Species name: Warthog
Scientific Name: Phacochoerus aethiopicus
Weight: Male: 65 – 75kgs – Female: 55 – 65kgs
Shoulder Height: Male: 70cm – Female: 60cm
General Habitat: Warthogs prefer open grasslands with scattered trees and water sources like dams, rivers and mud wallows close by. They do try and avoid dense thickets.
Warthogs are probably one of the least attractive animals in the African Bush. Despite their unattractive looks, most of us will have a soft spot for them as they remined us of ‘Pumba’ from the Lion King.
The name Warthog comes from the warts on the side of a warthog’s face. Males have two warts on each side of their face, whereas females only have one wart on each side of their face. It is believed that the warts could be there to protect warthogs from being stabbed in the eyes by their opponent’s tusks.
They have two pairs of tusks, one pair on the top jaw and another pair on the bottom jaw. The tusks on the upper jaw look more impressive, whereas the tusks on the bottom jaw are much smaller. Both pairs of tusks will be used to defend themselves, but the bottom pair will inflict the most damage to a predator or opponent as they are very sharp and get continually sharpened by rubbing against the upper tusk. There are recorded cases of predators getting severely injured or even killed during attempts to take down warthogs.
Warthogs are extremely loud animals especially when attacked by a predator, they will utter a high-pitched sound that can be heard from a kilometre away. They are also not known for their table manners, as you can hear them munching from a distance away. Their short necks require them to kneel down when digging up roots or when eating short grass. Their knees will form hard callouses at an early stage of their life as a result of this.
They are definitely an animal you should not mess with. In most cases they will run away when being approached, but when pushed into a corner, they won’t hesitate to turn around and defend themselves. Believe me, you don’t want to find yourself on the other end of those tusks.
One of my favourite features of warthogs are that whenever they run, their tails shoot straight up into the air. When they run through tall grass all you can see is a bunch of tails moving through the open plain. This acts as a follow-me sign allowing them to keep track of where the other members of their group are going.
To me, warthogs rank as the funniest animals in the African bush. Come have a laugh or two with us on a Sabi Sabi safari while viewing some comical warthogs!
My Memorable Sighting
On a beautiful, summers morning we stopped to view a mother warthog and her piglets. The piglets were playing around and chasing each other through the tall green grass. After playing, the exhausted piglets ran straight to their mother to feed. The piglets were fighting over the teats and pushing each other around to get a drink. One of the piglets even tried to climb on one of the others to get an advantage over one of the others! We couldn’t help but laugh at the scene in front of us. It was a sighting that will stay with us forever.
Photo and Video Content