Night Out With The Genet Cat In Tsavo

There’s something special about a night game drive. We started out at  7.15 pm. I had my massive light and beamed it from right to left and back again through the dark night.
The guests were standing in the safari cruiser, smiling and eager to see the wild animals. At the air strip there were lots of Impalas. The male was chasing the females, trying to herd them together. We continued and came across two zebras and two buffaloes in the distance. Returning to the lodge after seeing more plains game, we saw the hippos along the river, grazing.




But it was the genet that impressed the guests most. It looked like it had hunted a mouse. It stood still for a minute before dashing into the grass. The guests were really happy because it was the fast time to see the genet.
Fun facts:
  • Genets are related to cats, civets, linsangs, fossa and mongooses.
  • They are normally nocturnal but can be seen during the day, especially in wet seasons.
  • Known to be arboreal but hunt on the ground as well.
  • Omnivorous, feeding on small animals (rodents, bats), birds, birds’ eggs, frogs, millepedes and some plants/fruits.
  • Have semi-retractable claws for climbing and holding prey.
  • Mostly solitary except during courtship or when a female is nursing young ones. Females may have up to 2 litters a year, with two to four kittens born.
  • Lifespan of about 8 years, with maturity at about 2 years.
  • Mostly found in Africa.
  • They can squeeze their bodies whenever their heads fit!
  • Genets will arch their back, much like a cat when in distress! They purr, hiss, spit and meow as well.
Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages a luxury camp, Voyager Ziwani Camp, on the western edge of Tsavo West National Park. Located on a private sanctuary on the  of Tsavo West National Park. It is 257 kilometres from Nairobi via the Nairobi – Emali – Loitokitok – Njukini route, or 273 kilometres from Mombasa via the Voi – Taveta route. The camp has a private airstrip where private charter can be arranged. The camp has 25 tents and borders the Sante River, where plenty of wildlife coming for a drink can be seen from the tent’s verandah.  Report and pictures by Stephen Lekatoo, Resident Naturalist at Voyager Ziwani 
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya.
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