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  • Writer's pictureJolene Botha

10 More Collective Nouns for African Animals

For those of us who love both words and animals, collective nouns –those anthropomorphic and sometimes alliterative descriptions for groups of animals — are an irresistible form of word play. Here are ten more for your amusement.

With no immediate Africa travel plans on the horizon, these days I’m getting my wildlife fix on backyard safaris locally here in Sonoma County, California. Today’s curious sighting was a half dozen eurasian collared doves conferring among the still-bare vineyards who rustled off in a muffled flurry of white wings on my approach. Generally I only see these birds singly or in couples, so I puzzled over what to call them en masse. They could properly (and paradoxically) be called an invasion of doves, proliferating since their arrival to the U.S. in 1982. Or, perhaps an entreaty of doves? But no, doves in a group are called a dole, a flight, or, my favorite, a piteousness of doves.

If you share my affinity for the poetry and whimsy of collective nouns, here are ten more collective nouns for African animals to enjoy — along with some recommendations on where in Africa you might go to see these animals. Informed by this list, and finding yourself amidst the wildlife on safari, you might have cause to ponder, for example, what a plot of bushbabies might be planning, or if it is wise to sunbathe so close to a bask of crocodiles!

Collective Nouns for African Animals

Gorillas near Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Trek to find a BAND OF GORILLAS in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Bush baby photographed during Pafuri Camp night drive in Kruger National Park in South Africa

Night drives may reveal a PLOT OF BUSHBABIES at Greater Kruger in South Africa

Crocodile near Toka Leya Camp in Livingstone Zambia

Give a BASK OF CROCODILES wide berth when you spot them on the Zambezi River

Flamingos near Loisaba Lodge in Laikipia Plateau Kenya

La vie en rose with a STAND OF FLAMINGOES at Lake Naivasha, Kenya

A CACKLE OF HYENAS can be heard at Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Black Back Jackals in Botswana - Photo by Ariadne Van Zandbergen

Amazingly, a SKULK OF JACKALS can thrive in the harsh conditions of  the Skeleton Coast

Wild Meerkats in Africa

Study a MOB OF MEERKATS in the Makgadikgadi Plains — and they may examine you, too

African Penguins in Cape Town South Africa

On land, it’s a WADDLE OF PENGUINS at Boulders Beach, Cape Town, in the water, “a raft”

White Rhinos in Africa

Experts at Desert Rhino Camp can help you find a STUBBORNNESS OF RHINOCEROS

Warthogs drinking at Tubu - Photo by Samantha Barbitta

A SOUNDER OF WARTHOGS can be spotted throughout sub-Saharan Africa


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