Chameleons have eyes at the back of their heads

This week we are sharing some cool chameleon facts for kids, although we think the adults will find them rather interesting too! 

When you come on safari with us in the Timbavati we only find the Flap Necked Chameleon, but most of this crazy and fun information applies to them!  

Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa

  • Chameleons have the coolest eyes in the natural kingdom because they can see in two directions at once. As well as this, their upper and lower eyelids are joined together with only a tiny space through which the pupil can see, they have amazing vision and can spot prey from a long distance off. 


  • Did you know chameleons change colour according to their mood? However, it can also be because of the temperature or light in their environment, but even most amazingly scientists believe it could be a way of communicating with other chameleons! 


  • Changes of colour can happen in 20 seconds! Most chameleons change from brown to green and back again, but there are some chameleons that can turn almost any colour.  


  • Chameleons have terrible hearing, just like snakes they do not have an ear opening or eardrum! However, they are not deaf and are able to pick up sound frequencies very well. 


  • Most chameleon species have tongues that are twice the length of their own body, strangely enough the smaller the chameleon the longer their tongue! When they feed, they shoot out their tongue at an incredible speed and can catch their prey in under a second! The tip of their tongue is a ball of muscle and as it hits the victim it forms a suction cap, making every hit a successful one, unless, of course, you are the prey!  


  • Chameleons have funny toes! Each foot has 5 toes which are divided into sections of either 2 or 3 toes, making each foot look very much like an ice tong. These clever feet allow the chameleon to grip tightly onto narrow and rough branches and allow the chameleon to move around in trees.  
  • There are about 160 different species of chameleon in the world, and almost half of these are found on the island of Madagascar!  


  • Most male chameleons have some sort of head or face additions such as horns on their nose or crests on the top of their heads. These are supposed to make them more attractive to the female of their kind! 


Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa

Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa