Friday, 1 April 2016

A IS FOR AARDVARK - A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 1 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge. My theme is:


'Wildlife Encounters'


‘Welcome!’ Volker smiled, flashing a commotion of teeth. ‘I will bring coffee and chocolate cake. Yes? Then we will go on a game drive.’

In fading light we bounced along in Volker’s elderly four wheel drive, while stomachs replete with homemade chocolate cake were whipped to an uncomfortable frenzy.

Our informative guide chatted about the antelope he raised on this Namibian farm. His enthusiasm for the wildlife that shared his land -  including leopards - shone. He was prepared to lose a percentage of his stock if it meant his farm served as a refuge for the magnificent cats. 

Dusk was upon us as we crossed a dry river bed. Volker exclaimed and braked, pointing excitedly. In the gathering darkness an aardvark was ambling along. Our host leapt from the vehicle, beckoning urgently to us. We followed at a run, half crouched (for some reason) after the aardvark. 

All I could think was: 
I’m following an aardvark on foot at prime leopard-hunting time.

We caught up with the beastie, approaching close enough to observe its long, powerful claws as it rootled in the undergrowth. Utterly delighted, I forgot about prowling leopards.





The nocturnal aardvark is notoriously difficult to see in the wild and this sighting exceeded our expectations. My only regret was my failure to capture a clear photo because I didn’t want to startle it with my flash!

See you tomorrow - can you guess where and what the next animal will be? 




43 comments:

  1. Oooo...this is very fascinating. I look forward to being part of your 'wildlife adventures' ... if only it's virtually.

    Aneeta from
    How to Tell a Great Story

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    1. Thanks, Aneeta - I'm off to look at your blog!

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  2. I'll be following along on your adventure.

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    1. Thanks so much, Mildred. I hope you - and everyone else - will enjoy the journey.

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  3. Very cool! How neat to see the real deal in the wild! I'm a visiting minion with the Joyful Brigade. Have fun!

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    1. Hi Bish, yes, there's nothing like seeing animals in the wild - even if that means you don't always get a great photo!

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  4. What an interesting theme! I've never experienced anything similar though... will follow :) The Truck Traveller

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    1. Thanks for popping in after I left a comment on your blog, Zeljka. I think I'm going to enjoy doing this Challenge more than I realised and I shall look forward to your post tomorrow!

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  5. This should be fun! Not sure how safe it is to forget about prowling leopards, however! :)

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    1. Thanks, Silver Fox. The trick is to be sure that you can run the faster than at least one of your companions!

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  6. This looks really interesting especially as I'm taking an off-road trip shortly which will take me through Namibia. As for an animal beginning with B, how about a badger? Perhaps not!

    Keith's Tiny Tales! My obscure word today is absquatulate

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    1. Hi Keith, you're sure to love Namibia - it's a magical country. As for badger... why not? But you'll have to check in tomorrow to find out if you're right. :)

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  7. Well, somebody guessed right! :) I shall toss in buffalo. (or beetle :) One extreme to the other!)

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    1. Hi Jo, yes one of you guessed correctly. You'll find out tomorrow if you're right about buffalo or beetle. :)

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  8. I always wanted to see one of those in person in the wild ... but from a safe distance! :-)

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  9. Hi Roland - thanks for dropping in. Don't worry, aardvarks aren't likely to attack. You're going to see some far more potentially dangerous creatures during this challenge if you follow my blog.

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  10. I think aardvarks are adorable. Hmmm...adorable aardvarks. Yes, it works. I'd love a personal enemy of ants and termites.

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  11. Hi Deb, thanks for visiting. Adorable aardvarks works fine!

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  12. Deb, I couldn't find your blog via your Google+ page. Have you got a link you can post?

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  13. Good start Susan - though I thought my eyesight had gone until you explained about the photo!

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  14. Ha ha - yes sorry about the quality of the aardvark pics. I promise these are the worst quality photos I'll be posting - but having actually seen an aardvark in the wild, how could I not start the A-Z Challenge with him? :)

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  15. I think I would have been with you in wondering if the leopards were hungry at the time. B is for bee?

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    1. Hi Sue - sometimes you just have to place your trust in the locals! B for bee sounds lovely...

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  16. Wow! And way cool. You're post is great.

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    1. Hi and thanks, Teresa - welcome to my blog.

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  17. Oh, Susan, what a wonderful thing to be so close to an Aardvark! I do envy you. Wish I could see the pictures more easily, but a flash would have been a terrible thing to use. I have a Sony camera (Nex?) that uses some new technology, and means I don't need a flash even indoors and in low lighting it's fabulous.

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    1. Oooh, forgot to say... http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com !!

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    2. Hi Liz - no, flash wasn't an option and I had no time to set up a shot. Not always getting the shot comes with the territory and something I've learned to accept when I'm 'wildlife spotting'.

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  19. Aha... I was right! (Well, sort of...) Aardvark it is. OK... tomorrow will be baboon! I'm wondering... will L be for leopard? ;-)
    AJ at Ouch My Back Hurts

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  20. Yep, aardvark, not anaconda. You'll find out tomorrow if you're right about baboon. As for L for leopard... getting ahead of yourself! :)

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    1. Must be... one of my many irritations!! :D

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  21. What a great experience. I love adventure travel although have not done nearly as much as I would like. Looking forward to seeing what other animals you highlight.

    @WeekendsInMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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    1. Thanks, Karen. I too love exploring this extraordinary world we live in. I hope you enjoy the rest of the posts this month.

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  22. Seeing any creature in its natural habitat is always a wonderful experience and that you were able to get close enough and for it to stay long enough to even get one photo is awesome :) Will enjoy following along on your adventures - will B be a Bushbaby I wonder?
    Pempi
    A Stormy’s Sidekick
    Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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    1. Hi Pempi, I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Yes, aardvark has been on my wish list and I never thought I'd actually see one! Bushbaby? You'll have to check in tomorrow. :)

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  23. Amazing - I would have been too focussed on the Leopard to get in the 4x4 never mind get out to see the Aardvark. I admire your bravery.

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    1. Hi Ros, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do! :)

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  24. I wish I could see the aardvark but this is such a wonderful story about your travels to this man's park and how he is trying to save the big cats

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    1. Hi Birgit, thanks for visiting! The lovely thing is - Volker was as excited by the aardvark sighting as we were. :)

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  25. A night vision lens would have been useful, but on the other hand your photos do show how difficult it is to see nocturnal creatures.

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    1. True enough, Linda. This demonstrates the reality of seeing wildlife in the real world.

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