Speke's Hinged Tortoise
Tortoises | Namibia
Introduction: Speke's Hinged Tortoise (Kinixys spekii) was named after the English explorer John Hanning Speke who also discovered the source of the River Nile. Kineo is Greek for 'to move' and ixys for 'small back'. The hinge (which resembles a cracked shell) is visible in adult tortoises towards the back and above the hind legs (hence the name).
They are mainly associated with a riparian vegetation of a sandy tree savannah and woodland vegetation region which accounts for the selective distribution areas. It is a medium-sized tortoise, elongated in shape with a slight, but distinctive, flattened appearance. They tend to be more active in the rainy season, once they emerge from hibernation holes they habit in the colder, winter months. They are on the move for most of the day.
Diet: A varied diet of grasses and shrubs, but they are also known to eat millipedes, beetles, ants and snails.
Colouring: Males and females can often be of different colour patterns. The males are uniformly brown but the females are more colourful with dark patches or rings with a yellow background on the shield. Older females can be mistaken for older males.
Breeding: Clutches of eggs are typically 2 to 6 in number with multiple births common during the summer months. Incubation periods are between 313 and 365 days. Juveniles are usually hatched during the rainy season.
Weight: 820g to 1.5kg. Females are slightly bigger than males.
Dangers and predators: Humans collecting Speke's Hinged Tortoise is not uncommon for food, but a greater danger is deaths due to fires, again caused by humans especially in the north-eastern regions of Namibia.
An upmarket lodge and spa on the banks of the Kavango River. The only traditional luxury lodge on this stretch of river
A well run lodge offering good facilities situated close to the town of Rundu
A few kilometers east of Rundu a nice functional lodge that more than adequately serves as an overnight stop while travelling through the Kavango and Zambezi region. The rooms, bar and restaurant area offer lovely views of the Kavango River.
Situated on the banks of the river (hence the name) in Rundu
Situated close to the Mahangu Park in west Caprivi - this is an excellent stop-over between Namibia, Maun (in Botswana) and the Victoria Falls
A rustic river side campsite and lodge offering excellent value for money. A lively bar and restaurant ensures this appeals to the younger or more socially inclined traveller
Close to Popa Falls and the Mahango Reserve this lodge offers stunning river views
Refreshingly, and surprisingly for the area, this lodge does not have the word 'River' as part of its name. Do not be misled it is situated on the banks of the river opposite the Caprivi Game Park (Bwabwata National Park)
Close to the Popa Falls (a series of rapids on the Kavango River), this rest camp was renovated in 2013
on the Kavango River banks this lodge offers plenty of water based activities
Near the village of Divundu, this small but wonderfully managed lodge is a perennial favourite of ours. Lovely wooden chalets, with large decks overlook the river. Those wanting to experience the river can choose from fishing and sunset river cruises
On a beautiful plot of indigenous plants and trees overlooking the river
One of the best lodges for birders visiting Namibia - but also great for fishing, chilling or generally becoming part of the family (the family consists of a host of creatures including goats, otters and guinefowls all lovingly adopted by the owners)
A small lodge a short distance west of Rundu. The rooms have river views and guests can choose from a range of activities