When Is the Best Time to See a Panoglin in the Mara?

The Pangolin is one of Africa's rarest creatures, and there are guides who have worked in the game reserves for many years, having never been able to spot a shy and elusive animal in the flesh.

Yet fortune shone down on Mikey recently, when he found the scaly, long-nosed anteater on the side of the path in Sala's Camp. 

Maybe he was really lucky? Or perhaps he just knew when and where to look?

"The best time to see a pangolin is after heavy rains," said Mikey. "I think their burrows get flooded so they have to move around, and also they will go searching for flying termites after the rain, when the ground is soft."

Termites are the pangolin's primary source of food, and the insects will often come out of the ground when the soil is soft and moist. These are reproductive termites, and emerge from their nests with wings and fly off to mate. Some pangolins will wait at the entrance to their nests and pick off these honeymooning insects as they leave.

This pangolin was on the side of the path when Mikey walked past, and he managed to snap a few photos of the strange animal from above. In the picture below, the pangolin rolled up into a scaly ball to protect itself from the perceived threat.