While the blistering hot and arid landscape is not hospitable to a large number of animals, Damaraland is home to several desert-adapted species. Because water is scarce, the elephants and black rhinos who live here can go for days without water. The elephants move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to forty-three miles in a day in search of food and water. Gemsbok, kudu, springbok, Hartman’s mountain zebra, southern giraffe, gemsbok, lion, cheetah, and spotted and brown hyena call this desert home too. In the mountains around Palmwag, Etendeka, and Damaraland Camp, there are resident steenbok, baboon, kudu, porcupine, and the occasional klipspringer and warthog. Birdwatchers will delight in the over 240 species recorded here.
Game drives in Damaraland are offered at most of the local safari camps and lodges. However, most of these game drives specialize in tracking the unique desert-adapted elephants while enjoying the dramatic scenery from the vantage point of a comfortable 4×4 safari vehicle and the knowledge of a local guide. Other guided excursions travel to Twyfelfontein, Brandberg, Organ Pipes, and Burnt Mountain. Hikers and climbers love the region for its ruggedness. There are some marked hiking trails around the lodges. While climbers enjoy the challenge of conquering Brandberg Mountain.