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Shovel Snouted Lizard

Lizards | Namibia

Introduction: The unusual, flattened snout, with sharp cutting edge, makes the shovel-snouted lizard (Zeros anchietae) one of the more easily recognizable lacertids. Another distinguishing feature is that the nostrils point upwards and are pierced between the 3 nasals. They can withstand high temperatures (up to 44ºC) but do overheat from the hot sand as they race over the loose sand dunes. It is these lizards that perform the wonderful 'thermal dance' to 'beat the heat', an amusing act performed by lifting the tail and 2 feet high into the air.

When the shovel-snouted lizard is alarmed it dives into the dune slip-face. It will then swim as deep as need be to escape any danger, but will raise their bodies to jump and bite if necessary to protect themselves if the hazard continues. Below the sand-line provides comfortable sleeping quarters.

Distribution: They are endemic to the Namib Desert (including Sossusvlei) from the Klinghardt Mountains to the Kunene River south of Angola.

Diet: Small beetles and insects and in times of desert famine they will eat seeds. All of their moisture requirements are obtained from food, making this species a true desert-adapted creature.

Colouring: An upper sand-coloured body with an arrangement of black marks that reach to the flanks and limbs. The head is paler than the body and emits a silvery sheen.

Breeding: The shovel-snouted lizard is a bit of a horny-toad by all accounts, but then with 4 or 5 females to attend to, it's no wonder they defend their territory vigorously high into the reproductive season. Luckily for them there is no fixed breeding season either and eggs are laid at regular intervals, peaking during December to March. Females lay a single egg in a small chamber that has been dug firmly into the sand dunes and can lay eggs 3 or 4 times a year at 30 to 40 day intervals.

Size: SVL 45 to 50mm. Max SVL 55mm.

Agama River Camp

Lovely rooms with rooftop terraces or a choice of campsites around 45km north of Sesriem

Desert Camp

Competitively priced self catering lodge - very close to the entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park

Desert Homestead

Mid-range accommodation offering some of the best value for money in the area. Horse riding an added activity

Desert Homestead Outpost

A new addition on the same property as the Desert Homestead. Hiking & riding are popular activities here

Desert Quiver Camp

Well equipped rooms with self catering kitchens only 5 kilometers from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei. Kitchen utensils can be rented on site

Elegant Desert Lodge

A budget choice, catering for both larger groups and individual travellers

Dune Star Camp | Hiking

These rustic wooden cabins can only be reached as part of a guided walking trail originating at Namib Desert Lodge. perfect for those wanting to explore the desert on foot

Greenfire Desert Lodge

A small intimate lodge in an amazing part of the Namib Desert. While the lodge can be used as a base from which to visit the dunes at Sossusvlei, the tranquil and beautiful environment make it a destination in it's own right

Hoodia Desert Lodge

Mid range lodge located only 22km from the Sesriem gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park

Kulala Desert Lodge

Up-market lodge with private entrance to the dunes at Sossusvlei

Le Mirage Desert Lodge & Spa

Moroccan inspired architecture seems strangely out of place in Namibia. The location, spa and general amenities are good.

Little Kulala

Luxury lodge with guided tour to the dunes using the lodges own private entrance, excellent choice for those looking for a little extra luxury

Little Sossus Lodge

Reasonable value for money - on the main route to Sossusvlei

Moon Mountain Lodge

A new hotel with raised rooms built on wooden platforms 40km from Sesriem

Namib Desert Lodge

Budget choice, fairly far from the dunes and next to the fossil dune cliffs

Namib Naukluft Lodge

Good solid choice, on a beautiful property some distance from the park entrance

Sesriem Campsite

This campsite offer the closest place to stay to the dunes - camping only

Soft Adventure Camp

A combination of permanent structures and canvas make this an interesting choice for the budget conscious traveller

Sossus Dune Lodge

The only lodge inside the borders of the national park. Allows for extra early visits to the Sossusvlei dunes

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Most luxurious lodge in the area, air-conditioned rooms and top of the range guiding

Sossusvlei Lodge

Large establishment right next to the Sesriem Campsite, best for keeping driving to a minimum

Weltevrede Rest Camp

A friendly owner run lodge offering excellent value for money. Rooms have private veranda's offering views of sunsets over the Namib Desert dunes & spot-lit waterhole.

Luderitz Accommodation