A black cat crossed my path!............a rare melanistic Black Serval

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marc

Well-known member
On my last Serengeti assignment I had the privilege to witness and document a rare melanistic male Black Serval, believed to be one of only 4 in all of Africa.
In nearly 40 years and 50+ visits to this wonderful dark continent, never would I have thought such a sight possible.
It's difficult at the best of times to locate your normal "garden variety" Serval so finding this small cat was never going to be a simple task, and one I specifically spent 3 weeks tracking.
Such a rare and special treat to witness this magical small predator hunting, gotta love those piercing golden eyes!

Namiri Plains is in the far eastern sector of Tanzania's famous Serengeti National Park, a former big cats research area. "Manja" was first spotted by guide and naturalist *Manja* of @asiliaafrica and has since adopted his name!
With an incredibly high concentration of cats in the area, Manja is so far faring well in avoiding predators and threats.⁣
Will be back here again in March (granted our Govt opens up our international borders) for Gnu calving and hopeful "Manja" will make an appearance again.

Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR +1.4tc
f/5.6
1/1250s
ISO6400 @560mm.

D05_4652BPN.jpg




Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR +1.4tc
f/5.6
1/640s
ISO3200 @450mm.

D05_4631BPN.jpg




Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/5.6
1/1000s
ISO11400 @400mm.

D05_4739aBPN.jpg




Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/5.6
1/640s
ISO7200 @250mm.

D05_4601BPN.jpg




Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/6.3
1/2000s
ISO720 @250mm.

D05_6443BPN.jpg


Cheers
Marc
 

fcotterill

Well-known member
Stunning images. There was a recent record on social media in Kruger Nat Park, South Africa, and I also recall a record from the grassy plateau in Gabon. The melanistic form is not uncommon in the Tsavo ecosystem

 

marc

Well-known member
Thread starter
The melanistic form is not uncommon in the Tsavo ecosystem

Thanks Fcotterill (y)
This is true, but to say "not uncommon" is absolutely stretching it a little, after 12 visits (each of 3 weeks duration) to Tsavo with no luck at all tends to bare that out. ;)
As of this year there have been only 4 reported/documented sightings of black Serval.
 

Oztours

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Great shots.

Hey Marc, do you need an offsider for your March trip? I'm very good at playing second fiddle to a master, best tour guide and organiser you would ever meet, happy to carry your tripod and my wages packet will astound you. Plus, we could always arrange to meet up with @Callie or any of the other masters here in this forum. :cool: 🤣🤣
 

gaknott

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Fantastic capture, congratulations!! It is a beautiful cat; first one I have seen, thanks for sharing!!
 

Indrajeet Singh

All images only shot in the wild - No captives.
On my last Serengeti assignment I had the privilege to witness and document a rare melanistic male Black Serval, believed to be one of only 4 in all of Africa.
In nearly 40 years and 50+ visits to this wonderful dark continent, never would I have thought such a sight possible.
It's difficult at the best of times to locate your normal "garden variety" Serval so finding this small cat was never going to be a simple task, and one I specifically spent 3 weeks tracking.
Such a rare and special treat to witness this magical small predator hunting, gotta love those piercing golden eyes!

Namiri Plains is in the far eastern sector of Tanzania's famous Serengeti National Park, a former big cats research area. "Manja" was first spotted by guide and naturalist *Manja* of @asiliaafrica and has since adopted his name!
With an incredibly high concentration of cats in the area, Manja is so far faring well in avoiding predators and threats.⁣
Will be back here again in March (granted our Govt opens up our international borders) for Gnu calving and hopeful "Manja" will make an appearance again.

Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR +1.4tc
f/5.6
1/1250s
ISO6400 @560mm.

View attachment 4690



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR +1.4tc
f/5.6
1/640s
ISO3200 @450mm.

View attachment 4692



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/5.6
1/1000s
ISO11400 @400mm.

View attachment 4693



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/5.6
1/640s
ISO7200 @250mm.

View attachment 4694



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/6.3
1/2000s
ISO720 @250mm.

View attachment 4695

Cheers
Marc
Great set Marc. Such a handsome feline.
 

Ralph Bruno

Well-known member
Supporting Member
On my last Serengeti assignment I had the privilege to witness and document a rare melanistic male Black Serval, believed to be one of only 4 in all of Africa.
In nearly 40 years and 50+ visits to this wonderful dark continent, never would I have thought such a sight possible.
It's difficult at the best of times to locate your normal "garden variety" Serval so finding this small cat was never going to be a simple task, and one I specifically spent 3 weeks tracking.
Such a rare and special treat to witness this magical small predator hunting, gotta love those piercing golden eyes!

Namiri Plains is in the far eastern sector of Tanzania's famous Serengeti National Park, a former big cats research area. "Manja" was first spotted by guide and naturalist *Manja* of @asiliaafrica and has since adopted his name!
With an incredibly high concentration of cats in the area, Manja is so far faring well in avoiding predators and threats.⁣
Will be back here again in March (granted our Govt opens up our international borders) for Gnu calving and hopeful "Manja" will make an appearance again.

Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR +1.4tc
f/5.6
1/1250s
ISO6400 @560mm.

View attachment 4690



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR +1.4tc
f/5.6
1/640s
ISO3200 @450mm.

View attachment 4692



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/5.6
1/1000s
ISO11400 @400mm.

View attachment 4693



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/5.6
1/640s
ISO7200 @250mm.

View attachment 4694



Nikon D5
Nikkor 180-400E PF FL VR
f/6.3
1/2000s
ISO720 @250mm.

View attachment 4695

Cheers
Marc
Beautiful series! Wow!!
 
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