Wildlife & Animals – Damaraland

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Damaraland is not a classic wildlife destination; wildlife is sparse and occurs mostly in northern Damaraland. The main attraction is the arid desert environment. Desert elephant and black rhino are the animals most people come to see, but other wildlife includes gemsbok, greater kudu, eland and springbok. Lion, leopard and cheetah are present but sightings are extremely rare. Giraffe and Hartmann’s mountain zebra are nomadic visitors to the area.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantOccasional
HippoNone
ZebraRare
LionVery Rare
LeopardVery Rare
CheetahVery Rare
HyenaVery Rare

Wildlife Highlights

The Save the Rhino Trust, in cooperation with Desert Rhino Camp, has set up a program for black rhino tracking. It’s a combination of off-road wildlife drive and a walk in the bush to get as close as possible to the critically endangered rhino. The tracking helps to protect the only truly free-roaming (outside National parks and reserves) black rhino, left in the world. Rare desert elephants are the other prime species, while a pride of desert-adapted lions is quite a prize if you see them. The rare, endemic black-faced impala and Damara dik-dik can also be found in the area.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Damaraland can be visited any time of the year, although the Dry season (May to October) is the most productive for wildlife watching. At this time animals tend to seek out limited water sources and can be more easily seen. During the Wet season (November to April), animals tend to scatter and become harder to locate.

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