Winter is more than half way through, and over all a mild winter so far, with a few a few cold days, here and there. Early mornings and evenings cold, but days warm to hot.
The veld is dry, with most of the smaller pans of water having dried up.But many pools of water remain in the rivers and streams. Animal sightings and photo opportunities in the Kruger National Park, have been up and down. However….
Over all the Kruger Park continues to be a rewarding attraction to visit. It’s wonderful in the evenings when excited guests recount their day in the park and display their photos. From the birds to the largest elephants, and everything in between. Wild Dog have been scarce. Some exciting near “kills”, with young lions developing their hunting skills.
Sunset drives in the private area have been excellent with rewarding sightings of the “big 5”, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo.
But the most exciting and rare sighting after the
Pangolin last month, was the sighting of another
African elusive and rare animal –
Aardvark / Ant Bear (Orycteropus afer) which is a silent, strictly nocturnal animal, living in an underground burrow by day.
It is an animal that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s a nearly hairless pig like animal with long rabbit like ears, and elongated muzzle. Weight about 50 kilograms. Large claws on both front and back feet designed for digging into termite (ant) hills, for its staple diet of ants and termites.
The aardvark inserts its snout and head into the ants nest, using its long tongue which is coated with thick saliva to collect the ants, eggs and larvae in the small passages of the ants nest.
The aardvark can fold its ears back when inserting its head into the ant hill.