It was a great day this month, the day I witnessed the Caracal. This month has been fantastic for cats in general but I never thought I would find myself looking eye to eye with this rarely observed Caracal.
The Caracal is notoriously hard to find in the Grumeti Reserve, although there being reasonable densities, it is not often seen. As I drove slowly down Helmet Shrike Road just South of Sasakwa Hill I decided to stop, switch off the engine and scan around with my Binoculars. I noticed something sat upon a Termite mound approximately 150m away from us. I could not believe my eyes and there it was, clear as day. I excitedly explained to my guests what we were seeing here and to quickly have a look through the binoculars at the Caracal for fear that it would disappear into the grass any second and would be gone from view forever. Fortunately this beautiful creature remained in clear view for moments longer and my guests were able to share the visual with me.
This is the first time I have seen Caracal on the reserve since begging work here in 2007. A great and memorable moment for myself and my guests. Did you know that the name Caracal was believed to have come from the Turkish word Karakulak which means Black ear…..
It was a beautiful morning as I drove the Raho drainage area with my guests when we noticed a large martial eagle that seemed to be showing considerable interest in a small group of white storks. The white storks were feeding on the edge of a pool on the drainage line.
It was the beginning of April when I was driving along the banks of the Grumeti River and happened across a breeding herd of elephants. There had been some reasonable rain in the last few days and the river was flowing steadily. I realised that the herd of elephants wanted to cross the river towards me and so I positioned the vehicle nicely to observe this with my guest.
It was early in the morning and the birds were singing their pleasant melodies. Guests and I were watching the stunning rays of the sun as it rose over the hills to the east. Whilst enjoying this powerful moment, out on the Sasakwa Plain, I glanced to the north to see a male cheetah lying down on the grasslands. I turned to the guests and told them what I had seen but they could not believe the distance at which I had identified it. We moved in for a closer look. It appeared that this lovely male cheetah was becoming active as it yawned, stood and began to stretch.