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January 18, 2020 - LA Times

On an African walking safari, the Little Five let us see Zambia’s soul

On an African walking safari, the Little Five let us see Zambia’s soul
Rhinoceros beetleFile Photo / © Photabulous!

My husband and I were hours into a morning trek in one of Zambia’s wildlife-rich national parks then one of our guides pointed ahead to a thrilling discovery.

Peering from beneath a bush: a leopard tortoise, a beautiful reptile with a spotted shell. OK, so it wasn’t one of the Big Five animals safari-goers get excited about as they whiz through the African bush by Land Rover. It was instead some of the smaller things — the “Little Five” birds, bugs and reptiles — that we wanted to see by going on foot. They all have names that echo their big-time counterparts: ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and elephant shrew, as well as the leopard tortoise.

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