Regional Names

Afrikaans: Rooikat French: Caracal
German: Caracal Portuguese: Caracal
Nama: Ihôab Shangaan: Nandzana
Sotho: Thoane Spanish: Caracal
Shona: Hwang Swahili: Simba magnu
Tswana: Thwane Xhosa: Ingqawa
Zulu: Indabushe
Average Body Dimensions Trophy Dimensions
Average male mass:  37.5 lb (17 kg) Rowland Ward Minimum: 8½” (21.5cm) : Method-17
Average shoulder height:  17.75″ (45cm) Rowland Ward Record: 11¾” (29,8cm)
Spoor size front:  2.1″ (55mm) SCI Minimum (Rifle):  6 / SCI Record (Rifle) : 11¹²⁄₁₆ : Method-15
Spoor size rear: 2.1″ (55mm) SCI Minimum (Bow):  5 / SCI Record (Bow) : 10¹⁴/₁₆



Throughout Africa with the exception of the dense tropical western and central forests as well as the extremely arid regions of the Sahara desert west of the Nile River. Can be hunted in Namibia, South Africa*, Tanzania and Botswana**.
*Top trophy destinations
** When open for hunting


Caracal are semi-territorial, solitary, nocturnal carnivores with home ranges varying between 6 mi2 – 120 mi2 (15 – 308 km2) depending on prey population density. They stalk, rush and pounce on their prey. Unlike leopard they do not remove the guts of the prey.

* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart


Hunting tips

There are two generally practiced caracal hunting methods. Calling them in at night or flushing them with dogs that tree them in daytime. Caracal are not as wily as jackal under spotlights and one can approach them as long as they keep blinking their eyes against the light. Once they stop blinking the shot should be made without any further attempts at approaching.


Sexual Differentiation

Extremely difficult to distinguish. Mature toms are of heavier build than females.


Habitat & Food

They prefer savannah and hills that offer crevices and similar hiding places. Antelope, amphibians, arthropods birds, reptiles, rodents, and reptiles weighing up to 90 lb (40 kg). A problem animal in South African sheep and goat breeding areas.

Rifle & Cartridge


Bolt Actions : Accurized, precision type, bolt action rifles with noiseless synthetic stocks.

Bullets : Opt for explosive, fragmentation type varmint bullets unless the skin is required.


Typical Cartridges :

.17 Remington 25-gr bullets
.204 Ruger 40-gr bullets
.222 Remington 40-gr bullets
.223 Remington 40-gr bullets
.224 Weatherby Varmintmaster 45-gr bullets
.22-250 Remington 45-gr bullets
.220 Swift 50-gr bullets

* Read more in African Medium Bore Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt