Warthogs: 10 fascinating facts

Warthogs are truly fascinating little creatures, and definitely one of the more ‘unique’ looking animals in the Timbavati. It’s hard not to smile when coming across them whilst on safari.

Should you be visiting one of the several lodges within the Timbavati, you will more than likely spot them nibbling on the fresh manicured lawns throughout the day. Such green grass is very enticing to them.

Luke Street from Tanda Tula Safari Camp recently compiled a list of 10 interesting facts about these sturdy little beings.

Facts about warthogs

  1. It’s hard not to imagine that were there is a warthog, there will be its trusty little sidekick, the meerkat. Thanks to Disney’s The Lion King, this image has been instilled in most of us. As much as we wish this too be true, sadly it’s not.
  2. Warthogs are speedy! They dash about the bush at speeds around 40km per hour. At times they can even reach up to 48km per hour. Those speeds give Usain Bolt competition.
  3. Such speeds are imperative when forming an integral part of the food chain. More often than not, they are seen as tasty meals by the larger predators such as lions, hyenas and leopards.
  4. Fortunately warthogs come equipped with a fierce set of tusks. These tusks can prove extremely valuable when protecting themselves from predators. They can become rather deadly when you put a 50-150kg angry warthog behind them.
  5. Warthogs generally take over aardvark holes. They will take the time to create the perfect burrow just to their liking. They are excellent hideouts. However predators will still wait outside, often for hours at a time hoping to get lucky when the warthogs emerge.
  6. If you have ever come across a warthog running in the bush, you would more than likely have seen them running with their tails straight up in the air. This is the warthogs specific ‘follow me’ sign. It acts as a visual sign for other warthogs to see. Thus enabling them keep in close proximity to one another when dashing about at high speeds.
  7. Contrary to popular belief, warthogs are not herbivores. They are actually omnivores.
  8. Being an omnivore, they will eat both vegetable matter and bits of meat. Most of the time warthogs will just eat grass, roots and fruit. Occasionally they will consume insects, lizards and some carrion.
  9. In order for warthogs to get closer to their food, they have perfected their eating stance. They fold both their front feet, resulting in them being right down on their haunches. It is quite something to watch.
  10. Warthogs make the most of their flattened nose when eating. As it is rather tough, it helps them dig up roots, move branches and enables them to get underneath certain things to obtain tasty treats. It also helps them greatly when excavating their burrows.

These are but a few of the interesting facts about these speedy creatures. Here are a couple of pictures captured by Luke Street. For further reading, continue to Luke's blog post captured on the Tanda Tula website.