Key identification features
A very large mongoose with a long body and short legs. Its tail is long and strongly tapered with a conspicuous black tassel. The head is slender with very small ears and eyes and a pointy muzzle. HB 45.-60 cm. Wt 1.9.-4.1 kg.
Habitat and social behaviour
It occurs in well wooded savannah often near water. It is a nocturnal animal that can sometimes been seen during the day. It lives singly, in pairs or in small family parties.
The marsh mongoose is similar in size and shape but has a shorter tail and no black tassel. The white tailed mongoose is similar in size but usually has a white tail and longer legs. The much smaller slender mongoose can also have a black tipped tail.