River Bend Lodge is a mere 55 minutes’ drive from Port Elizabeth and is an ideal malaria-free safari addition to a Garden Route holiday. Personalised game drives are led by enthusiastic and experienced guides, who will ensure you have a truly memorable safari experience.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Is This a Once in a Lifetime Sighting????
An extremely rare and endangered Black - Footed Cat!!!!
One of our Guides Mikey Mouton had the most incredible experience last week...and here is his Blog on this amazing encounter.
"On the cold winter evening of Wednesday the
23th of July at 18h15,I had
the great pleasure of seeing one of Africa’s rarest inhabitants, the
Black-footed cat, also known as the small spotted cat (Felis nigripes).
What made this sighting more special is the
fact that the animal was very relaxed with my vehicle and that we were able to
watch the animal for half an hour.During
this time I was able to take nearly 100 photographs, which is vital to prove to
the other rangers that it wasn’t just a prank!
Interestingly Addo Elephant National Park
is on the fringes of this animal’s natural habitat, and therefore very few
sightings have been recorded in the parks history.
After watching the cat groom itself for
what seemed like an eternity (typical cat behaviour!) my guests and I were even
lucky enough to see the animal in action, stalking a Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatilis).
Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on
which way you look at it) the hare got away.After this bit of activity, the cat moved onto the road, where it was
briefly interested in its own shadow.More grooming commenced, and it was off into the grasslands on the next
After calming myself down for a few
seconds, we gradually made our way back to the lodge under the beautiful
African night sky, everyone quietly reflecting on the awesome experience.
Black-footed cat (Felis nigripes)
Smallest of the Southern African cat
species, its natural habitat is dry, open grassland and scrub with 100-500mm
rain annually.It’s diet includes;
rodents, shrews, hares, rabbits, birds, elephant shrews, invertebrates,
reptiles and birds’ eggs, an unusual item for a cat.The hare is a large prey for such a small
The cat is solitary and nocturnal, and
shelters during the day in disused springhare burrows, under rock slabs or in
holes in termite mounds, from which it gets its Afrikaans name ‘miershooptier’
The Black-footed cat is listed on the Red
Data Book as rare.