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A Report from

List of All Mammals and Reptiles seen in Southern Africa,

Jos Stratford

Not including the numerous rodents and other small mammals, a total of 75 species were recorded. The following list details all the sightings from Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. It will come as no surprise that the vast bulk of species were recorded only, or in their best numbers, in the major national parks, most notably in Etosha, the Kgalagadi, the Okavango, Kruger and Mkuzi.

Thick-tailed Bushbaby

South Africa. Predictably found only on night-drives: a pair were noted at Mkuzi and a single at Bonamanzi.

Thick-tailed Bushbaby

Botswana. An excellent spectacle, these tiny animals come to a feeding station every night at Nata Lodge. Three were seen together, darting from branch to branch and approaching to within a metre. 

Chacma Baboon

Namibia. Most common in central parts of Namibia. Troops numbering up to 40 animals were frequently seen on the roadside between Windhoek and Rehoboth, as well as twice near Okahandja and on single occasions near Tsumeb and on the road to the International Airport. In addition, about 35 were seen at Daan Viljoen on both visits, 30 at Mahango, at least 60 in the Caprivi Game Park and, on my last visit, four at Avis Dam. Does not occur at Etosha National Park.

South Africa. In Cape Province, a troop of 18 blocked the road near Cape Point and a similar number practised their thieving skills at the Cape of Good Hope. Animals in more remote areas included several troops of up to 30 at Pakhuis Pass, 12 at Augrabies and a single at De Hoop. In the east, Baboons were also fairly common in Kruger and Mkuzi, while another 30 were noted at Milwane and six at Sani Pass.

Botswana. Fairly common throughout Moremi and along the Boro, but otherwise the only sightings were in the Gaborone area, where 20 were noted on Kgale Hill and about ten along the Ngotwane River.

Vervet Monkey

Namibia. An inhabitant of the riverine woodlands of the far north, a single was seen by the River Zambezi at Katima Mamila and 35 were at Ruacana Falls (spending half their time thieving from the campsite!).

South Africa. Common in Kruger, especially in the riverine forests of the extreme north and south of the national park. Also fairly common at Mkuzi, in the St Lucia area and in the campsite at Addo.

Botswana. Most records were in the Okavango area - fairly common in Moremi and along the Boro, about 15 at Shakawe and good numbers near Makwena. Elsewhere, 15 were noted along the Ngotwane River in Gaborone and five in the woodland at Nata.

Samango Monkey

South Africa. This localised monkey was only noted at Cape Vidal, where common in the forests throughout the area, including around the campsite.

Mozambique. One was noted on Gorongosa Mountain and two at Rio Savane.

Cape Hare

Namibia. The only two seen were at Sossusvlei.

South Africa. Difficult to separate from Scrub Hare, but tending to prefer more arid areas. The only animals thought to be of this species were three at Brandvlei and two at Karoo National Parks.

Scrub Hare

Namibia. One was flushed from cover at Mahango National Park.

South Africa. Confirmed Scrub Hares were noted at Pakhuis Pass (about four) and Mkuzi (three), while at least five per day at De Hoop and two near the Doring River were probably of this species.

Red Rock Rabbit

South Africa. This rare animal was noted twice at Pakhuis Pass - one at night and another during the day.


Botswana. Spotlighting at night in the area around Island Safari Camp (Maun) produced two Springhares.

Sloggart's Rat

South Africa. Technically in Lesotho rather than South Africa, three of these rather nice rodents were noted in the vicinity of Sani Top Lodge.

Ground Squirrel

Namibia. Very common in western parts of Etosha, including Okaukuejo Camp, where they steal from tents! Also several seen at Sossusvlei and at least ten in the desert between Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay.

South Africa. As well as about eight at Augrabies, Ground Squirrels were also common in the South African part of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Botswana. Frequently seen across the whole of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, but especially common on the pans at Mabuasehube.

Tree Squirrel

Namibia. In the Caprivi Strip, a single was noted at Rundu and about five a day at Katima Mamila

South Africa. Best numbers were at Kruger, where common in the riverine woodlands and in some of the camps. Several were also noted at Mkuzi.

