The Addo Elephant Park, situated close to Port
Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, is fast gaining some welcomed attention thanks to its resident caracals.
The park which is about a third of the size
of Kruger National Park, is better known for its elephants - given the
name. But two recent incidents show, it is a prime spot
to experience the wonders of SA's natural heritage.
First, Jeni Williams captured the usually nocturnal
creature in a split second shot, after spotting it alongside one of the roads
See the full selection of pics here.
And not too long afterwards, Malcolm Benson of
Sunningdale in Cape Town got in touch to share these darling images of baby
caracals - also spotted recently in the park.
Benson says it was a "lovely surprise as we
had only fleetingly seen them twice in all the years of visiting our National
Parks". They have been visiting the park for about 30 years.
"The two kittens emerged from the bush and we
were over the moon with excitement. We must have watched them for a good 15
minutes when a car approached us and the family of cats disappeared into the
(Photo: Malcolm Benson)
Benson says, "When we left camp at around
08:00 on that morning, we stopped at the camp gate and spoke to the lovely lady
who mans the gate at Main Camp.
He says she told them lions had been sited on the
Zuurkop Road and they soon headed in this direction.
"We were ambling along this road when we saw
something in the road a little way ahead of us. We slowly approached it and saw
it was the caracal."
Benson shares how they had seen caracals on a visit
to Mountain Zebra National Park, also in the Eastern Cape, during a previous
Benson confirmed as an avid bushwhacker, he has
a host of SA's 18 other national parks on his radar.
"As we now live in the Cape we frequent the
National Parks near us as much as possible, and Addo was the one chosen this
time. We would like to visit Addo more often but there are other parks which we
would like to visit as well."
"We saw the resident caracal fleetingly as we
arrived at camp, and in the Kalahari Gemsbok Park we saw one run into the bush
as we approached Nossob Camp."
Dare we call him the caracal whisperer?
But despite being lucky enough to have spotted this
usually elusive creature on more than one occasion, as an avid bushwhacker
Benson says, "Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see them (the
baby caracals) and to have them to ourselves, was an extra bonus."
Addo is a park for personal and more solitary
wildlife sightings, if these two accounts are anything to go by.
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