The Cape Golden Mole (Chrysochloris asiatica) is a small, blind, insectivorous mammal, and not remotely related to rodent moles. The Cape Golden Mole is solitary. They normally burrow just below the sand surface, leaving a distinctive humped trail. Each adult maintains its own tunnel system.
The minute eyes are overgrown with skin and can only distinguish between light and dark. The long clawed toes of the fore-legs are used as burrowing instruments. Measuring 100-120 mm and weighing up to 50 grams males are larger than females. They have a soft, dense, silky coat. Coat colour blackish to slaty-grey and dark brown to pale fawn, always with a pronounced sheen of bronze, green or violet.
In their hunt for earthworms and other subterranean insect prey, they use their smooth leathery snouts to push the soil upwards, which is then moved backwards with the claws of the front feet.
Golden Moles occur only in Sub-Saharan Africa, and nowhere else in the world. The Cape Golden Mole is found in the southwestern Cape from the Cape peninsular region extending up the Namaqualand coastal plains to Port Nolloth. The westerly distribution extends inland to the western fold mountains, but does not occur in the Karoo.
The Cape Golden Mole inexplicably also occurs on Robben Island. There is a debate as to how the Cape Golden Moles observed on Robben Island actually got to the island. Theories include individuals been carried across in loads of building sand and escaping once on the other side, but no clear theory has been accepted.