Botswana. Common throughout the Okavango Delta, including Moremi, Boro and Shakawe. Singles were also seen on Kgale Hill and along the Ngotwane River in Gaborone.

Mozambique. On the Inhambane peninsula, two were seen at both Tofo Beach and Barra.

Striped Tree Squirrel

Namibia. At Ruacana Falls, at least 15 Striped Tree Squirrels inhabited the riverside trees.

Red Tree Squirrel

South Africa. In the coastal lowland forests, several were noted at both St Lucia and Cape Vidal.

Mozambique. Two were found on Benguera Island.

Grey Squirrel

South Africa. An introduced species, fairly common in Cape Town suburbs, including Gardens, Constantia and Kirstenbosch.

Spotted Hyena

Namibia. At Etosha, two pairs were seen at Okerfontain, another near Goas and singles at Halali waterhole (at night), near Halali and at Chudop. In addition, several were calling during the night at Namutoni.

South Africa. All Spotted Hyenas seen were in Kruger National Park. As well as a single that patrolled the camp boundary during the night at Letaba and another two doing the same at Satara, one was also seen early in the morning near Crocodile Bridge.

Botswana. Only two sightings - one raiding the camp at night at Xakanaxa and, nearby, another lying in a waterhole in the hot of the afternoon.

Brown Hyena

Botswana. A Christmas present! The very first animal on Christmas morning, one very obliging Brown Hyena came right into our camp at Bosobogola Pan in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park!


Namibia. Impressive numbers at Etosha. A pride of two males, three females and six immatures were seen on consecutive days at Okondeka waterhole. Elsewhere, a male visited Okaukuejo waterhole at night, a male and five females were found at dawn near Batia and, most spectacular, a pride consisting a male and ten females brought down a Zebra just metres from Namutoni Camp.

South Africa. As well as prides in the Nossob Valley (see Botswana), good numbers were also seen in Kruger National Park - two females near the Olifants River, a female and six young of assorted ages at Satara, three females at Lugmag Dam, two males near Crocodile Bridge and a last female near Bergendal.

Botswana. Recorded at both the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and in the Okavango Delta. In the former, two small prides were found in the Nossob Valley -a male and two females, then a male, two females and three cubs (the latter pride were very vocal at night and entered our bush camp!). In the Okavango, as well as the evocative roaring each night, three females were also seen along the Maunachira and another female somewhere along the Boro (seen from the air!).


South Africa. One of the highlights of Kruger, a Leopard was found early one morning along the Letaba River, moments after leaving the adjacent camp. 

Botswana. No sightings, but one was calling at night somewhere near my tent at Makwena.

African Wild Cat

South Africa. Recorded in the Nossob Valley on both sides of the border, see Botswana for details.

Botswana. A remarkable six were seen in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - five in the Nossob Valley (all during the day, except one) and a further single wandering through a patch of flowers at Mabuasehube.

Bat-eared Fox

Namibia. At Etosha, a pair cavorted on the plains north of Okaukuejo, near Leeubron.

South Africa. In the Karoo National Park, a night-drive produced a pair and five cubs playing near the track. Otherwise, the only records were a couple of road casualties near Pakhuis Pass and in Bushmanland.

Botswana. Only seen in the Kgalagadi National Park, but common there - a single in the Nossob Valley, then eight families with cubs on the pans at Mabuasehube (emerging to play each evening).

Cape Fox

South Africa. Recorded only in the Nossob Valley (see Botswana).

Botswana. Two singles, one each side of the international border, were seen in the Nossob Valley - the first in the late evening and the second in the morning.

Black-backed Jackal

Namibia. About ten were seen per day throughout Etosha, otherwise the only animals were a family at Sossusvlei and pairs at Cape Cross and Walvis Bay.

South Africa. Though not seen at Kruger, one was seen at Malalotja in Swaziland, four at Addo and one on the night-drive at Karoo National Park. 

Botswana. Rather surprisingly, only six Black-backed Jackals were seen - one in Moremi, three on the dry lakebed at Ngami and another two just north of there.

Spot-breasted Otter

Botswana. All giving rather brief views, at least three of these small otters were seen on the boat journey up the Maunachira River in the Okavango.

