In the western desert regions of Kaokoland and Damaraland in S.W.A. elephants, black rhinoceroses and giraffes survive under environmental conditions atypical elsewhere for them. These animals occupy a seemingly inhospitable desert habitat, are locally endangered and occur in small numbers. The first priority of this study is directed at the acquisition of the relevant data necessary for formulating those management and conservation strategies which will ensure the survival of these wildlife populations. Secondly, this study also aims at establishing whether these populations are ecologically discrete and restricted to the desert areas, and thirdly what adaptations to desert-living they exhibit.