Collective nouns for African wildlife to impress, confuse and amuse

Nice tower…

There seem to be collective nouns for every animal you could hope to encounter, and most of them appear to have been dreamed up around the campfire after three too many G&Ts.

Be prepared, this is going to get weird. English is a wonderful language, on that I think we can all agree. But it certainly has its quirks – one of which you will soon become aware of on safari.

There seem to be collective nouns for every animal you could hope to encounter, and most of them appear to have been dreamed up around the campfire after three too many G&Ts. No matter, learn a few of these and you’ll be able to impress fellow passengers on your game drive. They might think you must have started your day with something stronger than coffee but your guide will be able to back you up.

We probably all know that it’s a pride of lions and a herd of buffalo, but would you believe it’s a cartload of chimpanzees? A conspiracy of lemurs? A nightmare of tourists? Okay, I made that last one up but it sounds more real than most of these – yet real they are.

Some terms do get updated, and I am always keen to learn new ones, so let me know what I am missing, have got wrong or if you hear of any amendments. I will be updating this list on an ongoing basis…


Armoury of aardvarks
Army of caterpillars
Array of hedgehogs
Bale of turtles
Band of gorillas
Bask / Float of crocodiles
Bed of scorpions
Bed / Snuggle of sloths
Bloat of hippos
Boil of vultures (when coming down)
Business of mongooses
Caravan of camels
Cartload of chimpanzees
Chain of caracals
Charm of goldfinches
Charm of hummingbirds
Chorus / Army of frogs
Clan / Cackle of hyenas
Cloud of bats
Cloud of grasshoppers
Cluster / Flight of dragonflies
Clutter of spiders
Coalition of cheetahs
Colony of ants
Colony of honey badgers
Confusion of guinea fowl
Confusion of wildebeest
Consortium of crabs
Consortium of octopus
Conspiracy of lemurs
Crash of rhinos
Dazzle of zebras
Fever of stingrays
Flamboyance of flamingos
Gaggle of geese
Glaring of cats
Herd / Memory / Parade of elephants
Herd / Obstinacy of buffaloes
Herd of llamas
Hive of bees
Intrusion of cockroaches
Journey of giraffes (on the move)
Kaleidoscope of butterflies
Kettle of vultures (when flying overhead)
Knot of snakes
Knot of toads
Labour of moles
Leap of leopards
Litter of wild dog pups
Lounge of lizards
Pack of wild dogs
Paddling of ducks
Pandemonium of parrots
Parliament of owls
Plague of locusts
Pod of dolphins
Posse of vicunas
Pride of lions
Prickle of porcupines
Mess of iguanas
Murder of crows
Murmation of starlings
Ostentation of peacocks
Rhumba of rattlesnakes
Round of robins
School of fish
Scurry of squirrels
Shiver of sharks
Shrewdness of apes
Skulk / Leash of bat-eared foxes
Sloth of bears
Sluthe of servals
Smack / Brood of jellyfish
Sounder of warthogs
Stench of skunks
Swarm / Scourge of mosquitoes
Tower of giraffes (standing still)
Troop of baboons
Quiver of cobras
Unkindness of ravens
Venue / Committee of vultures
Waddle / Convent of penguin

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