Among many of the fun aspects of driving through the drier regions of this country – and especially in the open savanna or grassland – is to be greeted by one of these curious creatures at the side of the road.

This Cape Ground Squirrel almost seemed pleased to have company.

Always on the alert, she swished her tail and wrinkled her nose delicately.

As the afternoon sun was hot, she shaded herself with her tail.

Turning to show us how effective it was.

In a flash she was up on her hind legs again – scanning her surroundings for danger.

Then she rushed off to the other side of the road, giving me a quick glimpse of the top of her bushy tail as she disappeared under our vehicle.


One of the most delightful creatures to happen upon in the veld is the Cape Ground Squirrel, (Xerus inauris) a rodent which is endemic to South Africa. Their antics are wonderful to watch. They are predominantly herbivorous, feeding mainly on roots and bulbs excavated with claws and front teeth, although this one  is nibbling on grass seeds.

NOTE: Please click on the photograph if you want a larger image.