Wildlife in Namibia

Wildlife in Namibia: What to expect

Unlike any other country in Africa, Namibia has an ever-changing and spectacular diversity of landscapes that are abundant with wildlife, even the desert.

When it comes to wildlife in Namibia, you’re spoilt for choice.

There is a huge population of Oryx, perhaps the most handsome of antelope species in Africa with iconic ribbed horns, tan skin and stripes on its face and legs. This antelope has adapted well to Namibia’s harsh conditions and solidified its place as the country’s national animal. They can be seen all over the country – but nothing beats seeing them running along the dunes of Sossusvlei as the sun rises in the background.

There are some 20 plus species of antelope you can spot, most common the Springbok and kudu and least likely – the endemic black-faced impala.

Elephants are iconic in Namibia, best found in Etosha. You can also spot them if you’re lucky in the desert regions of Damaraland and the Skeleton Coast National Park.

Namibia also has the largest population in southern Africa of cheetah not contained within national parks.

The country is also home to two of the four zebra species of Africa – the Burchell’s and Hartmann’s Zebra. You can find them in Etosha National Park and the Namib-Naukluft National Park (Sossusvlei region).

Endangered species can also be found in Namibia’s Etosha National Park namely the black rhino, lion and wild dog. While Etosha has the largest population of lions, there are smaller populations in the Caprivi and Skeleton Coast National Park.

The ‘Big Five’

The Big Five can be found in Namibia, but you will need to move around. So we’ve mentioned the lion, rhino and elephant already. But the Cape buffalo is a little more tricky. They can be found in the Caprivi Strip, far north-eastern corner of the country.  Leopard are of course elusive and nocturnal making it difficult to spot.

Other wildlife

Don’t expect to see hippo unless you’re in the Caprivi Strip because there’s just no water sources elsewhere adequate for their survival.

What you will see is giraffe in Etosha and further afield. This animal has long had cultural significance for the region’s indigenous communities and are of ceremonial importance as well. Numbers were at their lowest in the mid 1990s, but significant conservation efforts have seen an increase in their numbers and range across Namibia.

There are hyenas in Namibia, both the spotted and brown species. They can be found in Etosha National Park and the Caprivi Strip plus smaller populations in other areas.

Unique and different

Namibia is also home to a wild horse species that roams the arid plains of the Namib Desert, particularly around the Garub waterhole in Namib-Naukluft National Park.

There’s a marine animal you’re guaranteed to see if you spend any time on Namibia’s coast – and it’s the Cape fur seal. They can be found in abundance near Swakopmund and Skeleton Coast National Park.

Birders will enjoy trying to spot over 630 species, 11 of which are endemic to Namibia.

If these wildlife species of Namibia impress you and you’re dreaming of a holiday in Namibia we’d love to help. Please do reach out via telephone or email.
Onguma lions Etosha namibia Danica Wilson
desert rhino damaraland
seals Skeleton Coast Namibia DW
Wildlife in Namibia Etosha Waterhole
ostrich namibia dw
wildebeest Etosha wildlife in namibia dw
zebra Etosha wildlife in namibia dw
giraffe Etosha namibia DW
jackal Etosha namibia DW
elephants Wildlife in Namibia Etosha Waterhole
Wildlife in Namibia by DANICA WILSON