A quick look at the cats, other than lions, that we saw last month. There were sightings of Leopard, Cheetah, and Serval in addition to the ubiquitous lion – see previous posts. Leopards are always a bit iffy and when they are seen they are to be appreciated. Sometimes, rarely, they are cooperative and simply loll about in front of your vehicle but as a primarily nocturnal animal they are not always easy to locate during the day. Generally they are in a tree often only partially visible and equally often asleep and unmoving. Cheetah are solitary and thin. That means a Cheetah lying in the grass can be very hard to see. The best part with Cheetahs is that they are diurnal and are out and about in the daylight. The Serval is a small, Bobcat size, cat that is not uncommon, merely hard to locate and secretive. Smallish animals are often shy as self-preservation is the key to biological success. There are also cats called African Wildcat, a house-cat sized gray tiger tabby which are quite rarely seen. Again, they are not too uncommon but they are small and secretive.
The cats of East Africa, pretty much worldwide actually, are all threatened by disease, poaching, and habitat loss. Leopards are pretty widespread with a range that encompasses pretty much all of Africa excepting large desert regions. The prey sought by Leopards is so varied they can survive most anywhere. Lions and Cheetah need grasses, grazers, and some cover. Serval are often in areas with thick brush or coarse grasses.