Whist out last night during the cold rainy weather, we did not manage to see a lot of game, however on our return to Buffalo Camp, we came upon an unusual sighting – an African wild cat (Felis silvestris lybica), foraging for food.
The cat was relaxed and did not pay much attention to us viewing him, as he was too interested in what he was stalking.
Diet: mice, rats and other small mammals but when the opportunity arises, it will also eat birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Habitat: Africa and in the Middle East, in a wide range of habitats: steppes, savannas and bushland.
The Sand Cat (Felis margarita) is the species found in even more arid areas.
African Wildcats are on CITES Appendix II that mean species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in specimens of such species is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival. The primary threat facing the African wildcat throughout its range is hybridization with domestic cats. Hybridization has been taking place over a long period of time, particularly in the north of its range where domestic cats arose thousands of years ago.
After a good 10 minutes of viewing, this beautiful cat was on his way and we were on our way back to camp.
Kobus van Schalkwyk
Ranger at Buffalo Camp
Our afternoon drive started off quite well. We had a very nice sighting of elephants feeding and crashing through the bush as only elephants can. Two young males were pushing each other around like two young kids that had watched too much wrestling on TV. After the elephants, we found a very active baby white rhino, running up and down the road. All the while mom was keeping an eye on him…thinking, mad little baby of mine.
We decided to stop for a leg stretch and a drink while the sun set over the Drakensburg Mountains.
After our drinks stop we continued on our way searching for some of the most secretive animals in the bush. We stumbled upon a rather brave lesser tailed Bush baby. We spotted him by the reflection of his eyes in the spot light. Normally they are very shy and jump away when you come closer, but this little guy decided he was going to put on a show. He was on some serious mission, jumping from tree to tree and into the road and back again. Because we were so memorized by this show, we did not realize that we had a swarm of insects in front of the spot light and the car head lights.
Before we knew it, the bush baby was on the bonnet of Land Cruiser game drive vehicle snatching the insects up for his supper. After he was satisfied with his dinner, he jumped off and bid us farewell.
Looking at him feeding made us feel very hungry too, so we headed back to the lodge for our own Boma dinner around the camp fire.
Story by: Warren Jacobs (Buffalo Camp Ranger)