​Wildlife & Animals – Namibia

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.

Because of the arid environment, wildlife numbers are relatively low in Namibia, but animals are easy to spot. All of the big predators are present, and cheetah is especially common throughout. Huge herds of animals, elephant in particular, can be seen in the Dry season at Etosha pan.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantCommon
GiraffeCommon
HippoOccasional
BuffaloVery Rare
ZebraCommon
White RhinoOccasional
Black RhinoOccasional
LionCommon
CheetahCommon
HyenaOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Damaraland is home to a healthy population of desert-adapted elephant, a smaller population of black rhino can be tracked in a similar environment. The secretive brown hyena is sometimes seen lurking around seal colonies on the coast. Other marine wildlife includes the rare heaviside's dolphin and migrating southern right whale.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Namibia is relatively dry throughout the year, but there are two rainy seasons. The little rains are from November to December and the main rainy season is from January to April. During the rains, vegetation grows throughout the region and wildlife tends to scatter and is harder to find. The end of the Dry season (July-October) is the best time to see animals at the waterholes. This coincides with the busiest tourist season.

Wildlife Rating

Recommended Wildlife Books

  • Wildlife of Namibia
    Useful coverage of Namibia’s mammals and other wildlife.

    Neil Macleod and Nikos Petrou
  • Stuarts' Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa
    Complete for Namibia and southern Africa. App available.

    Chris Stuart and Mathilde Stuart
  • The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals (2nd edition; book and app)
    Complete info for serious wildlife-lovers.

    Jonathan Kingdon
  • The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals
    Mammal behavior is the main focus of this superb guide.

    Richard D. Estes
  • Tracker Manual: A Practical Guide to Animal Tracking in Southern Africa
    Get to know the spoor of some more common animals.

    Alex van den Heever, Renias Mhlongo and Karel Benadie

Wildlife Photos

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Wildlife Photos

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