Sunday, September 2, 2018

South African Springhare

At The Hide in Hwange NP in Zimbabwe I took a night game drive with three other guests and a driver. We encountered one of the most interesting animals I've ever seen - one I'd never heard of before. It is called the springhare - and as I'm finding out now - the South African springhare, which is a different species than the East African springhare. 

It has well-developed hind legs, a very long tail with a black tip and hops like a kangaroo. In many respects it looks like a kangaroo and can leap over 6 1/2 feet high. The "spring" in the name is from that fact, but it is not a hare, but a rodent, and has a head that looks like a cross between a squirrel and a beaver. It has a reddish/brown to pale gray coat and is primarily nocturnal which is why we didn't see any during the day, but saw about 40 of them in our hour-long night game drive. 

One of the people in our vehicle was from South Africa and said that the people of Botswana are known to eat the springhare. I loved them. I normally don't blog on animals I haven't photographed, but I want to remember this weird, crazy animal, so I have borrowed some photos and linked to some videos. 

You really need to look at the first video, because you have to see them hopping, the photos don't do them justice. The videos are as follows: here; and here.


  1. Replies
    1. I would say the body is about the size of a cottontail rabbit.

  2. Okay, now I ALMOST wish I'd gone on the night safari drive with you.

  3. I also thought they are very interesting