Wildlife Safari Africa
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African Safari, Serval

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of our entire Kenya Photographic Safari was the sighting of these two serval cats.

We were driving, very early one morning, along a track in the Masai Mara when the servals stepped out of the grass and for several minutes just walked ahead of us.

The serval is seldom seen as it is mostly nocturnal, solitary and stays in the long grass. Our tracker told us that this is the closest he has ever been to a serval in thirty five years of tracking, and it is the first time he has ever seen two together.

Unfortunately, due to the very low early morning light, the fact that the serval never stopped moving along the track, and our need to keep moving to keep contact with them, photography was very difficult.

Once they moved off the track, they were virtually immediately lost in the tall, thick grass. Autofocus was out of the question and even taking our eyes off the servals for a few moments made it very difficult to spot them again.

We lost contact with the serval on a couple of occasions, but were able to relocate them with the help of some small, fast moving birds which mobbed the two cats, trying to drive them away from the birds territory.

The birds would repeatedly dive bomb right onto the servals heads, which helped us relocate their positions. The serval appeared unbothered by the attention of the birds, but after around twenty minute of sitting in the grass, they moved off and we lost contact.

We were fortunate enough to get another glimpse of one solitary serval, also in the Masai Mara, a couple of days later, but the sighting lasted barely a second and a half!

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All images Copyright Avery Little