5 Unusual Animals You Might See on Safari in South Africa

At Pondoro Game Lodge, located in Balule Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger region, you will be able to witness the Big 5. You may also come across a few of these rather unusual animals while enjoying your South African game lodge and safari experience. Keep your eyes peeled!

Honey badger 

The honey badger is the feistiest little animal that you will find on safari. It’s absolutely fearless and will attack any other animal – the first warden of Kruger National Park, James Stevenson-Hamilton, recorded an incident where a honey badger attacked a wildebeest!

They are approximately 25 centimetres in shoulder height; 55 – 77 centimetres in length; males can weigh up to 16 kilograms and females, between 5 – 10 kilograms.

Honey Badgers are carnivorous, with their diet consisting of smaller animals such as ground squirrels and  gerbils but may choose to feast on larger animals like springhares; they’ve even been known to scavenge antelope kills.

They are largely solitary animals, but can be found hunting in pairs at any time of the day. However, they tend to become nocturnal in high human population areas. So, ensure you go on a night drive if you want to see a honey badger.


The Aardvark (also known as the African ant bear) sports a pig-like snout which allows it to smell for food. The aardvark is an insectivore, meaning that its diet consists of termites  and ants. An aardvark is able to dig through ant and termite hills as it has  sharp claws, in order to reach its meal.

This cute creature is nocturnal (active during the night) and can weigh between 60 – 80 kilos. Their average length is between 105 and 130 centimetres, but some reach over 2.2 metres.

Bat-eared fox 

The bat-eared fox can commonly be found in short grasslands and the savannah and occur in a number of African countries such as Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.

It has a mischievous-looking face, and gets its name from its characteristically long ears, which are used for thermoregulation (maintaining a stable, core internal body temperature). 

Bush babies 

The real name of a ‘bush baby’ is a Galagos. In the Afrikaans language, it’s known as a nagapie (‘little night monkey’) due to the fact that they are small nocturnal primates. They have massive eyes that allow them to see clearly at night; bat-like ears that allow them to track insects in the dark and acute hearing.

Their most unique characteristic is their incredible jumping abilities – the longest recorded jump is 2.25 metres. This trait is thought to be due to elastic energy that is stored in the tendons of their lower legs. Galagos measure 27 -44 centimetres in length and between 150 – 250 grams in weight. Their diet consists mainly of small invertebrate animals such as grasshoppers and moths, but they also eat fruit, seeds and flowers. 

African wild dog

The African wild dog is unfortunately one of the most endangered mammal species and has a life expectancy of only six years.

They measure approximately 75 centimetres in shoulder height (males are marginally larger than females.) They sport a mottled yellow, black and white coat. Interestingly, every wild dog has a unique coat pattern, so every individual can be identified.

Wild dogs hunt in packs that can range from a pair to over 50 individuals. It’s fascinating to note that they are extremely social, spending a lot of time with each other. Their diet consists mainly of small to medium-sized animals – zebra is a wild dog’s favourite prey.

Author Bio: 

Mark works for Pondoro Game Lodge, loves to travel and has been writing about his experiences across the globe for a few years now. He is passionate about sustainability and Eco-travel, working hard to educate and inform wherever possible along the way.