Also known as the scaly anteater, the pangolin is perhaps the weirdest African animal out of them all! Physically speaking, it is highly distinguishable. Its armor is like no other, and its plated scales cover most of the body: upper parts, sides and tail.
When placed under stress, the little warrior rolls itself into a tight ball to defend itself (like hedgehogs). Wouldn’t want to touch it under those circumstances…indeed, the scales have a very powerful cutting action that can inflict serious wounds!
The pangolin lives in holes or under dense bush. It eats small insects such as ants and termites, digs them up with its formidable claws and sensitive nose, and catches them with a long sultry tongue!
Although the creature does not possess any teeth, it has a well-developed muscular stomach that grinds its food with the help of ingested sand and gravel.
The Aardvark, or “Earth Pig” (from the Afrikaans word Erdvark), is a solitary creature that is seldom seen. In fact, I’ve never seen any (sigh)…yet reminders of their presence exist in abundance as they dig holes throughout the bush. The cavities are especially visible around termite mounds, which provide most of the animal’s food.
On the verge of extinction, the okapi is a funny mix between a horse and a zebra. It still inhabits the forests of Northern Congo, around the Ugandan border.
This “forest giraffe” is dependent upon clearings and breaks in the canopy in order to feed. It forages a variety of rainforest plants, and will even eat fruits and fungi when available!
Very little is known on this elusive yet magnificent creature!
A little mouse-like insectivore with an imposing snout! Uncommonly seen, yet distributed across Southern Africa and encompassing almost every biome. Very funny to watch as they sniff out small invertebrates, gathering them with the tongue!
Out of the 15 species of elephant-shrews widespread across the continent, my favorite one has to be the Golden-rumped Elephant-Shrew type. It has such a precious glossy coat! 🙂 Which one’s yours?
An “evolved” hare species with kangaroo-like hind legs! Purely nocturnal, these vegetarian creatures live in pairs and are usually part of large communities that live in sandy soil burrows.
If you ever get the chance to stay at Ndutu Lodge (Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania), you are more than likely to see them at night. The springhare’s eyes shine brightly in a spotlight, so you won’t have to search for them long!