Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

10 More Collective Nouns for African Animals

by Deborah Olsen
February 24, 2017


For those of us who love both words and animals, collective nouns --those anthromorphic and sometimes alliterative descriptions for groups of animals -- are an irresistable 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, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

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


bushbaby, Pafuri Camp

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


crocodile, Toka Leya Camp

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


flamingoes, Loisaba Lodge

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



A CACKLE OF HYENAS can be heard at Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana


black back jackals, photographed by Ariadne Van Zandbergen

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



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



On land, it's a WADDLE OF PENGUINS at Boulders Beach, Cape Town, in the water, "a raft"


White Rhinos

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


Warthogs drinking, photographed by Samantha Barbitta

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


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Topics: Conservation & Wildlife

Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife

AUTHOR BIO  |Deborah Olsen

Deborah Olsen is Bushtracks Marketing Director. Although she’s lived and traveled abroad, Deborah finds most of her travel inspiration at home around the dinner table, where international family and friends routinely fuel her interest in the world beyond with vivid insider accounts of off-the-beaten path places. In telling the Bushtracks story, and sharing Bushtracks remarkable adventures, Deborah hopes to ignite the same spark of wanderlust in others. Her journey to Bushtracks marketing has wound an itinerant path from her education at Duke University, the University of Paris, and the University of Washington, to a decade of marketing in the wireless telecommunications industry, and five years with Bushtracks, where she daily learns something new and wonderful about the natural world she loves exploring in her free time.