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Dassie Rat

wildlife of Namibia

Introduction: The Dassie rat, (Petromus typicus), is a rodent found among rocky outcroppings. The name 'dassie' in Afrikaans is also known as 'hyrax' and Petromus means 'rock mouse'. Dassie rats are one of many rodents that are sometimes called rock rats. They are squirrel-like in appearance, with their hairy but not bushy tails. The padded soles of their feet are distinctly bare and they have noticeably flattened heads and flexible ribs, characteristics that enable them to squeeze into extremely narrow crevices.

Distribution: They are fairly widespread in Namibia, found in the central and western parts of the country to the north-western parts of the border with Angola.

Diet: Dassies feed primarily on grassy parts, but will sometimes eat fruits, seeds, and leaves.

Colouring: The overall coloration can be a range of browns, greys, or almost black. Noses are yellowish and tend to stand out.

Breeding: Females give birth to a pair of offspring just once a year, during the warmer, summer months. This is an unusually slow reproductive rate among rodents.

Size: Adult dassie rats have a total length of about 30cm with tails around 15cm. Records show that the average mass is about 220g.

Wildlife Namibia

  • Namibian Wildlife: Dassie Rat
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Ababis Guest Farm

One of the regions oldest farms, suitable for dune and Naukluft Mountain visits

Barchan Dune Retreat

A small lodge situated close to the spectacular Spreetzhoogte pass and around 10km from Solitaire

Kuangukuangu Luxury Cabin

A private and secluded hide-a-way in the Namib Desert. Ideal for those wanting a break from civilization

Rostock Ritz

Excellent food, too far to be the ideal base to visit Sossusvlei, good stop en-route to Swakopmund after night nearer the dunes

Solitaire Country Lodge

Budget option in Namibia's most famous one-horse town

Solitaire Guest Farm

Friendly owners and a stunning setting about 60km from Sesriem

Tsondab Valley Scenic Reserve

Explore the spectacular desert around this property or use it as a base to visit Sossusvlei.

Self Catering Accommodation in Namibia