It’s name comes from the Turkish word “karakulak”, meaning “black bear”, and it’s most easily identified by it tufted ears and short tail and is often mistaken as a lynx. At up to 17 kg, it’s Africa’s largest small cat and seen often only at a fleeting glimpse. While it is mostly nocturnal and primarily solitary, we were alerted to their presence on an early morning game drive near Ntwetwe Pan by the raucous calls of spurfowls and rollers and found two skulking through the grass. Keeping our distance, they settled down and allowed us an incredible 45 minutes following them on foot and were remarkably unperturbed by our presence. We walked away with two memorable photos. My most incredible Caracal experience to date. – Jack’s Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana.


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