Though lacking the large numbers of Etosha, further east, northern Damaraland nevertheless has plenty of wildlife to seek out. Above all, it is associated with the proudly cited statistic of possessing the world’s largest number of free-roaming black rhino. Several of the lodges offer whole-day excursions to try and track these magnificent beasts, though you should bear in mind that the emphasis is always on rhino conservation, rather than tourist satisfaction: human interference is kept to a minimum, and so, even assuming your guide manages to locate one, you may not get as close to a rhino as you would in a national park or private reserve. Desert-adapted elephant are also sparsely scattered across the area (more visible in the dry season, as they seek out water holes in the dry riverbeds); giraffe are also sighted, and, very rarely, a desert-adapted lion. More commonly, you’ll come across hardy oryx, springbok, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, klipspringer, kudu, steenbok and possibly hyena, though in the eastern fringes, nearer Kamanjab, you should keep your eyes peeled for the near-endemic black-faced impala. Cheetah and leopard are in evidence, but rarely glimpsed, in the uplands further inland. Bird lovers will be keen to spot Monteiro’s hornbill, or Rüppell’s korhaan strutting across the gravel plains, whereas the rockier hillsides and escarpments are prime raptor territory, featuring imperious Verreaux’s (black) eagles.

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