The Nonchalant Caracal – Rangers Diary

April 20, 2015

Near the end of our morning game drive on Gondwana Game Reserve, en-route back to breakfast at Kwena Lodge, I decided to make a small detour. Just then in the middle of the road we found a beautiful young, male caracal, walking very elegantly and relaxed. He paid no attention to us allowing us to follow and admire him for quite a distance.

While we were discussing the impressiveness of this feline member and just as I mentioned how lions should envy this little predator for being a far superior hunter, the young cat leaped into action. He pounced over the road into a nearby helicrysum stand, scurrying around for a fraction of a second and stopped. Turning around he revealed his prize, a nice big fat gerbil pinned in his jaws.

It was surprising to see him start feeding right in front of us, not concerned at all about our presence. A good couple of minutes went by, allowing us to admire this amazing species who are usually very shy and nocturnal hunters by nature. They are capable of taking down prey about three times their size and can jump three meters into the air to catch a bird in mid flight.

When he was done with his breakfast, he stood up, walked five meters away and lay down just staring at us. The resemblance to a domestic cat lifestyle was uncanny; it lay looking at us, distant and content after the meal, conserving its energy. This was truly a once in a lifetime sighting. By Field Guide, PG Coetzee

Caracal at Gondwanacaracal GondwanaCaracal and gerbil GondwanaCaracal feeding

  • Affiliations Boutique Hotels Preffered Hotels Group