FIELD GUIDE Animal Directory

Small Carnivores

South Africa’s small carnivorous mammals range from the mongooses of the family Herpestidae, which are likely to be seen on any safari, to the nocturnal – and less likely to be spotted – viverrids and mustelids.


Genets and civets belong to the carnivore Viverridae family, which is confined to Africa and Asia; their closest relatives are cats. By contrast, Mustelidae is the most diverse carnivore family, represented by 57 species in 22 genera worldwide.

FIELD GUIDE Animal Directory

Cape Clawless Otter (LC)

Species Aonyx capensis Seen False Bay, Kruger

Arguably the largest of the “small” carnivores, weighing as much as 35 kg (77 lb), the Cape ...

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