Finding Desert-adapted Elephants in Damaraland




Damaraland safaris in search of desert adapted elephants

Desert-adapted Elephants in Damaraland

The many perennial springs in the ravines and riverbeds of Damaraland has lead to a rich diversity of desert vegetation. The abundant shelter of this rocky terrain makes Damaraland and the Kaokoland to the north a unique habitat for the rare and endangered desert-adapted elephants.

There are only a few hundred left of these famous desert-adapted elephants!

This unique animal is able to survive in harsh dry conditions that would be devastating to any other elephant. This, along with their especially long legs, has led some to consider the desert elephants to be a separate sub-species. Others suggest this is an optical illusion caused by their skinnier appearance (relatively speaking!).

The exact location of these desert-adapted elephants highly depend on recent rainfall patterns. These animals will journey way out of their normal region in search of water sources.

Your best bet is to stay at one of the lodges in southern Damaraland and take a morning excursion specifically in search of the elephants. Oftentimes, you will find the elephants in the dry river beds of Damaraland. Small numbers of western black rhinos also survive in these desert areas. There are also gemsbok, kudu, springbok, ostrich, giraffe and mountain zebras in the area.