5 Iconic Animals You Can Spot On a Namibian Safari
Namibia is one of Africa’s most famed and iconic safari destinations. From stunning coastlines through to its unique culture and spectacular national parks, there’s something for every visitor to enjoy.
Amongst Namibia’s biggest attractions is undoubtedly its wildlife. The former South African region is home to a plethora of fascinating and majestic animals, all of which must be admired up close to really appreciate their beauty. From cheetahs to seals, we explore the most iconic animals you can spot in Namibia today.
The South African Cheetah (aka The Namibian Cheetah)
We kick off this list by introducing one of Namibia’s most stunning animals: the South African Cheetah. Also known as the Namibian cheetah, this iconic wild cat is the fastest land animal on earth and can be identified by its distinct black spots, which differentiate it from other similar species.
Often found roaming in the Kalahari Basin, as well as the protected regions of and Bwabwata and Namib-Naukluft national parks, these wild cats have been historically hunted for their skin but today they enjoy ‘vulnerable’ status given there are only approximately 6,000-7,000 remaining on the continent.
Typically, female Namibian cheetahs lead a solitary life tending to their cubs whilst males are generally more sociable and can often be spotted roaming in groups.
African Bush Elephants
Namibia is renowned for its healthy and thriving elephant population so if you’re intent on admiring these huge mammals up close then you’ll be pressed to find a better place to see them on the entire continent.
Unlike Asian elephants, African bush elephants boast much bigger ears and these magnificent animals can even live up to 70 years! The best time to spot elephants in Namibia is in the dry winter months and they are most commonly found roaming Etosha National, which is situated in the north of the country, as well as in the Zambezi region.
Cape Fur Seals
Away from the mainland, head to Namibia’s Skeleton coast and you will encounter one of Africa’s largest seal colonies.
The cape fur seal, also known as the brown fur seal, are the only seals in the world that have external ears! Graceful in water, but famously clumsy on land, the Cape fur seal habitat is being hugely threatened by global warming but thankfully conservationists estimate that up to 2 million still live off the Namibian coast today.
If you’re a fan of scuba diving or snorkelling, be prepared to be accompanied by dozens of pinniped partners!
With close to 50,000 of these unique animals scattered across the continent, you should have no problems identifying the iconic spotted hyena on your trip to Namibia.
Often found prowling Etosha and Skelton Coast national park, the spotted hyena is the biggest of the hyena species and can be distinguished by its spotted coat and round ears. Often described as Africa’s most efficient large carnivore, the spotted hyena is a dedicated and unrelenting predator, able to chase down many animals, including zebras, before devouring them with their powerful jaws.
Social animals, with packs dominated by the females, hyenas are regarded as highly vocal animals so listen out for that iconic ‘whoop’ sound and keep your eyes peeled for what are known as ‘bush meringues’. Bush meringues are bone-whitened hyena droppings so if you notice some you can be sure that there are a pack of spotted hyenas close by!
No iconic African wildlife article would be complete without mentioning the king of the beasts: the African Lion. Often found in the woodlands of Etosha National Park, as well as Caprivi and Kaokoland, these fierce animals hunt across huge territories, sometimes roaming around areas of up to 400km2.
If you’re visiting Etosha National Park you can often find African lions around the Okondeka and Ombika waterholes; their large size makes them easy to recognise against the backdrop of the area’s sparse environment.
Generally speaking, most Namibian prides consist of 10 members: the alpha male, related females and their cubs.
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If reading this wildlife guide has inspired you to embark on once-in-a-lifetime trip to Namibia then get in touch with a member of our team today to organise your dream safari.
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