South Africa is perhaps most famous for the Big 5, but there’s a plethora of gorgeous little animals you’ll meet at Saragossa Game Reserve too- each one as entrancing as their bigger cousins. Take a virtual bush ‘walk’ with us today to meet our ‘little 6’ and learn a bit more about each tiny creature that makes up a critical part of our gorgeous reserve.
1. The African duikers
No bush experience is complete without meeting Africa’s iconic antelope, and the duiker is one of the very smallest you’ll see. Its unique name is derived from the Afrikaans word for ‘dive’, which is what these tiny little antelope tend to do if you get too close! Gently does it if you encounter one. With their adorable pricked ears and soft coats, they are a delightful sight, and you’ll want to have a camera ready. We have common duiker, blue duiker and the rare red duiker on the reserve, so there will be plenty to see!
Who can resist those large puzzled eyes? The ‘lesser’, or thick-tailed bushbaby, is one of the smallest primates on the continent, and you’ll usually hear them before you see them. Their thin, child-like cries earned them their name, and you’ll hear them calling in the night as you tuck yourself into the cosy beds on the reserve. With their agile long toes and big, night-adapted eyes, you know you’ve had a lucky bush drive if you come away with a sighting.
3. African dung beetle
This small insect packs a massive punch for the local environment, and Africa would be lost without it. Often seen patiently rolling their large dung ball homes down the dusty roads, they play a vital part in the bush ecosystem. Although it’s easy to pass them by on the search for more photogenic prey, these fascinating little creatures are well worth some time and attention- and a cute picture, too!
Saragossa Game Reserve offers special scorpion and frog walks to help you meet these tiny yet dangerous bush creatures for yourself. Did you know all scorpion species fluoresce under UV light, including natural moonlight? Even scientists aren’t too sure why they have this fascinating property, but it will make for some gorgeous memories under the bright starlight of Waterval Boven.
5. African civets
These tiny members of the cat family range from 7-21 kgs in size- but we don’t recommend trying to pet one! With their striking patterned coat and hauntingly feline faces, these fascinating little felines have unique, 5 toed feet equipped with sturdy claws for digging, as they eat almost anything, from insects to fruit and hunted prey. You’ll see them come out to play, forage and hunt as dusk falls.
6. The Genet
Saragossa is also home to both the large- and small-spotted genet. Look for these on the ground or in trees while on game drives. They hunt in both environments, eating rodents, insects, birds and wild fruit. Females give birth to l itters of up to three cubs in holes or in leaf nests. Genets are closely related to mongooses.
These tiny temptations are far from the only little creatures you’ll meet during your stay at Saragossa Game Lodge, so make sure you come stocked with plenty of memory cards and a good camera to make the most of your experience. Which of the ‘little 6’ are you hoping to meet during your stay?