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
Trek to find a BAND OF GORILLAS in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Night drives may reveal a PLOT OF BUSHBABIES at Greater Kruger in South Africa
Give a BASK OF CROCODILES wide berth when you spot them on the Zambezi River
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
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"
Experts at Desert Rhino Camp can help you find a STUBBORNNESS OF RHINOCEROS
A SOUNDER OF WARTHOGS can be spotted throughout sub-Saharan Africa