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Name: Caracal (African Lynx)
Scientific Name: Caracal Caracal

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The Caracal or Rooikat as he is known in Afrikaans is a relatively small Lynx-like creature a bit like North America's Bobcat. He is stockier than his close cousin the Serval and his fur varies from light red to a rather dark brick red. He is characterized by a rather short tail and prominent, distinct tufts on the end of his hears. Males and females are relatively the same size. They are primarily nocturnal animals but can sometimes be spotted during daylight hours on cool days. The caracal preys mainly on birds, small mammals and reptiles but has also been known to take medium sized antelope such as the Duiker or Steenbok.


Caracals are at home in a number of habitats. They are found in woodlands, savannahs, and in scrub forests, but avoid sandy deserts. In Southern Africa, this species is more commonly found in upland areas. Caracals typically use abandoned porcupine burrows and rock crevices for maternal dens but can be found with their young in dense vegetation. The Caracal is distributed over Africa and western Asia. Its habitat is dry steppes and semi-deserts, but also include woodlands, savanna, and scrub forest. It is a solitary, or paired, territorial cat. The Caracal may survive without drinking for a long period – the water demand is satisfied with the body fluids of its prey.

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