• Birds and Mammals of Namibia.
  • 5th - 17th July 2018

  • Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) in the Cape Cross fur seal colony.
    Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) in the Cape Cross Brown Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) colony

    On arriving in Namibia I headed straight for the famous Skeleton Coast... which proved to be a big mistake! Gale force winds were whipping up devastating sandstorms and making photography and any kind of wildlife watching pretty much impossible. Not a great start.

    I avoided the big dunes of Walvis Bay, instead making my way north up the coast to Cape Cross where I slept inside the 4x4 rather than risk the tent on the roof. Then at first light I packed up and after a brief visit to the Cape Fur Seal colony headed inland away from the blasting sand storms to the Erongo Mountains.


    Having had a superb couple of weeks in South Africa, my first few days in Namibia were rather disappointing; with atrocious weather, poor roads and little in the way of mammals. The mountains did however have nice birds including three species of hornbill as well as lovebirds, parrots and bee-eaters.
    Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas) in the Erongo Mountains rosy-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis) in the erongo mountains swallow-tailed bee-eater (Merops hirundineus) in the Erongo Mountains
    Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill (Tockus leucomelas)
    Rosy-faced Lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis)
    Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus)

    Bushfeld Elephant-shrew (Elephantulus intufi) hiding under a bush
    Bushfeld Elephant-shrew (Elephantulus intufi)

    My main target in Namibia was Etosha National Park in the Kalahari, but I stopped for a couple of nights on the way at Toko Lodge which was again a bit disappointing with the exception of a superb little Bushveld Elephant Shrew. Etosha however was a completely different matter… a huge, dry, dusty national park teeming with mammal life.


    Etosha has a reputation as one of Africa's best national parks, and with good reason. There were lions and hyenas confronting each other over the latest kill, rhinos noisily courting in the thorn scrub, honey badgers raiding camp rubbish bins and countless antelope crowding around the many waterholes.

    Pair of Black Rhinos (Diceros bicornis) courting
    Black Rhinos (Diceros bicornis) courting

    plains zebra (Equus quagga) rolling in the dust Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) raiding bins
    Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) dust-bathing
    Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis) raiding the bins

    Kirk’s Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii) in Etosha National Park Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) in Etosha National Park
    Kirk’s Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii)
    Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)


    Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) taking off
    Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) launching itself from its perch

    After Etosha I spent a couple of nights on the Waterberg Plateau where the highlight was the charming Kirk's Dik-diks. Overall Namibia was rather a disappointment, not helped by my treatment at the hands of the Windhoek Camping Car Hire company. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my three days exploring Etosha National Park and in the end came away with some memorable photos.


    Mammal Species in Namibia


    Cape Cross and Erongo Mountains

    Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
    Cape Fur Seal (Arctocephalus pusillus)
    Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)

    Toko Lodge

    South African Oryx (Oryx gazelle)
    Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)
    Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)
    Greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
    Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatiles)
    Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
    Bushfeld Elephant-shrew (Elephantulus intufi)
    Congo Rope Squirrel (Funisciurus congicus)
    Aardvark (Orycteropus afer)
    Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata)
    Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
    African Wildcat (Felis lybica)

    Waterberg Plateau

    Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)
    Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)
    Eland (Tichodroma muraria)
    Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus)
    Impala (Aepyceros melampus)
    Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
    Kirk’s Dik-dik (Madoqua kirkii)
    Plains Zebra (Equus quagga)
    Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)
    Cape Ground Squirrel (Xerus inauris)
    Dassie Rat (Petromus typicus)
    Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)

    Etosha National Park

    South African Oryx (Oryx gazelle)
    Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)
    Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris)
    Greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
    Eland (Tichodroma muraria)
    Red hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus)
    Impala (Aepyceros melampus)
    Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus)
    Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)
    Plains Zebra (Equus quagga)
    African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
    Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
    Cape Ground Squirrel (Xerus inauris)
    Smith's Bush Squirrel (Paraxerus cepapi)
    Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)
    Lion (Panthera leo)
    Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta)
    Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas)
    Bat-eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis)
    Honey Badger (Mellivora capensis)


    Animals crowding around  a waterhole in Etosha National Park
    Plains Zebra, Greater Kudu, Springbok and Giraffe crowding around an Etosha waterhole