If you’ve ever had the privilege of seeing the Big Five in the Kruger National Park, you’ll probably agree that it’s a spectacular sight, to say the least.
It’s not hard to see the appeal of these massive, majestic mammals. Nor is it surprising that the Big Five are at the top of most visitors’ agendas.
Did you know that the Kruger is home to more than 147 mammal species, some 507 bird species, as well as many different amphibian and fish species? The park also boasts an impressive variety of indigenous plants for nature lovers to enjoy. Spanning across two million hectares, there are a lot of rare animals in Kruger National Park.
Rare animals in Kruger National Park are abundant. It was no easy task to choose just five rare animals to include in this article.
These are just a few of the rare animals you’ll want to be on the lookout for in the Kruger National Park:
The aardwolf, with its golden yellow coat, black stripes, and black dipped tail, looks like a small hyena. And it is, in fact, a species of hyena. Unlike its relatives, the aardwolf’s teeth are not designed for ripping and chewing meat. Instead, its teeth are uniquely evolved for its equally unique diet, consisting mostly of termites.
The aardwolf is a rare nocturnal find in the Kruger, only found in areas where termites are available for them to feed on.
With a population number of only 5000, spotting the critically endangered black rhino in the wild is incredibly rare. Their poor vision would be a great disadvantage if not for their ultra sensitive sense of smell and hearing. They also happen to be the quickest of all the rhino species. Running as fast as 55 km per hour! Count yourself lucky if you do happen upon these magnificent animals.
If you hope to see a black rhino in its natural habitat, why not consider a trip to the Kruger National Park or surrounding nature reserves? For a truly authentic safari experience, we recommend booking accommodation either inside or close to the park.
The roan antelope is the second largest antelope in Africa, with bulls growing as tall as 1.5 m and tipping the scales at between 270 and 300 kg. They have a fawn coat and dark brown to black legs. Other identifying features are their long pointed ears, ringed horns, and striking white patches along their muzzle and eyes.
With a tiny population of about 70 inhabiting the Kruger National Park, roan antelope are not easy to find. But not impossible. They are typically seen in the Babalala region and Mopani Rest Camp.
Pangolins are at the top of the world’s critically endangered species. In fact, they are so elusive that many rangers and tour guides have retired without a single sighting. The pangolin is targeted by poachers for its meat, which is used in traditional medicines in Vietnam and China. The illegal trade market has led to pangolins being the most hunted animal worldwide.
Seeing one of these strange scaly animals is no doubt a once in a lifetime experience. While the odds of spotting a pangolin are almost nonexistent, your best bets would be Namibia’s Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park.
Like their name suggests, honey badgers love honey, and are happy climbing up trees or fighting swarms of angry bees to enjoy the sweet treat. They are known for fighting cobras, lions, and other bigger creatures. Arrows and spears bounce off their thick skin, and their loose skin helps them slip out of predators’ grip with ease. They have earned their reputation for being fierce and fearless.
Seeing one in action would be something you’ll never forget. The Orpen, Satara, and Tamboti rest camps in the Kruger National Park are great places for spotting honey badgers.
We’re sure you’re excited to see these amazing rare animals in the Kruger National Park, but to ensure that you enjoy your trip as much as possible, you need to be prepared. You can prepare for a holiday to the Kruger by packing a few essentials. Read our blog post “What You Need to Pack for Kruger National Park Game Drives” to find out which items you absolutely need to bring.