The Elusive Aardvark

So elusive and rarely-spotted is this animal, that most people haven't even heard about it. The Aardvark (it's name mening ground pig in Afrikaans) is a curious creature that looks a bit like a cross between a pig, a donkey, a large rat and a kangaroo. They eat termites, and have very sharp claws that can open the rock-hard mounds and a long, sticky tongue to catch them with. Pretty it is not, however its elusiveness puts it very high on the wish-list of many keen game spotters.

I had the great privilege of spending some 20 minutes with one very relaxed individual while visiting Samara Private Game Reserve in the Karoo. What more, it was during daylight (the Aardvark is generally nocturnal, which adds to its elusiveness, but they can sometimes be seen on a cool Karoo winter's day). It was the first time in 12 years of regularly going to the African bush that I spotted one of these creatures, and I know that even many people that work as rangers (wildlife guides) have never seen one. Samara is probably one of the best places in South Africa to spot Aardvarks, as they have a high number of them in the reserve and work actively to habituate them (this means that they get used to people being close by, not that they are tame). Although, as with all wild animals, there are no guarantees.

#Africa #safari #aardvark

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I'm Katarina, the founder of Slow Travel Africa. My passion is to create holidays that let you explore further, experience more and embrace Africa. Giving back is a natural part of Slow Travel, and my trips ensure that your holiday will benefit the people and places you visit.

 

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