Private travel &
conservation club
Members only
Established 1991
×
SEARCH OUR STORIES
OR
SEARCH OUR SAFARIS
AND / OR
Africa Geographic Travel

Written by: Philip Mason

Meru National Park prides itself on the extraordinary diversity of game that its much varied habitats provide. Rich dense vegetation and the raffia palms of the higher areas give way to dry open savannah and thick comifera bush, interspersed with cool rivers. All of which offer a great variety of habitats for a diverse range of animals.

© Leslie Daniel
© Leslie Daniel

At Meru you may not see 1.2 million wildebeest, in fact you won’t even see one, but you will be surprised by all the other exciting animals you can see. This was never truer than for Leslie Daniel.

On a hot dry morning that had produced the normal plethora of sightings with wonderful interludes of big groups of elephant.  People were thrilled at the diversity of game they saw, but they were even more than surprised at the sight of a jet black cat leaping out of its den in the river bank to try to take down a sand grouse. This jet black cat is a colour variant of the serval cat known as a melanistic serval.

Unsuccessful in its attempt to make a kill,  it seemed happy to hang around for a photograph opportunity and show its better profile.

© Leslie Daniel
© Leslie Daniel
© Leslie Daniel
© Leslie Daniel

We have seen melanistic serval on several occasions in the park and judging from the distances between sightings there have to be at least two in the vicinity. Generally they are shy and retiring and if we are lucky we sometimes spot servals at dusk. In very dry conditions, they seem bolder which probably means they are hungrier and therefore more likely to come out during the day.

Check out Africa Geographic Travel’s sighting of a melanistic serval in Tanzania’s Mkomazi National Park here.

To comment on this story please join our PRIVATE TRAVEL & CONSERVATION CLUB. See details below.


HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC:

  • Join our private travel & conservation club (mobile app and desktop) to enjoy significant benefits, including the best prices at Africa’s top lodges and networking with others like you. Find out more here.
  • Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to enjoy more stories like this. Subscribe here.
  • Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Search for your ideal safari here, or contact an Africa Geographic safari consultant to plan your dream vacation.

In the Guest Blogger profile, you'll see fresh and exciting content from a range of contributors who have submitted their content to us on a once-off or temporary basis, including press releases, campaigns and exciting adventure and travel tales!

Africa Geographic Travel