wildlife of Namibia
Introduction: The dwarf mongoose (Helogale parvula) is the smallest of the African mongooses. It is stocky, with a fairly short, pointed muzzle and a long, fluffy tail. They live in groups of some 10 to 15 individuals, in large areas that overlap with the ranges of other groups. Their home range usually contains 20 or more termite mounds, which are used as den sites, sentry posts and sources of food. The group cooperation system is a great example of small species survival as they are constantly on the look out for predators such as birds of prey and snakes. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests and semi-arid areas.
Distribution: They are widespread in the northern areas of Namibia.
Diet: Dwarf mongoose mainly feed on insects such as beetles, grubs, termites, locusts, larvae and spiders. Whilst on foraging sorties, they keep in contact using a series of short 'chirrup' calls, just one of many vocalizations they use.
Colouring: Dwarf mongooses usually have a speckled brown or reddish coat.
Breeding: For every dwarf mongoose pack there is a dominant breeding pair, usually the oldest in the pack. This particular female normally produces 3 litters of young, with 2 to 4 infants in each litter. Gestation periods are 50 to 54 days. At the same time, subordinate breeding females, which come into oestrus at the same time as the dominant female, mate with other subordinate males in the pack. For some unknown reason, the these matings seldom produce live young. It is not certain if they fail to conceive or abort early in pregnancy and on the rare occasions when they do produce live young, it has been recorded that the new pups have either died instantly or been killed.
The dominant female spends little time with her young other than suckling them so they can forage for food. It is the subordinate females that takeover the baby caring duties. The babysitters change often during the day and it is not unusual for subordinate males to take their turn. The babysitters turn into guardians and defenders of the young.
Size: The dwarf mongooses are not more than about 40cm in length, with a tail of about half that length, with a mass of about 300g.
A traditional Owambo homestead which offers a unique opportunity of interacting with the local community while getting involved in local activities such as cattle herding and basket making.
Situated at the Ruacana falls on the Namibia / Angola border - this lodge serves as a gateway between Kaokoland and Owamboland
North of Etosha, east of Osahakati & west of Opuwo this remote lodge is situated on the vast plains of the Omusati Region. Attractions here include tracking Black Rhino.