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Aardvark
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Aardvark

Where to see Aardvark in Malawi

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush but sightings remain an elusive prize.


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Quick facts about Aardvark

Scientific name: Orycteropus afer Habitat: Grassland & woodland
IUCN status: Least Concern Adult weight: 60–80kg

The Aardvark is unique. Known variously as ‘anteater’, ‘ant-bear’ and ‘ant-pig’ (the latter being the translation of its Afrikaans name), it is not related to these namesakes but belongs to an ancient order of mammals (Tubulidentata), whose closest living relatives are the diminutive elephant shrews. The confusion is understandable: seen above ground, an aardvark appears assembled from other creatures, with a stocky, pig-like body, an anteater’s snout, a kangaroo’s tail and a rabbit’s long ears.

Entirely nocturnal, it inhabits open country, where it lives in burrows by day and emerges after dark to forage alone for ants and termites, using spade-like claws to break into termite mounds and licking up the occupants with its long, sticky tongue. Females give birth to their single cub underground.


50,000

Insects consumed nightly

13 metres

Max. burrow length

30cm

Length of tongue

7 months

Gestation period

The top camps for seeing aardvark in Malawi

Based on 0 reports by our travellers since Jan 2000, visitors at these camps in Malawi have the best chances of sighting aardvark.


Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for aardvark

% of travellers who saw aardvark

Top 10 camps for aardvark

% of travellers who saw aardvark

Where to see aardvarks in Africa

Aardvarks occur in almost all Africa’s parks and reserves, but you’ll need serious luck to see one. Your only realistic chance is on a night drive – ideally in open terrain and during the southern African winter.


Top tips for viewing aardvarks

Aardvarks are widespread but shy. Their presence is often evident from their burrows, and their diggings around termite mounds. Look out, too, for their distinctive three-toed tracks. To stand any chance of seeing the animal itself, you’ll need to take a night drive. If you get lucky, stay quiet: aardvarks have acute smell and hearing and are quick to bolt for their burrows.

Certain locations are renowned for sightings – notably the semi-arid regions of southern Africa, including South Africa’s Karoo and southern Kalahari, Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans and Namibia’s Damaraland.

The cooler, dry-season months are most productive. Even if you don’t find an aardvark, keep an eye on their disused burrows, which may house anything from pythons and porcupines to warthogs and wild cats.

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Our best Malawi holidays for aardvark sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Malawi safaris are likely to give the best aardvark sightings


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Hyena Safari

11 days • 4 locations
VICTORIA FALLS AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Mix relaxation and adventure on a safari combining the South Luangwa with Victoria Falls and the beaches of Lake Malawi. These three locations are among the most iconic in southern Africa.

US$6,580 - US$8,420 per person

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Utaka Cichlid Safari

10 days • 3 locations
BLANTYRE AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Explore two of Malawi's safari parks - Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park - before finishing your trip with some beach time relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$3,730 - US$4,240 per person

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Orange Cap Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations
LILONGWE AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Combine a safari in the lush and resurgent Liwonde National Park with down time at an island eco-retreat in the middle of Lake Malawi. A great way to explore Malawi.

US$3,860 - US$4,360 per person

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Red Zebra Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations
BLANTYRE AIRPORT TO LILONGWE AIRPORT

Explore two of Malawi's highlights with a safari in rugged, remote Majete Wildlife Reserve before some beach time relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$3,350 - US$4,200 per person

View all holidays to Malawi

More information about aardvark in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about aardvark in other countries, including the places for sighting aardvark.


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