Honey Badger

South Africa. In the south of Kruger, a single Honey Badger was noted at dawn near Crocodile Bridge.

Botswana. The only record was a single individual digging holes in the former lakebed at Lake Ngami.

Large-spotted Genet

South Africa. The rewards of night-drives, four were seen at Mkuzi and a single at Bonamanzi.


South Africa. Three were noted in the agricultural fields at Wakkerstroom.

Botswana. At least ten were seen on the open pans at Mabuasehube in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Yellow Mongoose

Namibia. Two were seen on the Hoffmeyr Walk in Windhoek, 

South Africa. With the exception of several in the Nossob Valley, other records were singles - at Veldriff, Kirstenbosch, De Hoop, in the Overburg and at Bontebok N.P.

Botswana. In addition to four straddling the border in the Nossob Valley in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, one was also noted on Kgale Hill in Gaborone.

Slender Mongoose

Namibia. Two singles were seen near Okaukuejo in Etosha and one on both visits to Daan Viljoen.

South Africa. Just inside South Africa, a single was noted in the Nossob Valley in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. In addition, two were also seen at Milwane in Swaziland.

Botswana. The only record was a single on Kgale Hill in Gaborone.

Little Grey Mongoose

South Africa. A scatter or records, all in Cape Province - three in the Pakhuis Pass area, one near Lambert's Bay and another in Karoo National Park.

Banded Mongoose

Namibia. Only seen at Etosha - two at Okaukuejo and a family of seven at Namutoni Camp.

South Africa. In Kwazulu-Natal, two were noted at St Lucia and a pack of 16 in the campsite at Cape Vidal.

Dwarf Mongoose

South Africa. Though usually gregarious, the only sighting in South Africa was a single in northern Kruger.

Botswana. Both records in Moremi, a family of six were seen near South Gate and a pair at Dombo.

Rock Hyrax (Dassie)

Namibia. Common in many mountainous and rocky parts of the country, including throughout the Windhoek area (especially on the Hoffmeyr Walk), at Aus and in the Karasburg region.

South Africa. In Cape Province, Rock Hyraxes were common and widespread in rocky terrain. Localities included the Cape Town area and Cape Peninsula, Eland's Bay, Pakhuis Pass, Springbok, Augrabies and Swartberg Pass. In the east, limited by suitable habitat, the few records included two at Sani Pass and two at Malalotja in Swaziland.

Botswana. Only seen at Kgale Hill in Gaborone, where at least 30 were present. 

African Elephant

Namibia. Etosha's population stands at about 1500 animals, thus they are commonly seen. The best places were Okaukuejo (frequent herds of up to 30), Goas (about 40), Halali (up to 15 throughout the night) and Kalkheuwel (about 25). Away from Etosha, a herd of 15 were also seen in the Caprivi Game Park, a single at Mahango and several heard alongside the River Okavango at Ngepi during the night.

South Africa. Common throughout Kruger National Park, especially so in the Punda Maria area. Elsewhere, only seen at Addo, where a total of 84 were counted.

Botswana. Abundant in the Okavango Delta, seen frequently throughout both Moremi and along the Boro. Most sightings were of lone individuals or small herds, but a single movement of about 50 was noted near the Kwai River.

White Rhinoceros

South Africa. Good numbers seen in the south of Kruger - three at Shimangwani Dam, one at Lugmag Dam, two singles and a female with calf near Crocodile Bridge and a further single near Bergendal. A total of five were also seen at Mkuzi, including another female and calf.

Black Rhinoceros

Namibia. Only seen during the night at the floodlit waterholes in Etosha - four each night at Okaukuejo Camp and a single at Halali Camp.

South Africa. While White Rhinos were seen during the day, a highlight of the night-drive at Mkuzi was the finding of a female Black Rhino, along with her calf.


Namibia. Widespread in the northern rivers of Namibia. A single was noted on the River Cunene at Ruacana Falls, up to eight daily on the Zambezi at Katima Mamila and several herds along the Okavango between Popa Falls and Mahango, including up to 28 daily at Ngepi.

South Africa. Common in virtually all the major rivers and dams throughout Kruger National Park, as well as at Mkuzi and on the estuary at St Lucia. Five were also noted on the dam at Milwane in Swaziland.

