The Northern Cape is home to varied and diverse animal species that draw South Africans and international visitors alike, who search them out in the wide-open spaces and rocky nooks and crannies that are their homes.
In the Kgalagadi, you’ll find the black-maned lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, African wild cat, giraffe, eland, kudu, gemsbok, springbok (and many other antelope species), meerkat (surricat) and mongoose, to name some of the most prominent.
The African wild cat, bat-eared fox, black-footed cat, free-tailed bat, aardwolf and the small spotted genet can often be spotted in the Augrabies Falls National Park, with many antelope species, as well as giraffe, often active during the night.
The Tankwa Karoo National Park has springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest and Cape mountain zebra, as well as many smaller creatures and reptiles.
The Namaqua National Park is home to leopard, cheetah, aardwolf, small cat species, steenbok, duiker and mongoose, as well as tortoise, lizards, scorpions, bee flies and monkey beetles. It is also home to the Brant’s whistling rat, which is responsible for the burrow systems in sandy areas that provide ideal conditions for seed germination.
Mokala National Park has many different buck species, such as the rare and valuable roan antelope, the elusive sable, tsessebe, zebra, giraffe, both black and white rhino, buffalo and warthog.
You’ll find baboons, monkeys and small mammals such as the honey badger, genet and caracal outside of park boundaries too, in more remote areas, as well as the elusive leopard.
Private reserves also have abundant game.
The Northern Cape is also home to many bird species, including raptors such as the tawny eagle, black-chested snake eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, white-backed vulture, lappet-faced vulture, pale chanting goshawk, pygmy falcon and greater kestrel.
There are also many smaller birds such as sociable weavers, red-headed finches and the pied barbet.
Reptiles are also incredibly varied throughout the province. Some of those found in the Augrabies vicinity include Broadley’s flat lizard, Nile monitor, leopard tortoise, black spitting cobra and the Cape cobra.
For more information about the creatures found in specific areas, contact the individual parks and reserves.