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Our Wildlife Diary

Treasures in the sand

Many guides never have the great pleasure of viewing a pangolin in the wild, and even fewer guests are lucky enough to get a glimpse of the elusive, shy creature. Imagine how ecstatic I was one morning when we were lucky enough to see two!

We had set out from Tarkuni on a beautiful early summer morning. After a short time spent birding and viewing mountain zebra in Gosburg valley, we were about to make our way through to the east of the reserve to look for cheetah, when a sound to my right in a small raisin bush caught my attention. To my great surprise I saw two pangolins making their way out towards our vehicle.

We all got off the vehicle and down into the sand to get a closer look at what is arguably one of the most rare finds on safari. We came to the conclusion that as one was a lot smaller than the other, we had come across a mother and sub adult youngster.

We spent over an hour viewing these amazing animals before deciding to leave them in peace to make their way back down into a burrow to sleep through the hot Kalahari day.

This was definitely one of the highlights of my guiding career to date!

By Ian Mey - Tswalu Guide

rare pangolin in the sand

rare pangolin with its tail extended

rare pangolin with its tail wrapped around it

rare pangolin burying itself in the sand