Botswana. Abundant throughout the Okavango Delta, including Moremi, the Boro and in the Pan Handle. On the outskirts of the region, seven were also seen in the Boteti River and six at the Moshu wetlands.


Namibia. Common in the east of Etosha - pairs or families at Kalkheuwel, Chudop, Fischer's Pan, Namutoni Camp, etc. Elsewhere, ten were noted in Mahango and occasionals on the roadside in the Okahandja area and at Daan Viljoen.

South Africa. Good numbers were seen throughout Kruger National Park, Mkuzi and in the St Lucia area, with about ten also at Bonamanzi and Addo.

Botswana. In the Okavango Delta, Warthogs were common in the drier parts of Moremi and along the Boro.

Bush Pig

South Africa. A strictly nocturnal animal, the only sighting was one on a night-drive at Mkuzi.


Namibia. Approximately 2000 Giraffe inhabit Etosha and are commonly seen throughout the park. Otherwise, three were also seen at Daan Viljoen

South Africa. At Kruger, Giraffes were quite common throughout, though most abundant in the open woodlands of the far south. In addition, six were seen at Mkuzi and three at Bonamanzi.

Botswana. Fairly common in both Moremi and Boro in the Okavango Delta. One was also seen near Nata.

Burchell's Zebra

Namibia. With a population of about 6000, Burchell's Zebras are one of the most abundant animals at Etosha, seen in good numbers in all parts of the park.

South Africa. Recorded at many sites in the east of South Africa, though most common throughout Kruger and at Mkuzi. The Swaziland sites of Malalotja and Milwane supported good numbers too, as did Bonamanzi (about 35) and the St Lucia to Cape Vidal area (about 25).

Botswana. Widespread and fairly abundant in the Okavango Delta (Moremi and the Boro).

Cape Mountain Zebra

South Africa. Restricted to the southern part of Cape Province, this rare, highly localised animal is relatively easy to see at a number of its prime localities - a total of 11 were seen at De Hoop, four at Bontebok N.P., eight at Karoo N.P. and three in a reserve near Pakhuis Pass.

Hartmann's Mountain Zebra

Namibia. Conspecific with the Cape Mountain Zebra, this animal inhabits wild mountainous parts of the interior of Namibia. Best seen at Daan Viljoen, where 13 were noted on the first visit and six on the next.

Blue Wildebeest

Namibia. Etosha is the chief locality to see Blue Wildebeests - about 2600 occur in the park and are common throughout. Elsewhere, up to 30 were seen both visits to Daan Viljoen.

South Africa. As well as a few in the South African part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Blue Wildebeests were abundant at Kruger and Mkuzi. In addition, they were also common at Milwane in Swaziland and about 20 were noted at St Lucia.

Botswana. While common in the Nossob Valley in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, none were seen in either the duneveld or Mabuasehube. In the Okavango, occasional animals were seen throughout Moremi and along the Boro.

Black Wildebeest

South Africa. Not in South Africa itself, but Swaziland, two of these rare animals were seen at Malalotja.

Red Hartebeest

Namibia. The species was common throughout Etosha and was also noted at Daan Viljoen (eight on first visit, five on second).

South Africa. In addition to few in the Kgalagadi, about 30 were noted in Karoo National Park, nine at Addo and five in Bontebok National Park. Twelve were also seen at Malalotja in Swaziland.

Botswana. Only seen in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where scattered animals were noted the Nossob Valley and a single in the duneveld.


South Africa. Formally close to extinction, this endemic to the Cape is now abundant at both De Hoop and Bontebok N.P., additional to which five were also seen near the Cape of Good Hope.


South Africa. The eastern counterpart of Bontebok, this animal was only seen in Swaziland, where abundant at Malalotja and common at Milwane.


South Africa. Only recorded in Kruger National Park, but even there Tsessebe were rather patchy in their distribution, common in some areas, absent in many others.

Botswana. Not common, just occasional animals in Moremi and in the Boro concession.

Common Duiker

Namibia. A single animal was seen whilst transiting Caprivi Game Park.

South Africa. As well as four at Mkuzi, six were also seen at Malalotja in Swaziland.

Botswana. One sighting only - a solitary animal just east of Mabuasehube.

