Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra

Equus zebra hartmannae

With stallions weighing around 300kg and standing 1.5m high at the shoulder, the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra is slightly larger than its close relative, the Cape Mountain Zebra. They share a similar liking for arid, broken terrain, though Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra will also exploit sandy plains adjacent to their preferred rocky, hilly abodes. Mountain Zebras are almost exclusively grazers and require regular access to a reliable water source – Hartmann’s Zebras have been known to dig wells in dry riverbeds to access clean water.

Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras occur in small family groups consisting of a dominant stallion, up to 5 mares and their offspring of various ages that may roam over vast areas. Unattached adult males come together in bachelor groups until they can establish a group of their own. Hartmann’s Mountain Zebras are diurnal animals and will rest in the shade during the heat of the day. Foals may be born at anytime of year, though there is a peak in births during the wetter summer months.

The Augrabies Falls National Park (where the herd below was photographed) is one of only two national parks in South Africa where a small population of the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra can be seen – the other is the Richtersveld National Park. Small herds can also be found in a handful of provincially managed reserves and private farms in South Africa (the latter also outside the natural range of the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra, posing a risk of crossbreeding with the Cape Mountain Zebra). The total population of the subspecies was estimated at around 25,000 (of which 8,300 mature animals) in 1998, with the majority of these occurring in neighbouring Namibia. The IUCN considers the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra to be vulnerable, siting a probably declining population.

One of the protected areas outside the natural distribution of the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra where it can be seen is the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve in South Africa’s Gauteng Province.


38 thoughts on “Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Apart from being smaller, the Mountain Zebras have a closer arrangement of stripes, unstriped bellies, a grid-iron stripe pattern at the base of the tail, a small dewlap and a reddish muzzle – features that the Plains Zebras do not have. The two races of Mountain Zebra differ mainly in size – the Cape Mountain Zebra is the smaller of the two.
      If you’d like to see pictures of the other two zebras we have in SA for comparison, Joanne, have a look at these posts:
      Plains Zebra: https://dewetswild.com/2013/11/08/plains-zebra/
      Cape Mountain Zebra: https://dewetswild.com/2013/11/15/cape-mountain-zebra/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Joanne Sisco

        Thank you! Not having zebras here, those are details I would never notice … like the unstriped bellies.
        I had to go back and compare your mountain zebras with the photos of zebras I took so long ago on the Serengetti. Now of course the differences are so obvious! How did I not notice the belly before?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Joanne Sisco


        On the back on the stone cairn in my last post was an Iroquois prayer. In part it read “that I may know … the lessons hidden in every leaf and rock”. That’s how I feel too about nature. There is a wonder to be found in even the smallest of thing.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Jy het sekerlik baie beter fotos van hulle, Dina. Dit was ons eerste kans om wilde Hartman Sebras te sien, en dit is een van die diere wat ons regtig hard voor gaan soek het by Augrabies.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. travel460

    De Wet, ek moet bieg. Ek hou glad nie daarvan om Zebras en volstruise in die wildtuin te sien nie. Het geen idee hoekom hulle nie vir my hier inpas nie, maar daar, ek het dit gesê!☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      That’s absolutely true, Mirian – no two zebras’ stripe patterns are exactly alike.
      And indeed yes, we were thrilled to have our first encounter with this particular species of zebra while visiting Augrabies.

      Liked by 1 person


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