Most of the Elusive Eleven are solitary creatures. And all are nocturnal. These are two of the primary reasons making them hard to find!
Scientific name: Orycteropus afer Distribution: Sub-Saharan Africa Habitat: Pretty much anywhere save swamp forest Diet: Insectivore
Aardvarks live in burrows. They can dig extremely quickly and will sometimes dig a burrow as a means of escape from a predator.
Scientific name: Proteles cristata Distribution: Southern and eastern Africa Habitat: Open plains and bushland Diet: Insectivore
Another name for the aardwolf is the termite-eating hyena, which is a helpfully descriptive name.
3. African civet
Scientific name: Civettictis civetta Distribution: Most of sub-Saharan Africa Habitat: Savannah and forest Diet: Omnivore
4. African wildcat
Scientific name: Felis lybica Distribution: Most of Africa as well as parts of the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East Habitat: Pretty much anywhere Diet: Carnivore
The African wildcat actually meows all of its life like a domesticated cat, but it doesn't direct its meows to humans but rather to the environment.
5. African bushpig
Scientific name: Potamochoerus larvatus Distribution: Eastern Africa and bits of southern and central Africa Habitat: Varies, but needs dense cover and water Diet: Omnivore
African bushpig piglets are absolutely adorable, having brown and yellowish stripes. These fade as they get older, and the animal gets darker in colour.
Bushpig vs warthog
Scientific name: Caracal caracal Distribution: Most of Africa save the Sahara and central rainforest Habitat: Savannah, semi-desert and some forests Diet: Carnivore
Caracals are related to other small cat species like cheetahs, which means they can't roar, but they can purr!
7. Honey badger (or ratel)
Scientific name: Mellivora capensis Distribution: Sub-Saharan Africa Habitat: Anywhere that isn't true desert Diet: Omnivore (but mostly carnivore) Active: Nocturnal (but diurnal during cold and dry months)
The honey badger only comes up to the knee of a grown man, but it should be treated with the respect and distance you'd give to a fully grown bull elephant!
Giant ground pangolin ( Smutsia gigantea ) in parts of central and west Africa Temminck's ground pangolin ( Smutsia temminckii ) in parts of north, east and southern Africa Long-tailed tree pangolin ( Phataginus tetradactyla ) in central Africa White-bellied tree pangolin ( Phataginus tricuspis ) in central Africa and coastal west Africa
All pangolins are covered almost entirely in scales except for their undersides. They curl up into a tight ball when threatened to the protect the vulnerable belly.
Cape porcupine ( Hystrix africaeaustralis ), which lives in southern Africa North African porcupine ( Hystrix cristata ), which lives in non-desert parts of North and East Africa African brush-tailed porcupine ( Atherurus africanus ), which lives in lowland rainforest in central and western Africa
Female porcupines deliver litters of one to four pups, and the pups' quills are soft when born. They then harden within two weeks. We know you wanted to know about that. 😉
10. Side-striped jackal
Scientific name: Canis adustus Distribution: Large parts of sub-Saharan Africa Habitat: Usually wooded areas with water Diet: Omnivore
Scientific name: Leptailurus serval Distribution: Most of sub-Saharan Africa Habitat: Predominantly savannah but also other areas with water Diet: Carnivore
It's believed that the white spots on a serval's ears play a role in communication.