Red Duiker

South Africa. An inhabitant of dense coastal forests, ten were seen at St Lucia, about five at Cape Vidal and at least ten at Bonamanzi.

Blue Duiker

South Africa. About eight were seen in the forest at Eshowe, including one very approachable animal.


Namibia. With 20,000 inhabiting Etosha, Springboks are the most abundant large animal in the reserve and large numbers were seen daily throughout the park. In addition, several were seen at Sossusvlei and at least 20 in the Solitaire region. Furthermore, two were at Daan Viljoen and small numbers were occasionally noted alongside roads, particularly in the Windhoek area and the south.

South Africa. Other than six on the Karoo side of Pakhuis Pass and occasionals in Bushmanland, only seen in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (where common on both sides of the border in the Nossob Valley) and in the Karoo National Park (about 45 recorded).

Botswana. In the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, many Springboks were seen in the Nossob Valley and about 30 at Mabuasehube. In addition, at least 45 were noted on the grasslands of Makgadikgadi at Nata.


Namibia. Three at Spitskoppe were the only ones seen in Namibia.

South Africa. This dainty rock-dwelling antelope was seen at a number of localities in South Africa - four at both Augrabies and Malalotja, pairs at Pakhuis Pass, Karoo National Park and Kruger (near the Olifants River) and a single was also seen at Sir Lowry's Pass.


Namibia. In addition to small numbers daily at Etosha, a single was also seen at Daan Viljoen.

South Africa. With up to ten daily, Steenboks were most common in Kruger National Park. Elsewhere, one was seen at Pakhuis Pass, six in the coastal areas between Lambert's Bay and Veldriff and about the same number scattered through Bushmanland.

Botswana. Particularly abundant in the duneveld of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where a total of 28 were counted on the transit from the Nossob Valley to Mabuasehube (13 were also seen at Mabuasehube, but none in the Nossob Valley). In addition, occasional singles were seen throughout Moremi and the Boro concession in the Okavango Delta.


South Africa. Mostly seen in the late evening or by spotlight at night, up to three Grysboks were regular on a small marsh at Pakhuis Pass.


South Africa. Rare and localised, the sole record was a single near the Umsunduze River at Mkuzi.

Common Impala

Namibia. In Namibia, this Impala is confined to the Caprivi Strip and the only sightings were about 15 in Mahango and a herd of six near the River Kwando in the Caprivi Game Park.

South Africa. Abundant in most of the suitable areas visited in the east of the country, including throughout Kruger National Park, both Malalotja and Milwane in Swaziland and the Kwazulu localities of Mkuzi, Bonamanzi and St Lucia.

Botswana. In drier areas of the Okavango, i.e. the savannah woodlands of Moremi and along the Boro, Impalas were the most abundant of the game animals.

Black-faced Impala

Namibia. This distinctive sub-species is endemic to north-east Namibia and is readily seen at Etosha. A minimum of 700 Black-faced Impalas occur in the park and were commonly seen from Goas eastward, sometimes in very large flocks.

Grey Rhebok

South Africa. Six were found at Bontebok National Park in South Africa itself, while another seven were seen at Malalotja in Swaziland.

Gemsbok (Oryx)

Namibia. A total of about 4000 Gemsboks are estimated to inhabit Etosha and are common through the park. Elsewhere, up to 15 were seen at Daan Viljoen on both visits, as well as singles at Sossusvlei and in the Namib Desert near Solitaire.

South Africa. Within South Africa, Gemsboks were common in the Nossob Valley, but unseen elsewhere.

Botswana. Only recorded in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where common in the Nossob Valley (in both South Africa and Botswana). In the remainder of the national park, the only sightings were eight in the duneveld and ten at Mabuasehube.


Namibia. Two animals were seen in Mahango National Park.

South Africa. Common in Kruger National Park, seen in all areas from the extreme north to far south, but most abundant in the Shingwedzi area, where two herds of about 80 were seen. Away from Kruger, two were also encountered at Cape Vidal and a single at Addo.

Botswana. Widespread in the Okavango Delta, though mostly records were of scattered pairs. From the air, however, whilst conducting the Wattled Crane survey, a massive herd of about 400 was noted.


