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Surprised! by Dan MacKenzie

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Small (8.0" x 12.0")

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Few sightings of African cats have left me as speechless as this one of a caracal (Caracal caracal). Very rarely seen, this extremely reclusive feline is noctornal and very solitary in its habits and thus only occassionally photographed in the wild. To have come across it in such perfect evening light and in a relatively open area was akin to a miracle! It was just as surprised as we were at bumping into each other and it froze mid step at our approach. This provided the perfect opportunity to fire off a few very quick photos before it suddenly turned and disappeared into the long grass.

A relatively small cat (roughly .45m at the shoulder), it is none the less an extremely ferocious antagonist if cornered and will put up an effective defense against larger attackers. Being excellent climbers they share the leopards habit of using trees to cache their prey, some of which can weigh up to 2 times it’s body weight.

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Although Canadian by birth, I grew up in Africa and from an early age travel became a regular part of my life. As a result I developed an early passion for my two great loves, Africa and aviation. Being fortunate to return to Africa every year with our own safari company “Explorations Africa”, all of my photos of wildlife are taken in their natural and unstaged settings. Please visit us at www.explorationsafrica.com

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Comments

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesalmost 3 years ago


    1Image per 24hrs 2012/03/17
    Stunning capture!

  • Thanks Magaret. I was incredibly fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

    – Dan MacKenzie

  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesalmost 3 years ago

  • lorilee
    lorileealmost 3 years ago

    Beautiful!!!

  • Thanks Lorilee!

    – Dan MacKenzie

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...almost 3 years ago


    18 March 2012 – 2 images per day

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...almost 3 years ago

    Fabulous capture, I ’ve only saw one in Masai Mara in Kenya, great work Dan!

  • Thanks Konstantinos! I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have simply seen one, let alone having such a great opportunity to capture it at last light.

    – Dan MacKenzie

  • Robert Abraham
    Robert Abrahamalmost 3 years ago


    Congratulations on a well deserved feature,
    Robert

  • Thanks Robert!

    – Dan MacKenzie

  • SweetLemon
    SweetLemonalmost 3 years ago

    On one of my visits to South Africa I had the joy of meeting a ‘semi-tame’ caracal who would regularly visit one ranger’s house…we had a great time playing until she got her claws out, then I decided it was time to leave her be! This is a great photo that’s even better because it brings back great memories :)

  • I understand they don’t take to being tamed very well so you were definitely braver than I’d be in the circumstance! Glad it brings back great memories

    – Dan MacKenzie

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...almost 3 years ago


    23 March 2012 – 2 images per day

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...almost 3 years ago


    This wonderful work has just been selected and featured in the African Art and Photography group! This work now qualifies for our monthly avatar and voucher challenge here

  • Michael  Moss
    Michael Mossalmost 3 years ago

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