Red Hartebeest (Alclaphus buselaphus) Identification: Dark reddish brown in colour, sloping back, long thin, black face. Horns are on a pedestal base and point backwards. Tummy and inside of thighs are cream in colour. There are dark areas stretching from the shoulders down to the hoofs. Lateral sides of front and hind limbs are mainly black. Size: Shoulder height +/-1,25m; weight 120 – 150kg. Habits: Group animals 20-300. Territorial, they have a gland just under the eye for marking of territories. Sense of smell and hearing very well developed. Graze during the day. They can run very fast. Calves start to graze at 2 weeks of age. Calving season – October and November. Distribution: Namibia, Botswana, Northern Cape and also a small part of Central Africa.
Yellow Mongoose (Cynictis penicillata) Identification: Yellow to yellow-grey in colour and has a bushy tail with a white end. Size: Weight 829-900 gram. Habits: Move around during the day, occasionally seen at night. Live in colonies of 10-50. Diet consists of ants, termites, small birds, grasshoppers, reptiles and seeds. Distribution: Namibia, Botswana and most parts of South Africa.
Suricate (Suricata suricatta) Identification: Siver-brown, broad head with short, pointed nose, thin sharp tail. Hindquarters better developed than forequarters. They all have dark patches around the eyes but the eyes are relatively small, the ears are small and dark and the front claws are well-developed for digging. Size: Length 50cm; weight 720-960gram. Habits: Day living and love sunbathing, always very alert. They dig their own holes, live in colonies of up to 20. diet consists of worms, lizards, eggs and small snakes. Distribution: South-West Angola and Southern Africa.
Springhare (Pedetes capensis) Identification: Short front legs and large, very strong hind legs. Long tail with a black distal half. Small, round head with big eyes and long thin ears (with rounded tips) looks a bit like a mini kangaroo, tail is a mechanism for balance. Size: Length 90cm; weight 3,1kg. Habits: Nocturnal. When chased they can jump up to 2m at a time. They live in groups and have no territorial behavior. They dig holes to live in and stay underground during rain and very cold nights. Diet consists mainly of grass and roots. Distribution: Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and eastern Africa.
Smith’s Red Rock Rabbit
Smith’s Red Rock Rabbit (Pronolagus rupestrus) Identification: Red brown in colour with black speckles. Darker spot on the back of the neck. Size: Length 40-45cm. Weight 1,3 – 2,05kg. Habits: Nocturnal. They eat grass and have 1-2 babies at a time. They live in rocky areas. Distribution: South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania.
Steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) Identification: Small, gracious antelope with thin legs. Reddish brown in colour. White underneath, nose is pointed, forehead has a dark Y-shape mark on it. Horns male. The tail is the same colour as the body. Size: Shoulder height 52cm. Weight 11-11,3kg. Habits: Solitary. Browse and graze at dusk and dawn. Territorial. They use their pre-orbital, hoof and throat glands for marking of territories. When in danger they hide motionless in the grass. Lambs are born throughout the year. Distribution: Southern Africa, Tanzania and adjacent coastal area.
Small-Spotted Genet (Genetta genetta) Identification: Short legs; long body. Tail has got white rings around and is the same length as the body plus the head. The body has a black dorsal stripe from behind the ears to the base of the tail. The background colour of the hair is white to yellow. Two distinct black stripes run from the inside of the ears down to the front of the shoulders. The spots on the rest of the body are arranged in rows from front to back. Front legs are very dark, eyes have a white spot underneath. Cheeks and chin are black. Size: Weight 1,6-2,6kg. Habits: Nocturnal. Mostly solitary, are good climbers but prefer walking on the ground. Diet consists of small rodents, reptiles, insects, birds and rabbits. Distribution: South of the Sahara, East Africa and Southern Africa (not in Central Africa).
Slender mongoose (Calerella sanguinea) Identification: Small, short legs, slender with a long, black tipped tail. Colour is reddish brown. Size: Weight 370-790 gram. Habits: Solitary or in groups, moves around during the day, in sunny, hot conditions. Diet consists of grasshoppers, termites, beetles and ants. Also lizards, mice, birds, wild fruit, snakes, frogs and worms. It can also climb trees. Distribution: Central, Eastern and most areas of South Africa.
Large Spotted Genet
Large Spotted Genet (Genetta tigrina) Identification: Short legs, long body, white rings around the tail with a black distal part. Chin is always white, limbs are light in colour. Size: Weight 1,4-2,3kg. Habits: Nocturnal. Live in holes in the ground and in trees. It can jump very far and are good climbers. Diet consists of rat, mice, beetles, grasshoppers and birds. Distribution: Eastern part of Southern Africa.
Ground Squirrel (Xerus inauris) Identification: Ground living, bushy tail is often jerked up towards the head. Cinnamon colour with lighter tummies. Typical white side stripes, they have got white rings around the eyes, they have no external ears. Size: Weight 500-800gram. Habits: Day living, live in colonies of up to 30. Love sunbathing and sand bathing, always alert, certain birds are part of their alarm system. Diet consists of leaves, grass, seeds, will occasionally eat insects. Distribution: Southern Africa.
