PICS: Amazing caracal spotting in Addo Elephant Park

2019-04-29 15:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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It's hard to describe the thrill of capturing a rare or elusive animal in a photo - and one visitor to Addo Elephant National Park got a winner with their photo of the elusive caracal.

The lucky photographer - Jeni Williams - captured the photos in split seconds after spotting the shy creature - also known as a lynx and rooikat - by the side of the road and slammed on the breaks. 

SEE: Relaxation taken to another level at Addo with new spa treatments

"My absolute, absolute favourite viewing... private and lasted for about five minutes. Nothing like slamming on brakes, slewing off to the opposite side of the road and grabbing a camera in two seconds," wrote Williams about the encounter.

Despite their elusive nature, the Eastern Cape is home to the highest population density of the caracal, especially in the province's mountainous region, making them less common in the plains of Addo.

ALSO SEE: From Addo to the Wild Coast: SA’s top wildlife experiences to add to your Eastern Cape itinerary

caracal in addo elephant national park

(Photo: Jeni Williams)

caracal in addo elephant national park

(Photo: Jeni Williams)

caracal in addo elephant national park

(Photo: Jeni Williams) 

READ: New Addo hiking trail your latest reason to plan an Eastern Cape adventure

Decrease in SANParks visitor numbers

Addo Elephant National Park has seen a decrease in visitor numbers in the 2018/2019 year compared to the previous year. There has been a 5.9% drop in visitors, and a 13.1% drop in Wild Card visitor numbers.

This isn't unique to Addo - SANParks has overall seen a drop in visitors, with an average 4.9% drop in guests to parks, with the biggest drop attributed to Camdebook National Park, followed by Tankwa Karoo National Park.

The park with the biggest boost in numbers is Namaqua National Park, with a 22.3% increase in guests to park.

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