Namibia. Only around 250 occur at Etosha, but nevertheless three herds were seen at their favoured waterholes - about 30 at Batia, 25 at Kalkheuwel and five at Chudop. In addition, about 25 were seen on my first visit to Daan Viljoen, with another four on my next trip.

South Africa. All in Cape Province, 15 were seen at Addo, eight in Karoo National Park and herds of at least 30 on both days at De Hoop.


Namibia. Etosha supports about 2000 animals and this large antelope was commonly seen across the park, usually singly or in small herds. Away from Etosha, up to eight were noted at Daan Viljoen on both visits and singles on the roadside near Otjiwarongo and Windhoek.

South Africa. Scattered animals were seen throughout Kruger National Park, plus 12 at Addo and four at both Mkuzi and Cape Vidal.

Botswana. Small herds were sporadically seen across Moremi and the Boro in the Okavango. Otherwise, the only sighting was a herd of four at Mabuasehube.


Botswana. An Okavango special, a male was seen at Xakanaxa and a female along the river at Shakawe.


South Africa. The best numbers of Nyala were seen in Kwazulu-Natal, where abundant at Mkuzi and common at Bonamanzi. In Kruger National Park, Nyalas were also fairly common in the riverine forests along the Luvuvhu River in the north and, to a lesser degree, along the Crocodile River in the south. In addition, they were also abundant in the Swaziland reserve of Milwane.

Red Lechwe

Namibia. About 60 were seen on the flood meadows of the Okavango River in Mahango National Park.

Botswana. Frequent in wetter areas throughout the Okavango Delta, including along most of the rivers and many of the pans in Moremi and along the Boro.


Namibia. Two were seen at Mahango.

South Africa. A total of eight were seen in the bushland just south of Cape Vidal.

Botswana. In the Okavango Delta, one was noted at Xaxaba and another at Makwena.


South Africa. Other than in Letaba Camp, where Bushbucks were abundant on the lawns between the chalets, the only individuals seen in Kruger were scattered singles in the south of the national park. Elsewhere, five were seen at St Lucia, four at Cape Vidal and a single in the forest at Grootvadersbosch.

Botswana. Four Bushbucks were seen: one along the Ngotwane River in Gaborone and, in the Okavango Delta, one at Xakanaxa and two at Xaxaba.


South Africa. Although scattered throughout Kruger National Park, the majority of animals seen were in the south of the reserve. Eight were also seen in the St Lucia to Cape Vidal area.

Botswana. Small herds were occasionally encountered in both Moremi and along the Boro in the Okavango.

Cape Fur Seal

Namibia. Commonly seen in small to moderate numbers off all western seaboards, including Lambert's Bay, Luderitz and Walvis Bay. However, the true spectacle is at Cape Cross, where an estimated 20,000 are hauled out on the beach in a massive, noisy and smelly breeding colony.

South Africa. Cape Fur Seals were regular off the Cape of Good Hope, but the best numbers were at Lambert's Island where at least 200 were hauled out on the beach at Bird Island.

Heaviside's Dolphin

Namibia. Small numbers, usually pairs or groups of three or four, were frequently noted in the seas off Luderitz and Walvis Bay, at the latter location also entering the bay itself.

Common Dolphin

South Africa. Occasionals were noted in coastal waters off the Cape of Good Hope.

Mozambique. Three were seen in the bay at Inhambane.

Southern Right Whale

South Africa. The calving months bring these whales into the shallow sheltered waters along the southern coast of the Cape. Good numbers were seen in both October and November - two at Fish Hoek (seen from a train), a minimum of six at the Cape of Good Hope, eight at Hermaness (giving fantastic views just metres off the rocky promontory) and four at De Hoop.

Bryde's Whale

South Africa. This smaller whale is less common in the coastal waters, but a single was seen cruising beneath the Cape of Good Hope in late November.

List of Select Reptiles Seen in Southern Africa

This list is far from complete, not including numerous small lizards and geckoes seen daily. Neither, regrettably, were the chameleons identified, nor many of the snakes (particularly in Namibia, where a field guide wasn't carried) and thus they are also not included. Nevertheless, eleven species of snake were identified, along with two monitors, crocodile and four members of the tortoise family.

