Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

Sanbona's Elusive 11

Sanbona Wildlife Reserve is home to a variety of animals who call the Klein Karoo home. Some of these creatures are quite elusive and not always seen, although the cooler winter days, give guests coming on a wilderness safari the chance to see them. Most of these creatures are nocturnal so when the spotlight comes on, as a guide, you always hope of catching a glimpse of them. Most of the creatures are solitary and it is very rare to see 2 or more together, unless it’s a female with young or a male pursuing a female in heat.

The aardvark and aardwolf are both insectivores, moving great distances in search of ants and termites. Both have an extremely well developed sense of smell and absolutely love digging.

The porcupine is one of the most recognisable nocturnal creatures with its black and white quills and loves feeding on roots and vegetation. The porcupine is one of the very few animals that indulge in sex outside the female’s fertile period.

The African wildcat, caracal and small spotted genet are some of the smaller carnivores on Sanbona, preying on a variety of rodents and birds, and in the case of caracal, small antelope.

We are fortunate to have the riverine rabbit on the reserve, albeit elusive, and they are classified as the 13th most endangered mammal on earth. They have an extremely limited distribution area and as its name suggest, the riverine rabbit prefers to occupy river basins and particular shrub land known as Renosterveld. The riverine rabbit is the only African rabbit that bears its young underground.

Bat-eared foxes live in closely bonded pairs that sleep and move around together. 80% of their food is insects, especially termites, although they also eat arthropods, small rodents, reptiles and fruit. Food is located by using their huge ears.

The brown hyena is the biggest of the elusive creatures of Sanbona and are often seen near old kills left behind by lions or cheetah although they are renowned for killing seals on the Skelton Coast of Namibia. A brown hyena has powerful jaws and teeth, perfect for crushing big bones.

The Cape leopard is one of the most elusive creatures on Sanbona. Originally, when Sanbona was made up of multiple farms, leopards moved freely and regularly came in to conflict with farmers and often killed. Leopards are very adapted and eat anything from dassies, birds, klipspringer, baboons and even carrion.

The honey badger, which makes up the ‘elusive 11’ has a reputation of being tough, hence the Afrikaans saying "taai soos 'n ratel" - as tough as a honey badger.

So when on your wilderness safari with us, don’t forget to look out for the elusive 11 on your game drives!

 

Blog by Ranger, Marco Fitchet

 

Aardvark

Aardvark

Aardwolf

Aardwolf

Porcupine

Porcupine

African Wildcat

African Wildcat

Caracal

Caracal

Small Spotted Genet

Small Spotted Genet

Riverine Rabbit

Riverine Rabbit

Bat eared Foxes

Bat eared Foxes

Brown Hyena

Brown Hyena

Cape Leopard

Cape Leopard

Honey Badger

Honey Badger

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