wildlife of Namibia
Introduction: There are 5 species of rhinoceros, 2 of them, the black (Diceros bicornis) and the white (Ceratotherium simum) live in Africa, although they are almost the same bluish-grey colour. They are sometimes known as hook-lipped for the black and square-lipped or wide for the white.
The rhino is a huge animal that ranks as one of the largest land creatures. It has an immense, solid body, and short, stocky legs. Its thick skin appears to lie in folds but is actually just creased at the joints. Most species have little hair and they have 2 slightly curving horns that project from its long nose. The horns continue to grow throughout the life of the rhino and it consists of a fibre-like material similar to a mixture of hair and fingernails. It appears to be permanently joined to its nose but can be torn out during fighting. The name rhinoceros comes from 2 Greek words and means nose-horned.
The animal has 3 toes on each foot. Each toe ends in a separate hoof and on each front foot is a fourth toe that is rudimentary, or no longer used. The rhino differs from the hippopotamus, which has 4 developed toes. The hippo is a relative of the hog, camel and cow, whilst the rhino is more nearly related to the horse.
The black rhino lives in thorny bushland. Depending on the rains, these lands can be dry and barren or wet and shrubby or grassy and feeds mostly in the cool morning and evening hours. These factors allow the black and not the white rhino, to be able to adapt to the desert. In the hot, dry season, it feeds at night and rests during the day. Although it appears clumsy, the black rhino can move swiftly.
Distribution: Both can be found in Namibia, especially Etosha National Park and the black rhino has also managed to adapt to regions of Kaokoland and Damaraland. Visitors to Namibia interested in a desert-adapted black rhino experience could stay at Palmwag Rhino Camp, a lodge that has a particular emphasis on both desert-adapted rhino and elephant.
Diet: The mouth of a rhinoceros is suited for the animal's food. It uses its pointed upper lip to grasp small branches. A typical rhino's diet includes grass, leafy twigs and shrubs. In captivity, hay and special protein and mineral biscuits are added.
Colouring: In overall colour they are dark grey, the under parts lighter grey. As with elephant and white rhinoceros, they tend to take the colour of the ground on which they live, through the habit of wallowing in mud and dust-bathing.
Breeding: They are known to drop calves at any time of the year and have no fixed breeding season. The gestation period is about 15 months and a single calf is born at a mass of about 40kg.
Size: Adults stand about 160cm at the shoulder and can weigh up to 1,000kg. The black rhino has a front horn that is sometimes as much as 107cm long. It uses this horn to defend itself and to dig. The rear horn may be the same length or shorter. The digging horn is so strong that the animal can easily uproot bushes and small trees with it. Then it feeds on the leaves and twigs.
A tented camp on the banks of the Kunene River close to Epupa Falls and Himba settlements
On the border between Kaokoland and Damaraland this fort was built at the same time as the fort of Namutoni in Etosha
On a hill above the Kunene river, the lodge has tremendous views of the surrounding area and looks towards the Epupa Falls
An excellent base from which to explore the Kaokoland area.
An excellent lodge in a remote location on the banks of the Kunene River, for those interesting in birding, relaxing or river rafting this lodge is an absolute must
In the village of Opuwo, this is a basic tented camp
One of the oldest lodges in the Kaokoland area, from here guest can visit Himba villages and other areas of interest in Kaokoland
Near the tiny settlement of Puros, this luxury lodge offers you the ability to search for the desert adapted elephants
On a hillside overlooking the Kunene River this small intimate camp offers accommodation for a maximum of 14 people.
A comfortable tented camp close to the Epupa falls
This is one of the newer lodges in Opuwo - it has beautiful views over Kaokoland -a real desert oasis
Up-market luxury safari camp on the Kunene River - only reachable by light aircraft