071 605 9815 tour@wanyamasafaris.com Rate us on TripAdvisor!

Everyone goes on a Kruger Park safari with the hope of viewing the Big 5.  And to be honest the Big 5 really are a magnificent sighting, but let’s take a closer look the animals that only their mothers can love.  After all there are over 150 different mammal species in the Kruger National Park, and not all can be beautiful. 

So here are the Kruger National Parks ugliest mammals in no particular order:


The warthog gets its name from the large wart-like protuberances on its face.  Female warthog have one pair and males have two pairs of these protuberances.  In actual fact, they are not warts at all but made up of bone and cartilage.  Warthogs also have four tusks at the end of their prolonged snout and eyes that are set high on their head.  Unlike other animals, warthogs “kneel” when they graze and to accommodate this strange way of eating they have protective pads on their wrists.  They also have a strange way of entering their burrows, they reverse in, tail first.  This is done so that their tusks are at the entrance and they are able to defend themselves from unwanted guests.


Wildebeest have large curled horns that grow backwards and then turn outwards and forwards which makes it look like they have a halo attached to their heads.  At first glance you will notice that its body is disproportional.  Like most antelope, it has slender hindquarters, with the front part of its body being overly large.  Its head is also large and shaped like a box.  Wildebeest then both sport with a mane like a horse.  They are one of the largest antelope and can live up to 20 years in the wild.


These blood thirsty scavenges can be seen circling high in the sky above a kill.  They have a grotesque appearance and are true scavenges.  They are not only ugly but have terrible table manners and will fight each other to get a piece of the kill.  Vultures will sit patiently for up to 36 hours in a tree to get their chance at a kill.  As ugly as what they are, they play a vital role in nature, as they can pick a kill clean.

Marabou Stork

This is a large bird with a wingspan of 2.6 meters and grows to a length of 1.5 meters.  Although their bodies are not so ugly, they sure have ugly faces.  Their heads and necks are bald, with red spots and huge conical beaks. One of the reasons this large bird is able to fly is probably the fact that the bones in their long legs and toes are completely hollow.


The hyena is not only one of the ugliest but also hands down one of the bravest animals in the Kruger National Park.  When scavenging for food, the hyena is known for taking great chances to take meat from lions.  They have a sloping back, a large head and the oddest laugh which can be heard at night.  Female hyena also have genitalia which mimic that of the males making it difficult to tell male and female apart at a glance.

You have the opportunity to see all of these animals and more when you join Wanyama on a Kruger Park safari.