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Namibia Flora and Fauna

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Namibia has about 200 endemic plant species, 4,300 higher plant species and 422 grass species within the 14 vegetation zones, ranging from several variations of desert vegetation to semi-desert, mopane, mountain, thorn bush, highland, dwarf shrub, camel thorn and mixed tree and shrub savannahs and the forest savannahs and woodlands of the north east. A desert plant that has caused much interest amongst botanists worldwide is the living fossil, Welwitschia mirabilis, endemic to the Namib Desert and one of the oldest plants known to man. Lithops also known as Stone Flowers or Bushmens Buttocks are one of the many small succulents that hide in the arid regions, as well as sensitive Lichens.

Typical trees found in the north are:
Mopane, terminalia, marula, giant figs, baobabs, makalani palms and commercially exploitable timber species, Tamboti and Transvaal teak.

Common trees of the arid central and southern regions:

Kokerboom or quiver tree, Aloe dichotoma, Species of the Leadwood tree, Combretum imberbe and various species of Commiphora. Many of these species are perceived holy by local cultures.

Other plants like the Devel’s Claw and Hoodia are making medicinal break-throughs in the health industry.

Many spectacular species can only be seen when specific weather conditions persist in the arid regions, some of those species are unidentified or only seen in as much as fifteen year cycles.

120 species of trees
200 endemic plant species
100 species of lichen

The country has an abundance of animal species. Some of these species are rare to sight, given either their nature or limited population. Sighting a “Black Zebra” in Etosha is spectacular given the fact that it is a genetic “kick-back” that causes their unique appearance. Black Face Impala are only found in the North Western region of country. Other unique species to sight include Honey Badgers, Wild Dogs, Sable Antelope, Pangolins and desert dwelling moles.

Some species are not rare, although through unique adaptations they are unique in their own right. Some of these include desert-adapted elephants and giraffe. Desert river-dwelling lions and jackals that survive solely of nutrients gained from scavenging seal colonies at the Skeleton Coast.

Big game:
Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo,
Cheetah, Leopard, Giraffe, Antelope

20 species of antelope
240 species of mammals (14 endemic)
250 species of reptiles
50 species of frogs
about 630 species of birds

courtsey Namibia Tourism Board
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