7 Interesting Animals in Kalahari Desert – You May Not Know. 

The Kalahari Desert is a vast, dry region that covers a huge land of southern Africa. This is home to interesting animals in Kalahari Desert, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and meerkats. The Kalahari is also home to many unique plants, such as the baobab tree.

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These interesting animals in the Kalahari Desert have adapted to the harsh temperatures of the desert in incredible ways. For example, the meerkat is a small, social animal that lives in groups of up to 30 individuals. Meerkats excellently dig the desert sand and use their burrows to protect them from the scorching heat of the Kalahari desert and to store food.

In this blog post, you will learn about 10 interesting animals in the Kalahari Desert.  But before getting into the details of these desert animals, let’s explore more about the Kalahari desert first.

Kalahari Desert 

The Kalahari Desert is a vast, arid region that covers much of southern Africa. It is the southernmost desert in Africa. An amazing fact about this desert is it is the sixth largest desert on earth that expanded on a vast land. And the second biggest desert on the list after the Sahara desert.  

In the southwest, it combines with Namib ( the Coastal desert of Namibia). It is also called the Namib desert. Additionally, in the southern part of the Kalahari desert, you can spot large herds of various mammals.

Such as wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok and gemsbok. It covers an area of about 900,000 square kilometres.

interesting animals in kalahari desert

The Kalahari is a semi-arid desert, which means it receives some rainfall, but not enough that a huge amount of plants can grow here. It is home to numerous interesting animals in Kalahari desert, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and meerkats. The Kalahari is also home to many unique plants, such as the baobab tree.

The Kalahari is a land of contrasts, with lush oases and dry, sandy dunes. Moreover,  it is a land of life and death, where animals must adapt to survive the extreme conditions. Another important region of the Kalahari desert is central Kalahari, which we have discussed below. 

Central Kalahari

Central Kalahari is a part of the Kalahari basin located in central Botswana. Some edible plants grow in this region, like tsamma melons and gemsbok cucumbers, which animals and plants consume. 

tsamma melons

The rainfall occurs more in central Kalahari, and that’s why this part has scattered trees (some species of Acacia), as well as shrubs and grasses. In the north and east part of the desert, there are woodlands made up of Camelthorn Acacias. 

The Camelthorn Acacia is an important part of the desert ecosystem, supplying enough nutrients on its base to get more plants around it.

7 Interesting Animals In Kalahari Desert (With Pictures & their Conservation Status)

African Wild Dog

The African wild dog, also known as the painted dog, is a social predator in Kalahari. These wild dogs are interesting animals in Kalahari desert and are found in various natural habitats, including savannas, grasslands, and forests. 

interesting animals in kalahari desert

They are known for their distinctive “painted” coat, which is a patchwork of black, brown, yellow, and white. African wild dogs typically hunt in packs of 20 or more.

They are skilled predators and can bring down prey much larger than themselves. The wild dog is an important part of the desert ecosystem, as they help control other animal populations.

The African wild dog is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It means there are higher chances of extinction of wild dogs in the wild. 

Bat Eared Foxes

The bat-eared foxes are nocturnal and interesting animals in kalahari desert. These foxes are named for their large, bat-like ears, which help them to sense prey moving underground. 

interesting animals in kalahari desert

Bat-eared foxes are found in various desert habitats, including dunes, rocky hills, and open grasslands.  These foxes also play an important part in the dispersion of seeds. When they eat fruits and vegetables, they often pass the seeds through their digestive system and excrete them in different areas. 

This helps plants to grow in the desert, which is important for the overall health of the desert ecosystem. Bat-eared foxes are Least Concern animals on the red list of IUCN. However, they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Bushveld Rain Frog

The Bushveld rain frogs are small, brown frogs found in the Bushveld region of South Africa. These frogs are one of the interesting animals in kalahari desert and are known for inflating their bodies to deter predators. 

interesting animals in kalahari desert

Bushveld rain frogs are found in various habitats, including grasslands, forests, and savannas. They are commonly found near water, such as rivers, streams, and dams.

