The wildlife on Table Mountain

At first sight Table Mountain may appear a pretty barren lump of rock that would be unable to support too much wildlife. However there is a multitude of wildlife on Table Mountain, some very rarely seen but some have become quite used to human presence and are often seen by hikers on the mountain. One of the most adaptable orders seems to be the rodents. And when I say rodent please don’t just think of disease carrying rats. Rodents are identified as animals that have continually growing incisor teeth that need to be worn down through continuous gnawing. It is a hugely varied order with 40% of mammal species in the world being rodents!

Here are just some of the rodent species that I see on Table Mountain quite regularly.

The striped mouse is a lovely little rodent. Easily distinguished by its dark dorsal stripe. Although it naturally feeds mainly on seeds, it has become accustomed to foraging in areas where people regularly eat. It is believed that at least 20 Protea species are pollinated by various mouse species. A fact that was only discovered in the late 1970’s.

Wildlife of Table Mountain

A cute little striped mouse has learned that people leave tasty crumbs

Whilst spotting the nocturnal porcupine is very rare you will often find evidence of their activites. Either in discarded spines or in the holes left where they have been digging for bulbs and tubers their favourite food. Occasionally you may be lucky to spot one in the early morning. The Porcupine is the largest rodent found on Table Mountain

wildlife on Table Mountain

A porcupine quill is evedence of activity on the mountain at night

Another common sight on Table Mountain is the Cape Grey mongoose. These small solitary mammals are active during the day and often seen scurrying across the road, or digging in a bin. Very shy and quick to run away they are nevertheless cheeky and are found in some of the most crowded areas of Table Mountain.

Wildlife on Table Mountain

The Cape Grey Mongoose beating a hasty retreat as we approach

The dassie, or Rock Hyrax, is a favourite sight amongst visitors. Not least because of its genetic classification. In fact the Dassie is not a rodent. It is so unusual that it has its own order (Hyracoidea) and that the elephant is its nearest living relative. This seemingly bizarre fact is definitely not due to any obvious physial similarities but due to a common ancestor.

Wildlife on Table Mountain

Although not a rodent, the dassie has to be mentioned

To explore Table Mountain contact Binny. We will ensure you enjoy the best sights and escape the crowds