Wild life to look for on a Table

Mountain hike

Most visitors to Table Mountain will welcome the sight of a dassie sunning itself on a rocky ledge. These small mammals resembling a guinea pig are apparently very closely related, (genetically) to the elephant!!! You would never guess so to look at them, but this is a fact.


The word dassie is derived from the Dutch word for badger. “das” The common English name is a “rock rabbit” 

If not seen, a visitor may well hear their warning cry. This sharp bark will send the troop diving for cover.  Another sure sign on dassies in the area is their toilet! Dassies will all urinate and defacate in one area. These latrines can get quite large. One in the cederberg measures some 3m accross and 1m deep!!

The dassie is an important food source to the Black Eagle and other raptors on Table Mountain.

Although on Table Mountain these creatures have become relatively used to human activity. It is unusual for one to come too close. But the one in the picture seemed to have no fear at all. He sat at my feet and I am sure would have eaten from my hand. (I did not test this theory)

Dassie on India Venster


See the dassies on a guided hike on Table Mountain with Ridgway Ramblers.