous grasshoppers, and (new to us) funnel-web spiders.
We had asked to see birds as well as animals on the safari – a request more common than we realized. In our 9-day safari, we saw over 170 species.
When we asked Chagamba how many people come to Africa to see the Big Five, he also told us about Africa’s “Little Five”: elephant shrew, rhinoceros beetle, leopard tortoise, ant lion, and buffalo weaver. We saw three of those five. Not bad!