When the Honey Badger calls…

When the Honey Badger calls…
When the Honey Badger calls…

There is just something about a Honey Badger. This is a creature that deserves every ounce of respect that they get and yet we love them and in many cases we see them as adorable. In fact, I have often pictured myself having one as a pet and I guess this is because of multiple encounters with them over the years in Kruger Park.


Honey badgers are the reason why with every trip to the park, we try and stay at either Orpen or Tamboti. Yes, a visit from these ingenious night creatures is a virtual guarantee at these two camps.


The very first time I saw a honey badger in the wild was on my husband and my first visit to Kruger as a married couple. We were driving in the area near the S39 and sightings had been particularly scarce since a fire had burnt away most of the vegetation. The ground was black and gray, when movement caught my eye. Yes, despite the destruction, a honey badger had managed to source food. Out of nothing it found something. A testament to its tenacity.


Our next encounter with Mr. Honey badger was at Tamboti Tented Camp a few years later. As a group of friends we were sitting around the fire when screams broke the silence of the night. We heard a woman yelling: ” Jou Vabond, dit is my peri-peri hoender!” (You thief, that is my peri-peri chicken!) Yes, the thieving Badger had stolen an entire chicken flatty off our neighbors braai! Later that night, cozy and tucked into our beds I heard the familiar claws scraping on the wooden deck. Then, I heard the most crazy thing. It sounded as if someone was sucking water out of a gym water bottle after a heavy cardio session. When we peered out the door, we saw that Mr. Badger was holding up my 5l bottle of bought water and he was sucking down with gusto! I am pretty sure it was the peri-peri that needed some cooling down!!!


One thing I’ve also noticed over the years is that these animals have a particular love for avocados. No matter where I have hidden them within the cupboards Orpen, they have found a way to get at my precious guacamole! With my own eyes I saw how one of these animals climbed to the top of the cupboards, leaned over, jiggled the latch until the bolt moved allowing the cupboard to open and “Badgy” helped herself to our precious green fruit! To save your food, keep it in the unit with you.


Those poor cleaning ladies, every single morning they have a job cleaning all of the bins that have been tipped over by greedy honey badgers. Go on, do these ladies a favor and empty your bin into the main rubbish bins before you go to bed.


In fact they will try and eat anything. My last encounter with a honey badger was also at Tamboti camp. Since all the plug points are in the kitchen area on the outside of the units, that is where you need to charge your camera batteries. Plugged securely into the socket was my camera battery. A honey badger managed to loosen it and tried take a bite out of the battery. Since battery wasn’t very good on the palate, he threw it down on the ground. Leaving my spare battery unusable. And making me realize that there is no way I would ever want to be bitten by those teeth.


Most of us regular visitors to the Kruger Park have a honey badger tale to tell. These creatures certainly add an extra dimension to every visit to the Park. Next time you are in Kruger, I hope you get to tell a story of when the Honey Badger Called!Honey Badger


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