Nile Crocodile

In South Africa, Crocodiles were common in all the larger rivers of Kruger National Park and abundant in the estuary at St Lucia (one was even seen on the beach). Likewise, they were also common throughout the Okavango Delta in Botswana and additionally six were seen in Namibia (two at Ruacana Falls, a single at Ngepi and three at Mahango) and two at Milwane in Swaziland.

Water Monitor

In Namibia, these giant lizards were common along the Cunene River and in the campsite at Ruacana Falls (at least 20). Along the Okavango River, four were also seen at Popa Falls and two at Mahango. Over the border in Botswana, several were noted in Moremi and two at Shakawe. Lastly, one was also seen on the Luvuvhu River in northern Kruger in South Africa.

Rock Monitor

The only record was in Botswana - scrambling up a tree, a single Rock Monitor was noted in dry woodland towards the Kwai River in the Okavango Delta.

African Python

A moderately small individual, perhaps a metre and a half, was found in Moremi in the Okavango Delta.

Boomslang Snake

Recorded twice in Namibia and three times in South Africa. In Namibia, the first was encountered on the old golf course at Rundu and the second entered the campsite at Ngepi and slithered directly into the bar and up a chair! In South Africa, the most entertaining was an individual trying to get into the hose at Pakhuis Pass, while the other two were singles at Cape Vidal.

Green Mamba

This dangerous snake was seen only in Kwazulu-Natal, where a single was noted in forest north of Eshowe.

Horned Viper

Almost trodden on, a single was found and then photographed at Brandvlei in South Africa.

Puff Adder

Seen twice in South Africa - the first was a very photogenic individual at Pakhuis Pass whilst the second was in the Nossob Valley. This latter Puff Adder was engaged in a battle with a 1.6 metre Cape Cobra - the cobra having already bitten the adder, was now warily circling the stricken snake, biting again, though rapidly retreating at signs of defence on the part of the adder.

Cape Cobra

Four records, all of the bright golden form - the first two were crossing the roads near Pakhuis Pass and Lambert's Bay, but the next two were far more entertaining. The first of these was the individual watched at length as it subdued a Puff Adder in the Nossob Valley, whilst the next was a very active, but none too pleased, individual that I managed to photograph in the duneveld of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Forest Cobra

One was found in the bush at Bonamanzi whilst searching for Green Malkoha!

Mozambique Spitting Cobra

Found twice in Kruger National Park - a 1.5 metre individual near Punda Maria camp and a smaller one inside the campsite at Letaba.

Mole Snake

Two records in South Africa - both on roads, one was seen near Pakhuis Pass and another near Veldriff.

Striped Skaapsteker

In the Okavango Delta, this small harmless snake climbed the raised bird tower at Dombo Hippo Pools and actually came slithering inside the hide!

Karoo Sand Snake

Found on the road, the only one seen was in Cape Province on the Karoo side of Pakhuis Pass

Angulate Tortoise

The most impressive sighting was in the hinterland of Lambert's Bay - here, after light overnight rain, a mass 'migration' of Angulate Tortoises was on the move. Crossing the road, all in the same direction, at least 40 tortoises were seen! Elsewhere, all in South Africa, several were seen at Eierkop, three in the Overburg farmland, two at De Hoop and a single near the Cape of Good Hope.

Leopard Tortoise

Other than one at Mahango in Namibia and two along the Boteti in Botswana, all those seen were in South Africa - three scattered through Kruger and singles at Pakhuis Pass, St Lucia and Addo (the Pakhuis Pass animal is thought to have been the result of a local introduction).

Kalahari Tent Tortoise

This small attractive tortoise was only seen in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, where three were noted at Mabuasehube.

Marsh Terrapin

Frequent in rivers and pools across the region, including in the Gaborone area (Ngotwane River and Tsholofelo), in the Okavango Delta, in many of the waterholes throughout Kruger National Park and at Milwane in Swaziland.


· Part 1 - Namibia & Cape Province 

        · Part 2 - Botswana & eastern South Africa

        · Part 3 - Mozambique

List of All Birds Seen (Very Big!)
List of Mammals and Reptiles Seen

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