Common Duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia) Identification: Grey white in colour. Tummy and inner sides of legs are white. On the forehead and nose is a black line. Rams have a tuft of hair between the horns. They have pre-orbital glands, foot glands and glands in the groin. Horns (males) and sometimes old females as well. Size: Shoulder height 50-52cm; weight 15-25kg. Habits: Mostly solitary, browse during dusk and dawn. When in danger they lie motionless in the grass and only run away when you get very near. They run very fast and are very strong. They also eat grass, roots and wild fruit. Lambs are born throughout the year. Distribution: Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
Cape Hare (Lepus capensis) Identification: Dark grey and yellow spotted in colour. Tummy is white, feet are yellow to white, ears are shorter than the scrub Hare, rounded with hair around the edges. Size: Length 49-65cm. Weight: 1,6-3,5kg. Habits: They love open areas. Also found in desert and semi-desert areas. Hides in the grass. Feed on grass. Nocturnal. They have 1-2 babies at a time. Distribution: Round the northern coast of Africa, East Africa, parts of Botswana, Mozambique and western parts of South Africa.
Gemsbok (Oryx gazella) Identification: Long straight horns in males and females. Light grey in colour with typical black markings and a black horse-like tail. Short black mane, black in colour continuing onto the tail. Black and white face markings. Lower parts of legs are white. Both sexes have horns. Size: Shoulder height +/- 1,2m. Weight 210 – 240kg. Habits: Grazers but browse occasionally. Love dry open areas (semi-desert). They also eat tsammas and roots. Calves are born throughout the year. They are very well adapted for hot conditions and have a well-developed cooling-off system for the blood going to the brain. Distribution: Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Western Zimbabwe and South Africa (Northern Cape).
Striped Polecat (Ictonyx striatus) Identification: Black body with four parallel white stripes, from the head to the base of the tail, is very distinct. Tail is white and the limbs black. When confronted they spray a foul smelling liquid from their anal glands. Size: eight 6-10kg. Habits: Solitary and nocturnal. Seek shelter in holes dug by other species. Aggressive but tame easily, in an emergency situation they pretend to be dead until the danger disappears. Diet consists of birds, mice, insects, spiders, scorpions and reptiles. Distribution: Whole of Africa south of the Sahara – except in the Tropical Forest in Western Africa.
Black Backed Jackal
Black Backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) Identification: Colour is rusty red with a dark brown and silver grey-saddle. The head is dog-like with a sharp nose and pointed ears. The lips and chest are white. Distal parts of limbs are lighter than the rest of the body. Size: Weight 7-8kg. Shoulder height 38cm. Habits: Day and night living, walk alone or in pairs or in groups of up to 30 especially when feeding. They have a good sense of smell, they always trot except when hunting when they usually walk slowly. They are shy and sly, both males and females protect their territory. Diet consists of carrion, rabbits, insects, reptiles, mice and snakes. They have a typical howl at night. Distribution: East Africa and southern Africa.
Caracal (Felis caracal) Identification: Colour is yellowish red and ears are pointed with tufts of black hair at the ends. Size: +/- 18kg in weight and +/- 45cm high. Habits: Nocturnal, solitary and prey on birds, small antelope (Duiker), reptiles, rabbits and springhare. Gives birth to a litter of 2-4. Distribution: Africa and parts of Europe – Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran.
Baboon (Papio ursinus) Identification: Dark brown, black face and hands. The proximal 1/3 of the long tail is carried upright and the distal 2/3 hangs down. The well developed calluses, under the tail, of female baboons are separated where as in males they are joined. Eyes situated very close together, baboons have a excellent eyesight. Size: Males 32kg, females 15kg. Habits: Group animals, up to 100. Home range 13-23km2. Well developed rank structure with larger males keeping watch. Sleep on cliffs or in high trees. They eat a wide variety of plants, insects and meat. Puberty 4-6 years. Gestation – 6 months, one baby born. Distribution: Southern Africa.
Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) Identification: Grey colour. Thin short legs. Mane in both sexes stretching from between the ears to the long tail. Mane and tail stand upright when scared. Tail has a tuft of black hair on the tip. They have elongated heads with protruding eyes and warts on the side of the face. Boars have two large pairs. Warthog have enormous canine teeth curling over the snout. Size: Weight 70-100kg. Shoulder height 70cm. Habits: Warthog are active during the day and hide in holes at night. They love rolling in mud. Move around in family groups of 5-10. Territories are marked with urine and the secretion of the gland just under the eye. They eat plants, grass, roots and wild fruit. Gestation: 165-175 days +/- 3 piglets born, puberty 18-19 months. Distribution: Western, central, eastern and southern Africa.
Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) Identification: Medium sized antelope, both sexes have horns. Smaller in female. Cinnamon colour on the back with a dark red brown band on the side. The tummy, inside of legs, buttocks and faces are white. Tip of the tail is black. There is a black line from the eye to the corner of the mouth. You also get black or white springbok. Size: Shoulder height 75cm; weight 37-41kg. Habits: Graze in groups. Territorial. They are very hardy and even do well in semi-desert areas. They also eat leaves. They groom themselves with their teeth and hind hooves. They can run up to 88km/h. When frightened – they give long high jumps, then change to a gallop before they trot away. When they run away the tail is curled up tightly against the back. Lambs are born mainly during summer. Distribution: Namibia, Botswana and the Northern Cape in South Africa.