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more muddying of the water....the most distinctive difference of the two is the dorsal spot in the middle of their backs. The Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax "bush hyrax" has a spot that is whitish or yellowish. The Rock Hyrax has a spot that is black or dark in color. (I did not know this but had to look it up as if doing a term paper.)


A couple of more photos from Pamushana in Zimbabwe and looking at the back they must be Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax otherwise called bush hyrax.



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@marg Good term-paper work. A strong B+ I would think. Yes, the spot is apparently a good "tell" if you can see it, although it turns so many hyraxes into bush hyrax I begin to wonder. Yours has a markedly pointy snout (is that even the right word?) and very light eye markings too - making it a clear-as-day, triple-confirmed bush hyrax in my book. .


Cute pics of the youngster trying to get a feed too.


Edit: I'm going to have to look out my books - I am sure there is something important that I have forgotten.

Edited by pault
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From 2006.... by the pool att Elsa's Private House at Elsa's Kopje , Meru




Bush or rock? :P


Not the best photo, but hey, the camera had like 3 megapixels and I'd had a few glasses of wine and was just out of the infinity pool..

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The only other photo I have - and probbaly not very helpful for identification. I must have been quite tipsy and scared of the very long drop over hte other side of the rocks to have only too shots,, as I am sure I was very aware this was a special sighting (well, for a hyrax-fancier like me).

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Yellow-Spotted Rock Hyrax (aka "Bush Hyrax"), Serengeti Mara, 2011 September






Tree Hyrax in the bathroom of the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, 2011 September




Rock Hyrax in Table Mountain, Cape Town - 2015 July



Edited by KI-NRT
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@@pault @Marg@KlNRT I just love your photos of hyraxes. I felt that when I was at Pamushana it owed most of it's bush vibe to the tree hyraxes. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would give Pamushana a 5 for bush vibe.

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KI-NRT. A full house! Tree hyrax in your room is a bit special. And I like the termite mound adaptation. First one almost looks mousy!

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@@KI-NRT, I love the toes, especially the second one!

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Since I last posted, a further 12 images have been added, thanks to all who have contributed recently, some more great images. This is rapidly becoming one of the most active threads on the site, only 24 more pages to go to rival the ever popular lion and leopard.

Special thanks to KI-NRT, a new member, for his images, they are wonderful, a Tree Hyrax at last and accurately identified. (Southern Tree Hyrax- Dendrohyrax arboreus stuhlmanni).



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okay...one more from Pamushana


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  • 2 weeks later...

Day dreaming

Storms River, South Africa



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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Wow! Didn't think there will be a Hyrax club

Taken at the Mara Serena Lodge, Masia Mara Reserve, Kenya.


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The following images were taken in Ongava Game Reserve near Etosha N.P., in July 2017.

Interestingly the Rock Hyrax found in this location have a white dorsal patch unlike the nominate form found further south which have a black patch, as seen on several images on this thread.

I therefore believe they are of the sub-species Procavia capensis welwitschii, THE KAOKOVELD ROCK HYRAX. (sorry @pault, I know how keen you are on Hyrax taxonomy, couldn't resist).







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I can live with that - as long as the difficult little so-and-sos stay in the Kaokoveld.


They're lovely by the way - and very nicely photographed.

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  • 3 weeks later...


When I took this series of images and those above I was rather unsure exactly what I had photographed as they were so very different physically from those found further south. I sent a couple of images to Dr. T Butynski (Director -Lolldaiga hills Research Programmme, Kenya.) and he was of the opinion they were of the sub-species P. c.welwitschii as already indicated above, but thought I should make contact with a team at Zurich University who are currently conducting some research into Hyrax genetics. Dr Hendrik Hoeck from the team also confirmed the images as being of P. c.welwitschii but went on to say that if he had not already seen seen this sub-species in Northern Namibia 'I would have said your images are of the Bush Hyrax, Heterohyrax brucei from The Serengeti'!

The research team in Zurich are presently analysing the genetics of the Rock Hyrax from this (northern Namibia) and other areas in order to improve on the known genetics of the species, but feel that a thorough genetic analysis from all over the African Continent is necessary, because there are probably more Hyrax species than  are currently recognised.

