East African Cats - both big and small

 
For me the most charismatic of all the animals that roam the savannah's of East Africa are the big cats. Each of the region's species are equally exciting and rewarding as well as challenging to photograph. The three “big cats” are all very different from each other and include the fastest land animal, the cheetah, the magnificent “King of the Beasts”, the lion, and the mysterious and secretive leopard.

I have always been fascinated by these amazing animals. They are powerful, confident, true specialists and true survivors. They are highly intelligent and deadly killers and yet are very gentle with their young. Each fills a particular niche and has its own unique hunting style. Locating and then photographing them is very time consuming and can be frustrating at times, but it is extremely rewarding once you succeed.

For me wildlife photography is an extension to wildlife observation. Knowing your subject and how it behaves is crucial if you are going to capture not only a great photograph but also the unique characteristics of the animal. This is especially true with the big cats and the successful photographer will spend as much time simply observing as they will photographing.

Please click gallery photo below to open each gallery and see more photos.
 
  The Lion – The King of the Beasts

 

Lions are the only truly social cats, with related females living together in prides and males forming coalitions that compete for possession of these prides in fierce battles.

 

They are the largest of all the African cats and perhaps the easiest to photograph.

   
 

The Cheetah – The Fastest Land Animal  

 

These magnificent cats are superbly well designed hunting machines. They live in the open grasslands and hunt fast antelopes by simply outrunning them.

 

They are engineered to reach speeds of 100Km/h or 65MPH but can only sustain this performance for short bursts so must first stalk their prey to get as close as possible.

   

The Leopard – The Secretive Cat 

 

Leopards are the most common of all the East African big cats but are the least often seen.

 

They are one of the prize sightings on a safari. Stealthy and elusive, they are also surprisingly well camouflaged. The twitch of a tail may be the only give-away to a leopard resting in the branches of a tree.

   

Other cat species - Coming Soon

 

East Africa has 3 smaller cat species each equally well adapted to fulfilling their individual and specialist niche.

 

The handsome Caracal with its sandy coat and massive ear tufts and the beautifully marked and long legged Serval are specially adapted to leaping in the air and catching birds. The African Wild Cat is the ancestor of all domesticated cats and one of the hardest to see in the savannah.