South Africa’s Mammals

Hi everyone!
I’m a mammalwatcher from South Africa and I’ve seen most of the common mammals in South Africa but there’s a few species I’m struggling to find info on. I hope someone can help!

Can anyone provide spots for the following species:
Cape Grysbok
Striped Polecat
Spotted-necked Otter
Cape Clawless Otter
Southern Tree Hyrax
Yellow-spotted Hyrax
Large-spotted Genet (Genetta tigrina)
Rusty-spotted Genet (Genetta maculata)
Smith’s, Hewitt’s, Natal and Jameson’s Red Rock Rabbits
African Savanna Hare

Can anyone provide tips on how to distinguish between Cape Hare and Scrub Hare?


Hamman Prinsloo


  • Nicolas

    Marievale Bird Sanctuary for Spotted-necked Otter (I observed a group of 6 for 1 hour late April at the Duiker hide)
    De Hoop for Cape Clawless Otter (saw on 2 occasions in late April too, from the cliff over the Vlei, 500m south of the boat house)
    The Aberdeen Plain NW of Port Elizabeth for Cape Grysbok (4 indiv seen during a 1h30 night drive along the dust roads west and south of the R75, Glenconnor). Also spotted a non-id genet and a cape fox.

  • Chris Roche

    I’d agree with Nicholas on Marievale for the Spotted-necked Otter as one of the more reliable spots in SA.
    Agulhas Plain for Cape Grysbok.
    Phinda for Suni and Bushpig (they see polecat as well, but this species is a lottery really).
    Soutpansberg or the Pafuri area for Yellow-spotted Rock Hyrax.

  • Charles Foley

    The main campus of the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth has a little ‘nature reserve’ on it and you’re guaranteed to see Cape Grysbok at all times of the day.

  • Chris Roche

    Hi Hamman
    – for the Agulhas Plain … basically the area between Bredasdorp and Struisbaai … keep an eye out for grysbok along the road edge.
    – in the Soutpansberg I used to see the hyrax on rocky outcrops along the Bluegumspoort and Witvlag roads. If you are up there I’d suggest heading into Kruger along Nyala Drive in the Thulamela area south of the Luvuvhu River.

  • Paul Leigh

    Hi Hamman
    We managed to see bush pig on a heritage safari night drive at st lucia wetlands,and saw striped polecat at de hoop.

    All the best
    Paul l

  • Nick,

    Hi, we saw spotted-necked otters on every visit to the wetlands near Wakkerstroom during a 3 day visit in August 2016. Nick

  • Guy Palmer

    Hi Hamman,
    Re Cape and Scrub hares, I have recently had the opportunity to assist a student with this problem from camera trap images. I was amazed at how clear the differences are from these images. It is not always that clear in the field often at night with them giving you the ahv as they race off. Anyway the main differnces from the area that these species where photographed from, Anysberg Nature Reserve and Little Karoo, was that the Cape was generally more “rufous” particularly flanks and front legs than the scrub where the grey is more dominant. The Cape also has more slender front legs plus a few different gizz which is noteasy to expalin.
    I would be happy to have a go at an id of any images that you may have or get in the future. A side view is best….
    Stay well

    • Hamman Prinsloo

      Hi Guy!
      Thanks for your response! I’m visiting Kgalagadi in a few days and I’m planning on going on a few night drives. I hope to see both and it will really help if you can help me ID if I find any!
      Please leave your email address and I’ll mail you photos if I get any?

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