New Ongava Research Centre...

Our new research facility will be opening in April 2019, we’ll update the website soon with more information.

We have left our previous blog online below if you’d like to have a look at some of the amazing camera trap images from the past 3 years.

Ongava Research Centre Blog...

2014 - Week 3
- (Added 19. Jan. 2014 - 11:00)

Secretary birds Saggitarius serpentarius are found across southern Africa, and on Ongava we see them stalking the plains areas, either singly or in pairs.  They hunt a variety of prey on the ground, and are most renowned for their ability to catch and kill snakes using downwards strikes of their long legs. They will also catch larger prey, up to mongoose size. Here we were able to get a fascinating close up of an individual showing very large eyes, long eyebrows and a leathery facial skin. Plus that typical raptor beak and extended gape.

2014 - Week 2
- (Added 12. Jan. 2014 - 11:00)

A few years ago we conducted a reptile survey on Ongava. This was led by the well-known herpetologist Mark O’Shea, curator of reptiles at West Midland Safari Park in the UK. Over a three-week period we captured a total of 85 specimens representing 32 different species - including 14 snakes, 13 lizards and two chelonians. Mark was able to take fantastic pictures of our specimens – here is his picture of a Western Barred Spitting Cobra Naja nigricincta (sometimes called zebra cobra in Namibia). This individual is poised to ‘spit’ venom at the eyes of threat it has detected. ‘Zebbies’ can project venom up to 2m, and we always wear protective goggles when capturing specimens. Unfortunately they sometimes appear in our garden – as our dogs have found out! If left unattended, envenomation of the eyes can cause long-term damage to vision, but liberal flushing with water and then application of an anti-biotic ointment will minimize the pain and prevent any lasting effect. For more amazing pictures of reptiles please visit Mark’s web site at

New Year 2014 - Week 1
- (Added 5. Jan. 2014 - 11:00)

A New Year - time for a change in format. This year I’m going to continue to post a weekly image, but the posts will be a mixture of photographs, camera trap images, maps and diagrams that we have found interesting, thought-provoking, or just plain amazing!

I’ll start with an odd picture – on the face of it a hybrid wildebeest, two bodies, one head. We’ll see over the coming weeks how photographic angles can lead to some really quirky results.

Camera Trap Image of the Week - 63
- (Added 10. Dec. 2013 - 11:00)

We have seen a few pictures of birds on this blog – here is another one for the collection. This is a White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) landing close to one of our waterholes. Wonderful definition of the wings, and especially the primary and secondary feathers.

Camera Trap Image of the Week - 62
- (Added 3. Dec. 2013 - 11:00)

I think this image is just about perfect. The springbok is captured mid-leap, there is no distortion on the shot, the sun is in a perfect position (see the shadow), the subject is beautifully framed, and there is even a puff of dust to give the impression of movement. Possibly the best shot our traps have produced in terms of image quality – and not bad for action as well. Of course, I should now be saying this won this year’s BBC Wildlife Camera Trap Competition! Sadly not, but the images in this year's competition were very impressive, have a look at them on

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discovery is in our nature

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