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Differences: Hares and Rabbits


Temperatures at Kariega during winter (May to September) are mild and the average is above 16 C (61 F). The average minimum temperature is around 10 C (51 F) but it can get colder at night. One of the benefits of a winter safari is that you may see nocturnal or night active animals during the day. Some of the more rarely seen animals that you may see enjoying the winter sun are jackals, bush pigs, aardvark and scrub hares.

Main Differences Between Hares and Rabbits

Rabbits Hares
  • Born hairless and blind
  • Born with fur and can see
  • Called kittens or bunnies
  • Called leverets
  • Totally dependent on their mothers
  • They can move on their own within an hour
  • Smaller than hares and have shorter hind legs and shorter ears
  • Bigger than rabbits with longer hind legs and longer ears
  • Make nests underground
  • Make nests above ground
  • If threatened rabbits will run for cover underground
  • Will use their strong hind legs and run away
  • Rabbits are social animals
  • Hares are solitary, only pairing to mate.

Scrub Hares in Winter Sunshine

Kariega Scrub Hare different to Rabbits

Animals of all shapes and sizes are highly adaptable to changes in their natural environment. They can quickly adapt to a new food source if their normal food has been depleted, move to a different area to escape territorial fights or to use different hunting tactics to outsmart their prey. The scrub hares in these photos have also adapted to feed at a different time of day to enjoy some warm winter sun. 

Kariega Scrub Hare different to Rabbits

Did you see any nocturnal animals enjoying the winter while on safari at Kariega Game Reserve? If so, please add your comments below or add them on our Facebook page, via Twitter or on Instagram. We look forward to hearing from you.

Photographs thanks to Jone Haesslich.