PICS: The elusive caracal spotted at the summit of Table Mountain

The word is out! The elusive wild caracal was recently spotted at the summit of Table Mountain.

Known to be camera shy, this wild cat was spotted and snapped in the most magnificent way:


(PHOTO: Urban Caracal Project)

Caracal sightings have been on the up and up across the ever-popular adventure playground that is the Table Mountain National Park. 

Earlier in January of 2018, two paragliders went up Lion's Head in Cape Town, for an early morning flight and were greeted by a rare sighting of a caracal.   

Sightings of this incredible creature are elusive but have been documented and monitored by the Urban Caracal Project.  

In the latest footage to surface, popular travel blogger and videographer Mike Eloff, of Life of Mike has shared a post to Facebook showing a Table Mountain caracal shortly after it had made a dassie kill.  

In the post Eloff says, "After following it to its den, I placed a GoPro inside the little cave it calls home and managed to capture a mere glimpse of 55 minutes into the life of this beautiful and secretive creature."

Watch the video below captured on his GoPro HERO 6 Black or check for more behind the scenes. 

HIKING GUIDE: Cape Town Hiking: All the best nooks and crannies to explore

Feel like getting out and about this weekend in Cape Town? Check out these most popular hikes.

  • Lion's Head

Loved for its easy access to perhaps one of the best views in SA - a panorama overlooking Cape Town, Table Mountain and the vast Atlantic Ocean. Monthly, travellers trek up the steep ladders for the full moon hike - another must-do Cape Town experience. If you go, take care to adhere to all safety rules and regulations to avoid any injuries or accidents.

Duration: 1 to 2 hours 

  •  Platteklip Gorge

For those who wish to hike up Table Mountain instead of taking the cable car, the Platteklip Gorge route is the most direct route, although it's also arguably the most challenging one.The route consists of steps all the way to the top, but do not let this fool you - your legs will be jelly once you get to the top! Nonetheless, the hike offers spectacular views of the Mother City bowl, which makes enduring the crowds and queues worthwhile.

Duration: 3 to 4 hours 

  • Silvermine

Located in the central section of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), Silvermine offers some of the best hikes in Cape Town - with beautiful fynbos landscapes. This hike makes up part of the Hoerikwaggo Trail and, though long, is relatively easy due to built paths and guides. Starting at Slangkop Point, it involves walks along Noordhoek Beach up Chapman’s Peak, then further up to Noordhoek Peak and finally onto the Amphitheatre Path above Silvermine.

Hikers can walk to the top of the Constantaiburg Mountain for perfect views of Hout Bay or simply stroll around the reservoir's wheelchair friendly boardwalk. There are also picturesque braai/ picnic sites available.

Duration: Anywhere from 1 hour to the whole day 

  • Tokai Arboretum

This one is more popular with cyclists than hikers, but the Tokai forest is a perfect place for a quick stroll or a steady climb up to the mountain slopes above it. The majority of the trees aren’t indigenous, but they do provide shade against the summer sun just as well.

Duration: 1 hour

  • Newlands forest

This urban haven is a popular spot for those after-work escapes to nature. Trees line the shady paths, there are plenty of cool streams to splash in (if not for you, perhaps for your dog) and a myriad of paths leading through the forest and up onto the mountain slopes above it can all be found in Newlands Forest. The routes we’ve chosen take you up onto these slopes, but if you just want a quick walk this is an ideal spot to walk your dogs (and children).

Duration: As long or short as your heart desires 

  • Skeleton Gorge

Known as the 'scenic route' up Table Mountain, Skeleton Gorge, situated in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, is a little more advanced and requires some scrambling to get to the top. That being said, many families with little ones take on the challenge like a piece of cake. The trees in the gorge provide lovely shade almost all the way to the top, where you will be rewarded with a view from the top of the big mountain.

Duration: 5 to 6 hours 

  • The ever-popular Pipe Track

This is also a must-do if you're after a lovely view over the city and the Atlantic Ocean. If you go, however, be advised of the changes in the route following flooding in the area.

Duration: 4 to 5 hours  

*Note: A previous version of this article suggested hiking to Wally's Cave - the illegally created trail has however been closed to the public and is subject to a fine.