Mountain Ground Squirrel
wildlife of Namibia
Introduction: The mountain ground squirrel (Xerus princeps) is a rock-dwelling ground squirrel and their warrens are usually situated on rocky hillsides or among rocky outcrops. These are in contrast to the open flat country preferred by the ground squirrel. They also live in warrens and like rock dassies they take shelter under boulders when alarmed. It is also known as the Kaoko Ground Squirrel. They also appear after sunrise until before sunset in single burrows much less complicated than the ground squirrel.
In appearance the mountain squirrel differs from the ground squirrel:
- In its proportionally larger eye orbits.
- Yellow coloured incisor teeth.
- The 3 black bands on the long tail hairs.
The ground squirrel:
- Has white teeth.
- And 2 black bands on the tail hairs.
Diet: Mountain ground squirrels prefer foods such as roots, bulbs, green sprouting plants, as well as acacia seeds. They are known to scale 2m high into bushes in order to harvest green leaves, berries and mopane plant lice.
Colouring: Similar in appearance to ground squirrel with a white strip from the shoulder towards the rump. It has a long bushy black and white tail.
Breeding: These squirrels give birth to an average of 3 young per litter after a gestation period of 48 days, normally during the mid-summer months.
Size: Both male and female weigh around 1.4kg and are larger in size than the ground squirrel.
Fairly basic accommodation at the famous hot-springs near the southern end of the Fish River Canyon
Probably the most popular lodge in the area. Friendly staff, interesting rooms and an emphasis on growing all local produce make for a wonderful stay
The smaller sibling to the Canon Lodge & Village, this fun establishment boasts loads of character
Supposedly laid out like an African village - this tends to be second choice to the Lodge but still offers good value
On the opposite edge of the canyon to all the other lodges, Fish River Lodge offers a unique perspective, excellent service and stunning views
Campsite close to the main viewpoint over the Fish River Canyon