cardboard box travel shop logo

Cardboard Box Travel Shop

Namibia


Water Mongoose

wildlife of Namibia

Introduction: The water mongoose (Attlax paludinosus) is a small mammal with a preference for permanent freshwater habitats bordered by dense vegetation, such as marshes reed beds, and estuaries. There have been, however, some sightings of them being recorded in hilly areas with little or no aquatic wildlife presence. Their claws are short and blunt and used for digging .

It is a solitary animal and spends most of its active time during periods of darkness and twilight, or although some activity has been observed during the day. As you would expect from their name, they are excellent swimmers, but nonetheless they prefer to keep their head above water, and frequently rests on patches of grass and floating vegetation.

The water mongoose are creatures of habit and follow smooth and well-defined paths near shorelines and other water bodies, frequently hidden by vegetation. Their territories are rigidly enforced, exclusive, and usually spaced along the waters around which they dwell. If cornered or otherwise seriously frightened, this mongoose may shoot streams of foul, brown fluid from its anal sacs and when excited, they may make a high-pitched cry or an open-mouthed bleat.

Distribution: In Namibia the water mongoose is not surprisingly confined to the extreme north and north-east along the Kunene and Kavango Rivers and in the south along the Orange River.

Diet: This species of mongoose craves great quantities of food and consumes any form of meat it can catch, as well as a wide variety of fruit. They frequently swim along river banks, with its head above the water, patiently and methodically sifting through underwater holes and crevices looking for aquatic animals to eat. They are an intelligent creature, and have been observed throwing crabs and snails against rocks in order to break open the shells.

Other observations claim that the water mongoose will at times lay very still with its tail up, offering its pink anal region (a startling contrast against the dark fur), which tempts birds to come near and have a peck. When the birds approach, they are killed and consumed, before they've had a chance for some beak/anus interaction.

Colouring: The water mongoose has dark brown fur which is lighter on the undersides. The guard hairs are black-tipped and is long and coarse on the body and short about the hands and feet.

Breeding: Little is known of their breeding habits, but it is widely believed the 2 litters are produced a year, 1 in the dry season and the other in the wet season. They construct bedding of dry grass in a hole for birthing, always near water. If a hole is unavailable near water, a nest of reeds, grass, and sticks will be constructed. Up to 3 offspring per litter have been recorded.

Size: The water mongoose weigh weighs around 2.5 - 4kg, with a body measuring 46 - 62cm and a tail measuring 32 - 53cm.

Wildlife Namibia

  • Namibian Wildlife: Water Mongoose
View more pictures:
Now Loading
The Cababnas | Camp Provenance

Cabana's and permanently erected tents on the banks of the Orange River. This camp also serves as the starting base for several river rafting & canoeing adventures

Goibib Mountain Lodge

An owner run lodge, set in a scenic and mountainous area, just off the main road between Keetmanshoop & Grunau. Comfortable well equipped rooms are complimented by game drives (including night drives) on the large farm

Norotshama Lodge

Nestled in the great valley of the Karas region and situated on the banks of the Orange River, about 50km from the South African / Namibia border post

Orange River Lodge

The Orange River Lodge is situated near Noordoewer on the border between South Africa and Namibia

Sandfontein Lodge

A small lodge set on the third biggest game reserve in Namibia. Expect tranquility and a very personalised service in a remote environment

The White House

Not quite Washington DC! This remote accommodation is basic but extremely popular with those looking for good honest accommodation.

Self Catering Accommodation in Namibia