Mountain Zebra

Scientific Name:

Equus zebra

The mountain zebra is a threatened species in the family Equidae. It is native to south-western Angola, Namibia and South Africa. Reigning taxonomic practice recognises two subspecies the:

  • Cape mountain zebra (Equus zebra zebra) and
  • Hartmann’s mountain zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae).
  • However, it has been suggested these should be considered separate species.


Like all extant zebras, mountain zebras are boldly striped in black or dark brown and no two individuals look exactly alike. The whole body is striped except for the belly. In the Cape Mountain zebra the ground colour is effectively white, but the ground colour in Hartmann’s zebra is slightly buff.


Their preferred diet is tufted grass, but in times of shortage they will browse, eating bark, twigs, leaves, buds, fruit, and roots. They drink every day and when there is no surface water in times of drought, they commonly dig for ground water in dried river beds.


Mountain zebras are found on mountain slopes, open grasslands, woodlands and areas with sufficient vegetation, but their preferred habitat is mountainous terrain, especially escarpment with a diversity of grass species.