The African honey badger, (it’s other name is the ratel), has a reputation of being an extremely ferocious, tough and enduring fighter. There are therefore only a few predators brave enough to attack it, these being lions and pythons! Thick loose skin, which is extremely hard to penetrate, and very strong claws help the badger in defence.
Because of these evolutionary traits, the badgers are even able to hunt snakes to eat, including very poisonous ones like cobras. The badgers seem to be resistant or immune to venom.
The badgers are loosely related to wolverines, weasels and polecats. And, like polecats, they release an unpleasant odour as a defence mechanism.
You’ll know a badger when you see one because of it’s distinct colouring. The lower half of the badger’s body is black and the upper half is white on the head darkening to grey moving further along the body.
The badgers are mostly nocturnal and solitary animals and you’ll be very lucky to see one.
There are opportunities of driving around Kruger National Park at night on a sunset or night game drive, but there are certainly no guarantees of seeing a badger on one of these outings, even though they have quite a high population.
Without going on one of these tours, you’ll need to patrol the fence of your rest camp after dark in the hope that you’ll see one of these critters.
The badgers live in holes which they usually dig themselves, so if you see something that looks like a burrow, wait a minute to see if a badger emerges.
During nesting season, you’ll have amazing good fortune if you see a baby badger in the burrow.
If you are lucky enough to see a badger, listen out for any noises it makes. You might hear it growling, grunting or barking in a high-pitched tone.