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