June 27

The Strange and Amusing List of Collective Nouns for Africa’s Animals


June 27, 2017

Maybe you know it’s a parliament of owls, a shrewdness of apes and a murder of crows, but what is a group of wildebeest called?

You won’t believe it.

It’s an implausibility of wildebeest.

I find the collective nouns for hawks very interesting too. In general, a group of hawks is called a cast. In flight, they’re called a kettle, and if they’re circling, they’re called a boil. Who comes up with this stuff?

A flamboyance of flamingos

Whatever the case, they make for some great fun facts. Next time you’re on safari, pull one of these obscure collective nouns out to impress your ranger…

An armoury of aardvarks
A shrewdness of apes
An army of ants
A troop of baboons
A cete of badgers
A cloud of bats
A herd of buffalo
A coalition of cheetahs

Cheetahs drinking from the waterhole
Image credit: Randal Ormston

A cartload of chimpanzees
A quiver of cobras
A bask of crocodiles
A murder of crows
A pack of wild dogs
A convocation of eagles
A herd/parade/memory of elephants
A leash of foxes
A flamboyance of flamingos
A tower/journey of giraffes Two giraffes at Lake ManyaraA band of gorillas
A cast of hawks (general)
A kettle of hawks (in flight)
A boil of hawks (spiraling)
A bloat of hippos
A cackle of hyenas
A leap of leopards
A conspiracy of lemurs

Four lemurs form a huddle line
Image credit: Vladislav T. Jirousek

A pride of lions
A troop/barrel of monkeys
A band of mongooses
A parliament of owls
A pandemonium of parrots
A prickle of porcupines
An unkindness of ravens
A crash of rhinos
A venue of vultures
An implausibility of wildebeest
A dazzle of zebras

An implausibility of wildebeest


Africa, Wildlife

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About the author 

Matthew Sterne

Matt discovered a passion for writing in the six years he spent travelling abroad. He worked for a turtle sanctuary in Nicaragua, in an ice cream factory in Norway and on a camel safari in India. He was a door-to-door lightbulb-exchanger in Australia, a pub crawl guide in Amsterdam and a journalist in Colombia. Now, he writes and travels with us.

  • Absolutely brilliant – I originate from Rhodesia & agree with these collective nouns !

  • Giraffes are a tower when standing still. A journey when on the move. I am going to Madikwe in 2 weeks time and I will drop some of these into the conversation ? Madikwe is an easy 3 hour drive from my Rutland Guest House in Johannesburg

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