The Wild Horses of the Namib

Dawn crept in across the desert plain catching the gossamer dust clouds in a golden light.  The spellbinding scene cast a sense of elation as the wild horses drew closer.   We were at the Garub viewing terrace following their trail in anxious anticipation as they neared the borehole water site.  We’d heard that they were in reasonable shape after low rainfall had resuscitated the grass and foraging opportunities had improved.  Small family groups kept together, and we could make out the figures of two small foals.   Lone stallions came from different directions keeping a distance from the small herds.

They are recognised as a separate breed, the “Namibs” after 100 or so years of their blood lines merging through natural selection across the generations.   Elegant and long-limbed, they’re handsome creatures.  Living free on the plains of the eastern edge of the Namib-Nauklauft desert, has it’s challenges.  Their story of survival in this unforgiving environment is one that evokes awe, but are the odds stacked against them as their numbers dwindle and predation by the spotted hyaena is a continued threat?

To be continued …..

 

17 thoughts on “The Wild Horses of the Namib

    1. True, these wild horses are extraordinary for their resilience. Despite the hardships they’ve adapted to harsh terrain. I’m mad about the documentaries on the mustangs 🙂 They too inspire all that symbolizes wild nature.

    1. The predation is brutal, 286 horses in 2017 down to 76 in Feb 2019. There is a very slim chance that they may survive through the intervention of The Wild Horses Foundation working with the MET (Ministry of Environment and Tourism) in relocating the hyaenas. The foundation has been ever vigilant over the years, raising funds to provide supplementary feed in times of drought and in seeking their safety. One foal still survives; but the stats are grim, the youngest mare is 8 and the chances of the herd building up again are poor.

    1. Isn’t it so much about luck and timing?! Feel so fortunate to have this last sighting…. though seeing them some years before that left me feeling so despondent as they were in such a debilitated state. Would love to see the desert elephants.

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