Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make you happy; a fact which has never been more true than today.
This afternoon a family of guests at Camp Moremi set out on a game drive hoping to spot the lions which had recently been seen in the area. Kitso, one of the guides at Camp Moremi, began driving the game vehicle in the direction of the lions’ last known sighting when suddenly a serval appeared in the middle of the road.
A serval is a small African wild cat believed to have originated from the same lineage as the lion, although it also shares common traits with cheetah. However, at 14-20 kg in weight and standing just over half a metre in height, the serval is considerably smaller than its big cat ancestors. It has a small head in relation to its body and tall, large ears which are set close together. On the back of the oval ears are two thick black stripes separated by a thick white stripe; markings which are believed to signal to the serval’s kittens while hunting. The main markings of the serval are just as distinctive with black stripes from the head to the shoulders which transition into black spots across its tan coloured body.
The serval seemed relaxed in the company of the game vehicle and Kitso was able to follow it for some distance as it ambled along the track in the late afternoon light. The serval finally darted into the long grass just before sundown, leaving the guests delighted that they had been able to see this elusive character. While lions are regularly seen in and around Camp Moremi, Kitso had not seen a serval in over four months and it was therefore a truly rare and unexpected sighting.