The continent of Africa is full of inspiring cultures, breathtaking scenery and striking wildlife. An exciting and satisfying tourist destination and vacation spot for people of all ages and backgrounds, Africa is much more than its one-sided depiction in the media. Visitors in Africa can enjoy the unique and captivating sights and sounds that the land has to offer through a guided safari. Here is a list of the wild species of great cats that can be spotted on an African safari.
The African Black-footed Cat is one of the smallest felid species on the planet and is Africa’s smallest wildcat. This little feline has dark spots that cover its fur that can sometimes merge to form dark bands or stripes. Black-footed cats only live in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. These cats prefer short grass plains, sand plains and scrub deserts, with ideal living areas being places with high bird and rodent densities. Compared to other cats in the southern parts of the continent, the black-footed cat is pretty rare.
More popularly known as the desert lynx, the Caracal is mostly found in dry regions. These medium sized cats have black-backed, pointy ears with a short, dense coat of light brown fur. Although they live primarily in dryer areas, the caracal also live in a wide variety of other places such as savannahs, woodlands, jungle scrub, acacia scrub, sandy regions, deserts and arid regions. Caracals can go for long time periods without liquids and are nocturnal hunters to avoid the harsh weather and heat of the day. These solitary cats only come together to mate and can have litters of up to six kittens. Caracals are mostly found in Namibia and South Africa.
Known for being the fastest land animal on the planet, Cheetahs have a unique blend of dog and cat like features. These big cats can run up to 60 miles per hour. Cheetahs are also well known for their golden and black spotted fur. They are mostly found in the Sahara Desert as well as the Savannahs of western and northern Africa. Cheetahs hunt more often during the daytime than other predators. This is because of their need to adequately see the land during high-speed chases and also there is a less chance of interruption during feeding from nocturnal predators. Cheetahs do not have regular mating seasons like other cats. Cheetahs can have litters of up to eight cubs, with the average litter size being three. Female cheetahs are solitary animals and tend not to be territorial, whereas male cheetahs who are related may form groups of 2 to 4 and will claim small territories for their own.
Africa’s fascinating wildlife is a remarkable sight to be seen and shared by any and everyone. You can learn how Roho Ya Chui can get you that much closer to the exotic African wild with a thrilling African safari trip today.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui. Travel Africa