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The elusive aardvark

Topping many a safari bucketlist is a rather strange looking creature. With the ears of a donkey, tail of a kangaroo and snout of a pig, the aardvark – ‘Earth pig’ in Afrikaans – is a bizarre beast.

Nocturnal by nature, the aardvark is rarely seen. At Samara, we are fortunate to be home to a significant number of aardvark. In the winter months, colder nights and milder daytime temperatures compel the aardvark to emerge from their burrows and forage during the day. The bulk of their diet consists of ants and termites – they require 35,000-80,000 per day to meet their protein requirements.

Very little is known about aardvark ecology, so Samara employs a graduate of the Tracker Academy to habituate certain individuals and further our understanding of this remarkable species. Several important discoveries about aardvark have been made at Samara, including the matter of whether or not aardvarks actively drink (note – they do), which became the subject of an academic paper.

Watch our aardvark video below:

The best time of year to see aardvark at Samara is during the colder winter months. We cannot guarantee a sighting, but if aardvarks top your bucket list, make sure to let us know so we can try to find you one. Our best advice is not to go searching for them – they have a habit of appearing when you least expect it.

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Never seen an aardvark?

Visit us in winter and that could change!
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