The splendid, secretive Serval: a rarely seen cat – Maasai Mara 2019

The splendid, secretive Serval: a rarely seen cat. We had a glimpse of this cat at sunrise but she quickly settled down under a bush to rest for the day. In the evening we found her just before the sunset. She wandered around in hunting mode and was very relaxed. What a magnificent cat and wonderful sighting.

The serval is a slender, medium-sized cat which weighs in at 9-18kg and stands 54-62 cm at the shoulder. It has a small head, large ears and a short black-tipped tail. Its coat is a golden-yellow to buff with black spots and stripes. It has the longest legs of any cat relative to its size. They prey on rodents, small birds frogs, insects and reptiles. They are mostly solitary. Its acute sense of hearing is used to locate prey. It can leap over 2m to catch prey landing on ground based prey or to catch birds.