“ Stations, Thukwi den site active…“
The call came over the radio during an afternoon drive in Madikwe last Friday afternoon.
I looked at Grant, one of “Madikwe’s finest guides“, and asked him “What the heck is a Thukwi?”
During my last 12 years of visiting the reserve I have come to know the Tswana names of most of the animals that inhabit the reserve, but had never heard this been called in. Clearly, Grant hadn’t either. His reply: “No idea!“ We were in the vicinity of the area where this mysterious animal had been spotted, so Grant immediately got on the radio and politely asked what the animal was that had been spotted.
“Aardwolf “ came the reply!
We had both never seen an Aardwolf in the reserve – literally many hundred game drives later, we were about to witness the sighting. It was still late afternoon and Aardwolf’s are strictly nocturnal, so we were not expecting too much action. But we were excited, even if it was to catch a glimpse of this extremely rare animal.
When we arrived, the Aardwolf was lying in it’s den with only its head exposed. We clicked away, a head shot was better than nothing.
The sun was now starting to drop, the winter light was exquisite.
A rich golden colour illuminated the surrounding bush.
Then magic happened!
The animal started to groom, got up and walked out of the den site towards us into this magnificent light.
I have seen Aardwolf once before – in my car headlights – so this was the first time that I was able to photograph this beautiful creature. Never in my wildest dream would I ever have expected to be able to take images in such spectacular light.
They normally make use of the same den site for extended periods, so if you are ever in Madikwe – northern fence line near Tholo dam.
We know exactly where they are!