Would really like to see some more Hyrax images on this thread, please post.    





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Okay,  here's some  from my trip to South Africa.  First, around Boulder’s Beach. 


P9190062 Dassie AKA Rock Hyrax


P9190078 Dassie AKA Rock Hyrax


P9190082 Dassie AKA Rock Hyrax


P9190577 African Penguins & Dassie


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And a few from Augrabies Falls 


P9280042 Dassie aka Rock Hyrax


P9280074 Dassie aka Rock Hyrax


P9280209 Dassie aka Rock Hyrax


P9280225 Dassie aka Rock Hyrax on a big rock


P9301057 Dassies aka Rock Hyrax


P9290359 Dassie aka Rock Hyraxes


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Brilliant additions @kittykat23uk  What a collection of poses.


@johnweir More species than currently recognised? I wouldn't be surprised. And I am so impressed you even found these people, never mind corresponded with them. I hope you pointed them to this thread. Fantastic!! :D

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@kittykat23uk, great images, really capture the appeal of the species, particularly like the variety of different habitats. Will direct the research team to this thread and your images in particular as they show marked differences between those Hyrax images I took further north. Do you have anymore? Wonderful addition to the thread.

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  • 1 year later...

In an attempt to keep this thread active, the following images were taken in July 2018 in Namibia and all feature the Cape Rock Hyrax, (Procavia capensis ssp. capensis), these individuals differ from the images I posted last year (#39 & 41) by having a black  dorsal patch and are by far the most common Hyrax seen in Southern Africa. However all the images proved reasonably difficult to secure as the Hyrax clearly were not used to the presence of humans unlike those that live say near safari camps etc. thus they bolted for cover at the slightest movement. 


Taken about 2 miles south of Camp Kipwe, Twyfelfontein.


Taken on a rocky outcrop just as we were starting to negotiate the D2315 (unpaved) having just left the C33 near Omaruru.


They are capable of supporting amazing weights!, image taken further down the D2315, as we drove towards Erongo Wilderness Camp.


Same location as above.


This image was taken from a considerable distance, I am amazed it has any clarity at all. It was taken on the Erongo Wilderness Camp Reserve I had spent all day hiking several trails in order to secure a Black Mongoose sighting which never happened. But throughout the day I could hear a high pitched squeal which echoed down several canyons I eventually located the culprit, the Hyrax above. Note the Hyrax calling card on the rock face, urine staining.   


A Rock Hyrax behaving as a Tree or Bush Hyrax. Taken during my extended walk.


Possibly the same individual as above taken further down the track.

There must be lots of new images out there which have been taken over the last 12 months (several have already been published in various trip reports) it would be great to see them and others on this thread. I know the guy I corresponded with last year who is studying Hyrax taxonomy was very interested in this thread, so your efforts could well be appreciated beyond this forum.   


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Here are a few taken at Betty's Bay near Cape Town

All taken 06.11.18



With babies




Now both suckling




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  • 2 months later...

oi, I didn't even there was this thread on hyrax, or perhaps I had seen it in my new content list but with so many postings this thread got buried deep down in a dormant volanic mountain. well until @johnweir blew the top open and I had to dig into my safari archives for some hyraxes. Now, please note that I am scientifically challenged (in addition to being challenged in technology, mathematics, linguistics and whatnots) so my references are from the guides or from my muddled flawed memories during the respective safaris. 



My first ever hyrax!  Rock hyrax,  Tarangire Park,  2013





Tree Hyrax, South Luangwa national Park, 2014





Bush Hyrax, Pamushana, Malilangwe, 2016

Resident hyraxes




He sure looks like he's smiling!



Rock hyrax, Lewa, 2019




Edited by Kitsafari
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I've also just caught up with this thread and thought I'd add something 



Rock hyrax (Procavia capense) Erongo Wilderness Reserve in Namibia by inyathi, on Flickr




Yellow-spotted bush hyrax (Heterohyrax brucei), Ruaha River Lodge, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania






Vervet monkeys and bush hyrax, Ruaha River Lodge



Eastern tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus schusteri), Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Tanzania



Western tree hyrax (Dendrohyrax dorsalis), the Royal Mile, Budongo Forest, Uganda

Edited by inyathi
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