Animals You Can Only See on an African Night Time Safari

Animals You Can Only See on an African Night Time Safari

Many of these animals are still quite difficult to spot, but if you keep your eyes peeled and embark on a few game drives, you just might catch a glimpse of one of the following African nocturnal species.

Lesser Bushbaby
Bushbabies, also known as Galagos, are the continent’s smallest primate. They love to feast on insects and tree sap, and they can jump from tree to tree over surprising distances. Spotting an entire bushbaby is a difficult thing to do, but you are sure to see and hear plenty of evidence of them. Their glowing eyes can be seen fairly readily when reflecting camp lights or headlights, and their child-like cries commonly pierce the night air.

Aardvarks have a wide range and enough numbers for them to not be considered endangered, yet they are quite tough to spot on safari. When you are lucky enough to stumble upon one, they are usually quite active. Rangers often follow them waddling on their nightly patrol until they locate an insect mound where they can enjoy a midnight snack. 
Their long, sticky tongues measure up to a foot in length and help them smell as well as snack on tasty ants and termites. During the day, aardvarks sleep inside their large burrows that they dig themselves, which can be more than 40 feet long.

Honey Badger
The honey badger of internet fame has a ferocious personality worthy of its reputation. It will defend itself against predators many times its size when threatened and can withstand powerful claw swipes and stings thanks to its thick, tough skin. Honey badgers are even known to fight off lions.

In sparsely populated areas they hunt by both day and night, but when humans are typically about they hide out until after sunset.

The pangolin is a beautiful and critically endangered animal with many unique traits Most noticeable of these traits are its scales, which are made out of the same hard proteins that make up our nails, our hair and rhino horns. When frightened, a pangolin will roll up into a tight ball to protect its vulnerable belly.

They emerge at night to eat ants and termites, using their long claws and sticky, anteater-like tongues to reach their meal. Spotting a wild pangolin is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially as the animal becomes more rare due to relentless poaching.

Cape Porcupine
Like the bushbaby, you are more likely to hear the Cape porcupine than see it. Its large size and cumbersome quills make it far from the most graceful animals on the continent. Loud brushing and scraping noises are common sounds as a porcupine bumbles its way through the bush. They are, in fact, the largest porcupine and the largest rodent in southern Africa.

Cape porcupines are herbivores, and they will enthusiastically tear into tree bark, causing telltale marks and plenty of snuffling. They will also eat other plant parts like roots, bulbs, stems and fruit. Although they are not normally aggressive, they will defend themselves with spikes that measure up to two inches in length.

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