Satara Summer 2021 – Squirrels, Rats and Bats

Bats and rodents are not everyone’s cup of tea, but in South Africa’s wild places they’re very much at home and a crucial component of the ecosystem. During our visit to the Kruger National Park in December 2021 we were lucky, though not all equally happy 😉 , to bump into a few of them in and around Satara Rest Camp.

The Red Veld Rat (aka Red Rock Rat) sauntered closer to Marilize while I was busy taking pictures of the Brown-backed Tree Frog one night.

We seem to be more forgiving of rodents that roam during the daylight, like these cute and cuddly Southern African Tree Squirrels.

Now Bats again are a different story. I’ve heard them being referred to as the “rats of the air”. If you could look past their appearance, often smelly colonies, and the fact that they are indeed carriers of some pretty serious diseases, they are actually a quite fascinating and diverse group of creatures!


27 thoughts on “Satara Summer 2021 – Squirrels, Rats and Bats

  1. wetanddustyroads

    Ek hou van die ou muisie (of is dit ‘n rot?) op jou foto … maar moet tog nie naby my verby skarrel nie, dan gil ek soos ‘n klein meisietjie 😉. Die eekhoring is mooi, maar ek’s bevrees die vlermuis moet verby hou! Al is ek so bang vir die ou klein diertjies, kan ek nie verby die feit kyk dat jou foto’s baie mooi is nie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aletta - nowathome

    Ek het baie lank terug eekhorinkies in die KNP gesien, hulle is baie oulik! Ek hou nie van rotte nie, maar die een wat jy afgeneem het lyk oulik. Ek was bevoorreg on ‘n vlêrmuis van naby te beskou en dis nou regtig ‘n ongelooflike dier!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SoyBend

    Beautiful little critters that provide food to bigger critters or, like bats, eat the tiniest critters. However, I was not too fond of the packrat that nested in my car engine and caused A LOT of damage when my dogs tried to catch it. Grrr.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea

    Bats eat mosquitos, so that’s a good thing. I’m not a fan of rats, although the one in your photo is quite cute. Squirrels are fun as long as they’re not trying to chew something you rather remained unchewed or stealing bird seed from a bird feeder. I know from personal experience years ago that the latter is something they’re amazingly adept at doing. We finally resorted to a baffle but periodically one would trying going up the pole just in case something had changed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mythbusta

    When I was younger, there were more bats on farms than today, and also less mosquitoes, but that may very well just be a perception. I never took a count as I’m no mosquito herdsman.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      I think you’d be 100% on target with your observation. As with so many other animals we are steadily diminishing the habitats even of bats and we’ll pay the price when the mosquitoes carry us away…


      1. mythbusta

        None of the newer buildings in my area are bat friendly, but rats thrive. No skinks, very few chameleons, very few birds, because everyone and her aunt has a cat. The rats are huge, as some are seemingly more than five inches long. There’s now owls, architects aren’t the smartest people. And the idiot superstitious neighbour killed the only mole snake, a beauty of almost six feet long. We have caracal and cobra, but they live up on the hill and get spotted & reported by joggers & hikers. Down here, where humans live, it is just alien to natural predators. And I object to mozzies in this suburb attacking me. The electric fan is going 24/7 to discourage them – and it works. The cats fear the rats.

        Liked by 1 person

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