Safari cats in Africa are among the top major safari attractions for tourists coming to Africa. Safari cats in Africa are grouped into two types for example the big cats and small cats. The safari cats in Africa are majorly spotted in different countries in East Africa and largely Africa during the game drives, nature walks, and horseback riding safari and among others.
Spotting the African big cats is every ones dream who choose to book a safari to Africa. The African big cats include lion, leopard, and cheetah. These big cats are usually very illussive and shy. In-fact be able to see them one usually requires to try their luck on early morning game drive when the these safari cats are too active and hunting. These cats usually hate the scotching heat of the African savannas thats why lions of Ishasha in Uganda have adopted a rare behavior of climbing trees . As well the big cats can be seen during afternoon and as well as during night game drives.
Some of African safari big cats like leopards are known for being solitary and hunt solo hunters, these do rely on their specially adapted bodies and the instincts to hunt down their prey.
Big cats are members of the Felidae family along with small wild cats and domestic cats. The Safari Cats in Africa are carnivores and depend on meat for their meals like lions can consume zebras, wildebeest, African buffalo, warthog, giraffes, and many others. In the case of the leopards, they prey on the impala, bushbuck, duiker, chital, jackal, fox, genet, cheetah, and among others small prey. And lastly, the cheetahs prey on various hoofed animal species like the impala, duiker, gazelle, antelope, and among others. The big cats are endangered as well they also prey on domestic livestock like cattle, goats, sheep, and others.
Safari Cats in Africa are best seen in the four most important destinations that are popularly known for the best safari cats that is in Serengeti national park in Tanzania, Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, and Kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda, Akagera National Park in Rwanda, and that’s where the tourists do explore to experience the amazing concertation of the big cats.
Cheetahs are the members of the big cats that usually inhabit in scrub forests, savannahs, open plains, and desert areas. These are known as the fastest member of the big cats that reaches 100 kilometers per hour within 3 seconds. The cheetahs have got a speed of 113km/hr. (70 mph) in the short bursts as this speed helps the cheetahs a lot that’s what helps them to easily catch their prey. The cheetahs are small where the male cheetah can weigh 54 kg (12 pounds) while the males are smaller than the females where the females can weigh around 34kg (75 pounds). These are typically solitary animals this is common to a large extent in the females but in the case of the male cheetahs at times you find them in their small groups.
For the case of the cheetahs, these hunt during the day to avoid competition with fellow big cat species and other predators. Cheetahs survive in a different way of life that is they do depend on the amount of water that they get while eating so the cheetahs do not need the extra water to depend on in order to survive.
Cheetahs are known as the most social animal species in the big cats where the female cheetahs live in a more social life compared to the male cheetahs, the mother cheetahs can proceed and take care of the baby cheetah until 24 months old in the most hidden tall vegetation hence protecting the cub from the presence of the intruders.
Being the fastest animal species on the world, this can be sighted on a safari cat the cheetahs are not easily hunted by the presence of other predators, though other predators do steal the prey of the cheetahs like the lions and hyenas, not like other species the cheetah do stalk their prey and then sprints after it, the cheetahs are known to depend on the small sized preys as their perfect prey.
Leopards like inhabiting grasslands, woodlands, deserts, swamps, forests and among others, these are known to be the calm big cat species and it’s covered with beautiful spots called rosettes. Leopards are very powerful animal species that can even drag and kill prey heavier than their body weight. The leopards usually drag their food or prey up in the tree to avoid scavengers and other predators like lions, hyenas, baboons, and among others. Leopards have got a unique life in nature that is they carry out camouflaging, the leopards are unique they see seven times better in the darkness than human beings that’s why they are called the nocturnal animal species. Leopards are greatly known as serious climbers and swimmers in East Africa.
Leopard mothers are very caring and protective of their young ones like the way how every creature do on the planet, that is the leopards stay with their young ones until they turn two years old the leopard protect their young ones by hiding them in the lairs, though being the solitary animal species the leopards live in a way that each has got its own territory.
Lions are known as the most dangerous members and the most unique big cat that you should not miss out on spotting on a safari cat, the lion is a very social cat with the most interesting and complicated pride, the pride members hunt together like a pack of wolves and all share in the raising of the cubs in the lion’s pride you can find the siblings, half-siblings and at times even the strangers. Lions are such endangered animal species that roar and they can be heard in 8km (5miles) away, being the most carnivorous animal species. Lions have got a short life span of about 12 years in the wild.
Lions as well are known as the king of the jungle, in East Africa some lion species across the countries have a different way of living especially in the countries that is adapted to the heat, these lions climb the trees and they are called the tree climbing lions, most especially these lions are majorly located in Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda and Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania. Lions prefer habiting in the grasslands, open woodlands, savannah that’s where they spend most of their time as they are waiting for their daily prey to make their day. Lions are also known as the most fast animal species minus the cheetahs in fact the male lion can weigh 181kgs where the female lion can weigh about 131 kgs minus their size the lion can decide to run about 80km/hr. (50 mph) in the short bursts after its prey that is the lion do not easily give up on its prey.
