Small Grey Mongoose


Small-grey Mongoose / Now officially called the Cape Gray Mongoose [Galerella pulverulenta]


Small Grey Mongoose males are larger than females at 500 - 1000 grams. Total body length varies from 550 mm to 690 mm. Tail length between 200-340 mm. The body is uniform light to dark grizzled grey. Species in the northwest are darker, almost brown-black.

Bushy tails, same colour as the body coats, are always held horizontal to the ground. Legs are dark brown, almost black. Muzzles are relatively long.


Small rodents are the most important item in their diet. Insects are taken in smaller quantities, but is nevertheless an important part of the diet. Opportunistic hunter, and as such sight and smell play a significant role in procuring food.


The Small Grey Mongoose takes refuge in ground holes constructed by other species such as springhares. Rock piles and dense vegetation are also used. In these dens they give birth to litters, each of one to three young, from August to December. Nothing is known about sexual maturity or gestation period, nor of mating habits.


Diurnal, terrestrial and solitary, but is occasionally sighted in pairs during mating time, or in groups of adults with their young.


The Small Grey Mongooses has a wide habitat tolerance, and can survive in both lower- and higher rainfall areas.  Found  in forests, closed and open scrub, and open savannas. Koppies are also frequented.

Where they are found

Distributed widely in South Africa south of the Orange River in the Eastern, Southwestern and Northern Cape Provinces, the southern Free State, lower plains of northern Lesotho and along the Drakensberg range of western KwaZulu-Natal into Mpumalanga.

Field Notes

The Cape Gray Mongoose is one of the more regularly seen Mongooses on roadsides and in urban areas, having adapted well to urbanisation. They are however known to take eggs and young domestic chickens which often brings them into conflict with homeowners. Can be confused with the Large ray Mongoose when spotted for brief moments.
Kruger National Park - South African Safari