wildlife of Namibia
The bat is a mouse-like flying mammal. It belongs to the order Chiroptera which is Greek for 'hand wing'. It's forelimbs are modified to form wings, consisting of mainly elongated fingers between which the wing membrane, (a double layer of skin) is stretched.
Species can be found everywhere in Namibia from the Orange River into the Namib Desert (including Sossusvlei), the Kalahari Desert, Etosha National Park and as far north as the Zambezi Region (formerly the Caprivi Strip).
Bats are amazing animals. They can see, they're harmless, nocturnal and are the only mammals that can truly fly. Other types of mammals, such as flying lemurs, sugar gliders (marsupials commonly found in Australia) and flying squirrels, glide. African bats are not vampires nor do they transmit parasites to human beings.
There are approxiamately 900 species of bat worldwide, all with a unique lifestyle as different from each other as a cheetah from a leopard. They are divided into two sub-orders. Most of the species found in Namibia belong to:Microchiroptera (small bats or microbats)
- Aloe serotine bat (Neoromicia zuluensis)
- Angola free-tailed bat (Mops condylura)
- Angola winged bat (Myotis seabrai)
- Banana bat (Pipistrellus nanus)
- Butterfly bat (Chalinolobus variegatus)
- Cape serotine bat (Eptesicus capensis)
- Commerson's leaf-nosed bat (Hipposidoros commersoni)
- Damara woolly bat (Kerivoula argentata)
- Darling's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus darlingi)
- Dent's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus denti)
- Egyptian free-tailed bat (Tadarida aegyptiaca)
- Egyptian slit-faced bat (Nycteris thebaica)
- Flat-headed free-tailed bat (Sauromys petrophilus)
- Geoffroy's horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus clivosus)
- Hairy slit-faced bat (Nycteris hispida)
- Lesser woolly bat (Kerivoula lanosa)
- Lesser yellow house bat (Scotophilus borbonicus)
- Little free-tailed bat (Tadarida pumila)
- Long-tailed serotine bat (Eptesicus hottentotus)
- Mauritian tomb bat (Taphozous mauritianus)
- Midas free-tailed bat (Mops midas)
- Namib long-eared bat (Laephotis namibensis)
- Pale free-tailed bat (Chaerephon chapini)
- Rendall's serotine bat (Eptesicus rendalli)
- Rüppells bat (Pipistrellus rueppellii)
- Rüppells horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus fumigatus)
- Rusty bat (Pipistrellus rusticus)
- Schlieffen's bat (Nycticeius schlieffenii)
- Schreibers's long-fingered bat (Miniopterus schreibersii)
- Sundevall's leaf-nosed bat (Hipposidoros caffer)
- Yellow house bat (Scotophilus dinganii)
- Angolan epauletted fruit bat (Epomophorus angolensis)
- Peter's epauletted fruit bat (Epomophorus crypturus)
- Straw-coloured fruit bat (Eidolon helvum)
Bats can be great to have around as they keep the bug and mosquito population down, but most people don't want them in the house making noise and excreting messes. The damage can be extensive. Getting rid of colonies of bats from houses and barns can be done by ultrasonic bat repelling devices. Another method would be to plug all the exit holes after the bats have entered for the night. Verandahs are popular night-time roosts. Bats can get confused, especially at dusk and if one does fly in to your house a compromise would be to open the doors and windows and chase it out with an open towel or something similar. They have a sophisticated echolocation system that will enable them to escape under its own steam. The bat sends out a call and then listens for the echo, from the time between when it sent out the call to when the echo arrives, it can work out how far away things are and so avoid them. Echolocation is used for both navigation and hunting prey.Some basic bat facts:
- The name of a male is referred to as simply a male
- The name of a female is referred to as simply a female
- A baby bat is called a pup
- The average size of a litter is just one
- The collective name for a group of bats is a colony
- During the day bats rest in a variety of roosting places
- Depending on the species, bats can be grey, brown, white or reddish brown.
- Some of the large megabats hang upside down from branches of trees in enormous numbers
- Bats are very sociable animals, and live in large colonies.
- Depending on the type of bat, their life span is between 4 and 30 years.
- Bats sleep upside down. They use their feet to grasp onto a twig or board, and when it is cold, they hang close together.
- Bats have teeth and chew their food. Seventy percent of all bats eat insects. One bat can eat more than a thousand insects in 1hr!
- To catch insects, bats use their wings.
In response to the early success of the Superman in action comics, Bob Kane of National Publications (later DC Comics) created the 'Bat-Man', a caped crusader, fighting crime whilst incorporating the imagery of a bat in order to frighten criminals. He wore a scallop-hem cape, a cowl covering most of the face featuring a pair of batlike ears, a stylized bat emblem on the chest, and the ever-present utility belt.
Batman was really Bruce Wayne, who lived in Wayne Manor. When he is needed, Gotham City police would activate a searchlight with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens called the Bat-Signal, which shines into the night sky, creating a bat-symbol on a passing cloud. On a clear night, Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon would call him on the Bat-Phone, situated in the study with an extension into the Batcave.
So off he would go in the Batmobile and more often that not, a battle of wits would ensue in a contest with his 'most implacable foe' - 'The Joker' - who represents everything Batman opposes. The Batman stories have been told in many forms over the years. To this day the master sleuth and scientist remains a popular rival to Superman - who of course wears his underpants over his tights!
A privately owned game farm, with a good variety of wildlife just a short distance south of Windhoek.
Newly built lodge in a small well stocked game reserve west of Windhoek
This lodge is very popular amongst those seeking leopard and cheetah viewing close to Windhoek. Regular feedings guarantee great sightings and photographic opportunities
A relaxing lodge in the Eros Mountains (named after a local fruit and not the goddess of love) around 30km north of the city
Opposite the Windhoek International Airport, close enough to be extremely convenient but far enough away that planes are not a distraction. Great for those arriving late or leaving early, as cuts out the 45km drive from Windhoek/
One of Namibia's most popular spas with the added bonus of top game viewing.
Between Windhoek and the International Airport lies this interesting cattle & game farm
family friendly, mid range lodge in rural location
a wildlife sanctuary offering quality accommodation in a tranquil environment
large lodge on a large well stocked game farm, lion feeding included
On a large private game farm close to the Windhoek International Airport, ideal for those not wanting to travel into Windhoek before or after their arrival in Namibia
Offering horse riding, spa treatments and two swimming pools, this is a good family lodge
Close to the B1 road around 30 kilometers south of the city this lodge offers a good one night stopover for wary travellers
a few kilometers east of Windhoek this lodge offers unsurpassed views of the city from a setting in the Auas Mountains
20km north of the city, this tented lodge offers a quality self catering experience surrounded by the veld and wildlife