The animals of the Namib-Naukluft Park
The Namib-Naukluft Park is home to many animal species, in contrast to the idea that you can commonly have of lifeless desert, where the creatures have adapted to withstand the arid and semi-desert climate.
Many insects, reptiles and arachnids have adapted to these extreme conditions, you can indeed find crickets, beetles, spiders, geckos, lizards, chameleons and snakes including the Sidewinder, a small and very fast viper, the venomous, whose name derives from its particular movement that allows it to slide on the side of the dunes as if it was sailing, posing only a little part of its body on the hot sand, thus eliminating the need to raise the body temperature, too.
All the species that have adapted to this extreme climate exploit the morning mists to obtain the water they need to survive, the darklings for example have developed a curious system, maintain the body exposed to moisture that condenses, creating micro droplets, at this point they tilt the body and slip into the mouth the water obtained.
In the Namib desert you can also find numerous mammals, gravel plains and desert sand dunes are the preferred habitat for oryx, these animals can be observed as they go slow along the crest of the dunes by projecting their shadows on the sand; besides oryx here are also the aardwolf, the brown hyena, the ostrich, numerous antelope species as well as many species of birds that can be seen often over the dunes in search of prey.
The Naukluft section of the park was created as a sanctuary for the Hartmann's mountain zebra, these herbivorous are endemic in Namibia and are found only in few places and little in number.
In this portion of the park other wild animals are also present, more than 50 species of mammals have been recorded in the areas adjacent to the Naukluft such as kudus, oryx, giraffes, springboks, Klipspringer antelopes, duikers or gray duikers, steenboks, leopards, baboons or black baboons, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, genets, caracals, aardwolves and aardvarks and the few black rhinos reintroduced in 2007 to commemorate the centenary of the park.
More than 348 species of birds have been recorded in the area of the mountains and the adjacent plains, the black eagle, that nests on the steep slopes of the Naukluft, buzzard cards, lanarii hawks, ostriches, vultures, Ludwig bustards, Monteiro hornbills and, in areas where water is present throughout the year, are birds such as head hammers, white and black spikes, wagtails, common waxbills, crimson chest gonoleks, brubrus, long beak larks, Herero throstles and brown thrushes weavers.