Songs from the rocks

17 December 2011

If Lamai Serengeti would be famous for sharing its kopje with one particular animal, it would be the Rock Hyrax. This super interesting and little furry mammal (+/-4 kg) is seen so much around camp, you really can’t miss it. And as our relationship with the Rock Hyrax around camp grew, both them and us seem to benefit from our company.


Well, the presence of us keeps other predators away – at least that is during the day when we are around. Seeking that safety, they seem to understand that it is actually quite practical to have a small number of Homo Sapien around the rocks.

So interestingly, mutual interest and respect seems to have grown. This great and funny little guinea pig meets rabbit look-a-like is really so cool to observe. And if you can’t find them – they’ll tell you where they are.

The Rock Hyrax really are VERY vocal. The noise they make is known as songs (read: screams!). Not beautiful in the way that it’s a pleasureto the ears, it certainly does identify the Hyrax. High thrilling, screeching sounds are not mistaken for any other animal. Better even, seeing them sing is completely funny!

Sociable as they are, they live in groups of up to 80 individuals, spread out over a number of smaller flocks. The amount of songs they have ontheir repertoire is impressive. Living here at Lamai Serengeti, we learned to listen to a slice of the variety they sing. As we researched on meanings of different songs, it seems that certain songs even contain biological information such as age, status, size and hormonal state of the singer! Isn’t that just totally incredible!?

Oophw – that is a lot on the rock hyrax’s hey? Butthey really deserve it!

Come and listen too!

Follow us