September 2021

Slender mongoose (Manghovo in Tsonga language)

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Slender mongoose (Manghovo in Tsonga language)

We have five different types of mongooses in the Singita Kruger National Park concession.

They are:

  • White tailed mongoose
  • Banded mongoose
  • Water mongoose
  • Dwarf mongoose
  • Slender mongoose

Banded mongooses and dwarf mongooses are gregarious animals (live in groups). The rest of the other mongooses are solitary.

The slender mongoose (Manghovo) is one of the most amazing animals we have in southern Africa, especially in the lowveld region in South Africa. It is very important in my culture (Tsonga or Shangaan) to specifically try and see one of these mongooses when you are traveling from one place to another on foot, more specially around the rural area. Some types of mongoose are active at night but Manghovo is active during the day, so your chances of
seeing one when travelling by day are good.  If you are walking somewhere and see a slender mongoose crossing the road in front of you from right to the left with the tail up, that means you will have a bad journey so you had better not proceed. If it crosses the road from left to right with the tail up, that means you will make it but it won't be easy. Seeing a slender mongoose crossing the road with its tail down means you are welcome to proceed with your journey.

Walter Mabilane
By Walter Mabilane
Field Guide