We All Love An Aardvark On St Valentine’s Day

February 14th 2023  |   Miscellaneous, Unique Experiences  |  by   Richard Smith
We All Love An Aardvark On St Valentine’s Day

St Valentine’s Day – surely the day for rose petals spread across bedclothes, corny anonymous cards professing love, and an overpriced steak dinner for two. Not at Aardvark Safaris. It’s the day to declare our love for our namesake and share the story of how Adam Bannister at House In The Wild in the Masai Mara managed to take these wonderful photos.

The aardvark digs – Photo (c): Adam Bannister at House In The Wild

“Over the years I have seen plenty of aardvarks on hidden motion-triggered cameras, but somehow a sighting with my own eyes seems to have escaped me. That was until I got a phone call from a Naretoi Ranger to let me know that he had just seen a sub-adult aardvark digging up an ant’s nest about a mile from House In The Wild; in the middle of the day. I could barely believe my ears and asked him to take a picture with his cellphone. I was sure he had been mistaken. Aardvarks are nocturnal, secretive and damn near impossible to see in the Mara ecosystem – let alone at 1pm!

The aardvark sniffs – Photo (c): Adam Bannister at House In The Wild

“My phone beeped, and I opened the message. It seemed to take ages for the image to download. And then suddenly – there it was – the evidence – sure enough it was a young aardvark. I grabbed my camera bag, ran to the car and sped off towards where the ranger had told me to come. Five minutes later the ranger greeted me with a massive smile. He gestured to me to follow him in silence as we walked down in the direction of the river. After a short walk the bushes made way for a carpet of lush green grass. I was stunned.

The aardvark sniffs as it walks – Photo (c): Adam Bannister at House In The Wild

“The aardvark was directly in front of me, about 15 meters away and walking calmly across the short grass. He sniffed the ground and started to dig. I was in utter disbelief. Only after having watched him for about 15 minutes did I put down my camera bag to unzip it and take out a camera. It was the gentlest and most moving of sightings. We probably spent about 45 minutes with this remarkable animal. It grew in confidence, and I was able to lie down on the grass very close to where he fed. In all my years in the bush these are some of the most unexpected, and special, photographs I have ever taken.”

The aardvark heading off – Photo (c): Adam Bannister at House In The Wild

What next?
We would be delighted to help you plan a safari including a stay at House In The Wild. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and many have stayed in this fabulous Kenyan property. They can offer expert advice on combining a stay here with other safari areas or a beach visit.

Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.


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