These frogs are small, with an average length of about 2 inches. They are brown or grey and have bumpy skin. The male frogs have a vocal sac that they use to attract females in the breeding season. 

These frogs are insectivores, and they eat a large variety of insects, including termites, beetles, flies, small spiders and other invertebrates. Bushveld rain frogs are listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. However, they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Honey Badgers

The honey badgers, also known as the ratels, are fearless and interesting animals in Kalahari desert. These badgers are known for their thick, tough skin, which makes them resistant to snakebites and other attacks.

interesting animals in kalahari desert

Honey badgers are interesting animals found in numerous desert habitats, including savannahs, grasslands, and forests. They are solitary animals and typically live in burrows that they dig on their own.

These badgers are omnivores and mainly feed on insects, rodents, fruit, and honey. They are also known to raid beehives. That’s why they got honey in their name. Honey badgers are an important part of the desert ecosystem. 

They help to control populations of insects and rodents, which can be harmful to humans and livestock. They also help disperse seeds, which encourages the growth of plants in the desert. Sadly, they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Gemsbok

The gemsboks are large, and interesting animals in kalahari desert. These antelopes have long horns and white and black striped faces. Mostly observed grazing even in the dry, and in the landscapes of southern Africa. 

interesting animals in kalahari desert

They are found in a variety of desert habitats, including sand dunes, rocky hills, and open grasslands. They are excellent at adapting to their environment, and they can go for long periods of time without water.

Gemsbok are herbivores and primarily feed on plants, including grasses, leaves, and fruits. They are also known to eat small animals, such as rodents and insects. These antelopes are one of the interesting animals in Kalahari desert, and they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Blue-Headed Agama Lizard

The blue-headed agama lizard is a beautiful lizard found in the deserts of southern Africa. These lizards are interesting animals in kalahari desert that have attractive blue heads, which are surrounded by a ring of orange or yellow scales. 

interesting animals in kalahari desert

Blue-headed agama lizards are found in different desert habitats, including sand dunes, rocky hills, and open grasslands. They are active during the day, and they spend much of their time basking in the sun.

Blue-headed agama lizards are insectivores, and they eat a variety of insects, including termites, beetles, and grasshoppers. The blue animal also eats small fruits and flowers. These lizards are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Kalahari Lions

Kalahari lions are interesting animals, and a subspecies of lions found in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. They are slightly smaller than other lions, and they have a slender body. Their coats are also lighter in color, with a reddish or sandy hue.

interesting animals in kalahari desert

Kalahari lions are found in a variety of habitats, including savannas, grasslands, and scrublands. They are solitary hunters, and typically prey on antelope, zebras, and other large mammals.

These desert lions are an important part of the desert ecosystem. They help to control populations of prey animals, such as zebras and antelope. As these prey animals can quickly overpopulate an area if they are not kept in check. This can lead to overgrazing and other problems in the ecosystem.

Kalahari lions are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and the main threats to Kalahari lions include habitat loss, hunting, and conflict with humans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What animals can you find in the Kalahari Desert?

You can spot Giraffes, Zebras, Elephants, Buffalo, Antelopes, Giraffes, Warthogs, Baboons, Badgers, Anteaters, aardvarks in the Kalahari desert 

What is unique about the Kalahari Desert?

There are more animal species and plant species in the Kalahari desert as compared to the Namib desert. 

What are the prey animals in the Kalahari?

Gemsbok, antelopes, porcupines and other small mammals are prey animals found in the Kalahari desert.

How many animals are there in the Kalahari Desert?

There are numerous interesting animals in Kalahari desert.  It is home to 320 species of mammals, and birds. 

How do lions survive in the Kalahari Desert?

Lion complete their water needs from their prey, and even uses some plants. Such as the tsamma melon.

Olivia Kepner