A Very Unusual Caracal Sighting

The game viewing at Tanda Tula Safari Camp never ceases to amaze us all. This time, instead of the big cats and big five taking centre stage, as they have in the last 2 days, it was one of our smaller cat species which gave our guests some spectacular game viewing.

Most bush loving regulars will tell you, that on the very rare occasions that they have been lucky enough to spot Caracal on a game drive, it would have been a fleeting glimpse, as these solitary and generally shy cats tend to slip away as soon as they notice visitors entering into their environment. So it was with great excitement that one of our senior rangers, Scotch, and his guests watched as a fully grown male Caracal cross the road in front of them.

A rare sighting indeed!


Scotch stopped and switched off the vehicle at least 50 metres away from the animal in order to give it space to decide what to do next. Scotch explained that, although he expected it to move off, he was nonetheless hoping that by remaining quiet, and with a little patience, the guests may get a further glimpse of him. What happened next was completely unexpected and a rare treat for our guests indeed. The Caracal poked its head out of the grass in the road ahead, and then slowly began walking towards the vehicle. It ended up sitting down in front of the vehicle, in a position so close, that it was not possible for our guests to get photographs from over the bonnet of the game viewer.

Caracal walking towards the vehicle

Needless to say, Scotch’s tracker, Philip, sitting on the tracker seat on the front of the game viewer, had an awesome close-up view of the animal right at his feet! Then, as if that were not enough, the Caracal got up and proceeded to stalk past the vehicle and into the grass behind the vehicle, returning only a minute later to sit in front of the vehicle again. He then got up and moved off slowly down the road in front of the vehicle, stopping every now and then to pose for pictures!

Caracal close to our vehicle

Our guests have certainly been treated to amazing sightings recently and we wonder what will appear next!

Once again our guests, Hamish and Lucinda McLennan, were there to capture the action, and the photos attached to this story are kindly provided by Lucinda.

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