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wildlife of Namibia

Introduction: Porcupines (Hystrix africaeaustralis) are the largest of rodents in the southern African region. The generic name Hystrix is Greek for porcupine and africaeaustralis is the specific name indicating that they occur in the more southerly parts of Africa. An essential habitat requirement of the porcupine is shelter in which to lie up in during the day, which goes some way in explaining their preference for broken country with rocky hills and outcrops. The can be found resting in crevices in rocks or caves, but will freely use abandoned aardvark holes which they modify for their own use. They are not usually found in forests.

Porcupines are solitary animals but have been observed in pairs or a female with her offspring. They are also exclusively nocturnal but have been seen sunbathing close to the entrances of their shelters.

Distribution: They are widespread throughout Namibia and have even been recorded in the coastal parts of the Namib Desert.

Diet: Although porcupines are predominately vegetarians, they have been recorded as eating carrion. Their food includes bulbs, tubers and roots which they dig up, fallen wild fruits such as the wild fig and they also gnaw on the bark of trees. They collect and gnaw at bones as a means of combating a phosphorous deficiency and large collections have been observed at their shelters. Their diet extends to that of farmers crops such as groundnuts, potatoes, pumpkin and root vegetables such as carrots, onions and beetroot are a favourite. They are also particularly fond of as beans and peas as well. Porcupines are classed as destructive feeders, as they often damage more crops than they eat.

Colouring: Porcupines bodies are protected by a unique covering of long, pliable spines, stout, sharp defence quills and flattened bristly hairs. Both the hair and quills are white with black annulations, declining in length towards the base.

Breeding: Sexual behaviour leading up to copulation is initiated by the female. In Namibia the young are born in the summer months and are born in grass-lined chambers in resting holes. Litters range from 1 to 4 young.

Size: Adult males have a mass of around 17kg, females 18.5kg. Some individuals have been recorded as reaching a weight of 24kg. Males average about 835mm in length, females slightly larger. The spines are up to 50cm in length, the quills up to 30cm.

Wildlife Namibia

  • Namibian Wildlife: Porcupine
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Auas Safari Lodge

A privately owned game farm, with a good variety of wildlife just a short distance south of Windhoek.

Daan Viljoen Game Park

Newly built lodge in a small well stocked game reserve west of Windhoek

Dusternbrook Guest Farm

This lodge is very popular amongst those seeking leopard and cheetah viewing close to Windhoek. Regular feedings guarantee great sightings and photographic opportunities

Elisenheim Guest Farm

A relaxing lodge in the Eros Mountains (named after a local fruit and not the goddess of love) around 30km north of the city

Etango Ranch Guest Farm

Opposite the Windhoek International Airport, close enough to be extremely convenient but far enough away that planes are not a distraction. Great for those arriving late or leaving early, as cuts out the 45km drive from Windhoek/

Gocheganas Nature Reserve

One of Namibia's most popular spas with the added bonus of top game viewing.

Hohewarte Guest Farm

Between Windhoek and the International Airport lies this interesting cattle & game farm

Immanuel Wilderness Lodge

family friendly, mid range lodge in rural location

Naankuse Lodge & Wildlife Sanctuary

a wildlife sanctuary offering quality accommodation in a tranquil environment

Okapuka Lodge

Large lodge on a large well stocked game farm


On a large private game farm close to the Windhoek International Airport, ideal for those not wanting to travel into Windhoek before or after their arrival in Namibia

Onjala Lodge

Offering horse riding, spa treatments and two swimming pools, this is a good family lodge

River Crossing Lodge

a few kilometers east of Windhoek this lodge offers unsurpassed views of the city from a setting in the Auas Mountains

Windhoek Game Camp

20km north of the city, this tented lodge offers a quality self catering experience surrounded by the veld and wildlife

Self Catering Accommodation in Namibia