The mountain zebra is white with black stripes and the legs are ring-striped to the hooves. The underparts are white and there is a distinctive “grid-iron” pattern of transverse black stripes on the rump above the tail. The muzzle tip is black blending into orange-brown. An erect mane runs from the top of the head to the withers and there is a dewlap on the throat. The Cape mountain zebra (E. z. zebra) is not a huntable species at this stage. The plains zebra, where their ranges overlap, has light brown shadow stripes on the white, stripes extending onto belly and comparatively shorter ears.
Hartmann’s occurs naturally only along the escarpment of the Namib and adjacent flatland, but it has been introduced into South Africa outside this range. Namibia and South Africa are the countries offering this zebra as a trophy. Hartmann’s once had a more or less continuous distribution in the rugged, broken hill country from south-western Angola, right down western Namibia and into the north-west of South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It has expanded naturally again into the Richtersveld National Park and has been reintroduced into the Goegap Nature Reserve and Augrabies Falls National Park. The exact former range of the Cape Mountain Zebra is unclear, but it probably occurred along much of the South African Cape Folded Belt ranges and many of the adjacent inland mountains, within today’s Western and Eastern Cape provinces. Brought to the verge of extinction, it now occurs in several national parks and provincial nature reserves as well as several privately owned game reserves.
Hartmann’s has lost both range and numbers in Namibia, having dropped from more than 16 000 in 1972 to an estimated 7 000 today. Approximately 250 Hartmann’s have been introduced in South Africa. Sometimes considered to be a problem in Namibia where they at times damage fences.
Generally associated with rugged mountain terrain they frequently move onto plateaux and adjacent flatlands to feed.
Small harem groups of mares, usually 3 to 5, and their young, are controlled by a stallion. Larger groupings of 40 and more individuals may be observed at feeding grounds or watering points, but each group retains its integrity. Stallions that do not hold harem herds form into bachelor groups, which may include young mares and weaned foals. Harem holding stallions are not territorial, but defend the mares against the attentions of other stallions, although submissive stallions are tolerated.