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The Tenacious Honey Badger

A rare sighting of a Honey Badger at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

A rare sighting of a Honey Badger at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

Lately guests and guides alike have been lucky enough to have seen one of the rarest creatures here on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, the elusive Honey Badger. This 54, 000 hectare wilderness reserve never ceases to amaze us.

The Honey badger or Ratel is a tenacious small omnivore that has a reputation for being, pound for pound, Africa’s most fearless animal despite its small size. It is even listed as the ‘most fearless animal in the world’ in the Guinness Book of Records.

The Honey Badger is mostly active at night although the sightings at Sanbona has been in the early mornings. As their name suggests, Honey badgers have always been associated with honey yet it is the highly nutritious bee brood they eat. They are also keen snake hunters and have a natural immunity to snake venom.

Honey badgers and the greater honey guide have a unique relationship. The little bird leads a honey badger to a beehive, and then waits for the honey badger to open up the hive and eat the honey and bee larvae. Once the honey badger leaves the hive, the honey guide will then feed on the remaining beeswax.

A Honey Badger’s baby is called a ‘kit’. The females are called ‘sows’ and males ‘boars’. Honey Badger groups are called a ‘cete, colony, set or company’.

So next time you come on safari, which is just 3 hours from Cape Town, keep your eyes open and who knows, maybe you are lucky enough to see his secretive creature.

Honey Badgers at Leopard Gorge at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.

Honey Badgers at Leopard Gorge at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve.