Although it can climb trees when being chased or searching for food, it is normally earthbound, making its home in the shelter of rocks or stones, fallen trees and other vegetation, or in the disused burrow of an aardvark. When this animal runs for cover, it holds its body flat and its tail horizontal, but just as it reaches cover, the black tipped tail flicks up vertically. It tends to use well-worn tracks, which make it vulnerable to birds of prey.
It can distinguish between predators such as eagles and other, harmless birds such as crows, and will often freeze until it has identified the danger. The slender mongoose's diet and method of hunting are similar to those of the small grey mongoose. The young are born in holes in the ground, or in crevices, under tree roots, or in any substantial shelter available.