On safari cats in Africa safari, it is exceptional especially in Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and Murchison falls national park the tourists can be able to spot these endangered animal species during the night game drive since they are the nocturnal animal species. Being on the top of the food chin the lions can be hunted and killed and then be given to other animals like the hyenas, and buffalos during hunting.
Small cats are the wild cats that weigh less than 30 kgs, the big cats are 3 while the small cats are 7 in number. The small cats includes the African caracal cat, African serval cat, African golden cat, Jungle cat, African wildcat, Sand cat, Black-footed cat. Ten members of that cats are the most attractive cat species including both the big cats and the small cats. Small cats safaris can be carried in almost every national park and reserve in East Africa in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda to have the best cat safari with the best memories.
On a safari cat to East Africa, you will be impressed with the small cat species, these are such rewarding like the big cats though they are elusive and very difficult to spot on a cat safari but once spotted they make your safari cat the most meaningful one though most of the times they like dodging the humans presence and other animal species.
African wild cat is known as the ancestor of the domestic cat and the endemic species of the wild cat, this is well spotted during your cat safari in East Africa and the entire Africa, with the average size of around 45 to 75 cm and has got 17 to 30 inches long. They are attractive with tawny colour on their upper ears and thy are nocturnal animal species but also it can prey on other small animals for survival.
Black-footed cat weighs about 2kgs and gets name from its black feet. The black footed cat do prey on other small animals with the highest percentage capacity of 60% to kill on the bird species, rodents and among others. The black footed cats are solitary species and they are nocturnal which can be seen during night game drive.
The black footed cat inhabits mainly in the savanna areas, grasslands, semi-desert areas and among others, these animals do not rarely on drink water they depend only on the moisture got from their prey for survival.
Caracal is the largest in Africa’s small cats that can easily be identified because of its distinctive ears with black tufts at their tips, these cats are much too speedy and it’s difficult to be observed. These weigh around 12 to 18 kgs that is (25 to 40 pounds) and they are nocturnal animal species. Caracal cats depend on other animal species as their prey like small mammals and bird species, with a capacity of high speed that is 80 km/hr. (50 mph) these animal species can jump higher in order to snatch birds in flight out of the sky. On an Africa safari, the caracal can be found especially in parks with forests, savannahs, semi-desert areas, and others.
Serval cat has got almost the same weight as caracal, the serval can be active both during the day and again during the night which helps them to easily spot their prey especially the rodents. Serval prefers staying in the places that are near water bodies. Serval cat has got larger ears which they use as radars to allocate the presence of the prey, the serval have got the longer legs compared to the body size of any other cat.
African golden cat is as well called the leopard’s brother, according to the local people. The cat is two times big as the domestic cat, it has got the unique color from sepia-gray to marmalade orange-red at times it gets spots. African golden cats do prefer in the primary lowlands, in moist forests, rivers, mountainous regions, montane forests, and among others.
African golden cat is a solitary animals, these unique cats when threatened their back slightly arched, and the hair on their back and tail stands up. The cats are carnivores preying on mid-sized mammals like red dukers, forest antelopes, red monkeys, monkeys, and fish and among bird species.
Jungle cat is also called reed cat, swamp cat due to the preference for the wet habitats, woodland, grassland. The jungle cat is large and slender with light brown stripes on its legs, several rings on its tail that ends at the tip. Unlike other cats the jungle cat is not a nocturnal, it looks for its prey during morning and afternoon. It likes resting during the day and it’s a good swimmer.
Photo Credit: World Atlas
Being the solitary species, Jungle cat socialize with others during the breeding season. Jungle cats are carnivorous and they prey on the lizards, rodents, snakes, frogs, fish insects, livestock, frogs and others.
Sand cats are small they have pale sandy to grey-brown coat, it has a broad head with large eyes and short limbs, sand cat lives in dry places and they sustain their lives without water, they run on the shifting sand and detect prey underground. Sand cats depend mostly on the snakes because they are fearless on them because most of their prey includes venomous vipers and other snakes, the sand as well feeds on birds, reptiles, spiders, and others. Sand cats have the ability to dig to create shelter from extreme weather. Carry out an incredible safari to East Africa, and Africa to explore the best cat safari and get the best cat safari experiences while observing and spotting every cat that is the big cats and small cats to get unforgettable safari memories in your life.
The best time to go for big cat watching safaris in East Africa is during the dry months of the year in the months of June to September, that’s the best time when the tourists can come to the East Africa’s countries for big cat safaris, during that time that’s when the bushes can be thin which helps the tourists to easily sight the big cats in East Africa. Big cat safaris are not best done during the rainy season that’s when the vegetation in the parks have grown tall hence limiting the easy spotting of the big cats cheetahs, lions, leopards in East Africa.
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