African Golden Cat pictures from Bwindi Forest

For those who aren’t on Facebook, here are some fabulous shots of relaxed and prolonged encounter with an African Golden Cat after a gorilla hike in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (thank you Tomer for spotting this).

Patrick Gijsbers took the pictures and said “I just visited the gorilla’s, and this was the highlight of the day for me. Stupid of me that i didn’t have my camera ready for a good shot. Though i managed to make some shots. I have been bouncing around for the rest of the day. 😀

I was with around 8 people. The cat was about 50 meters in front our van. It was totally relaxed while crossing the road. It noticed us and just decided to cross. Nothing scared or running. I saw it for about 20 seconds. Shots where taken through the glass of the window of the car.”

Has anyone else been to Bwindi and – if so – did any of the guides ever mention Golden Cats?




  • tomeslice

    This is from right around 2 years ago.
    I told him to write a report about it, but he never got around to it, so I decided to share it on the mammal watching Facebook Page.

    Of course all credit goes exclusively to Patrick Gijsbers.

  • Chris Roche

    there is a published record of golden cat in Bwindi …
    (An encounter with an African golden cat Caracal aurata: One of the World’s least known felids
    September 2011African Journal of Ecology 19(3):367–369.)

    also a study that took place in Kibale under the auspices of Panthera.

  • Steve Davis

    Hi Jon, we were in Bwindi about 5 years ago – the day after our Gorilla trek, we did a day trek to search for forest birds including the African Green Broadbill. On the narrow trail we found several ( 6 or more) scats which our guide said were Golden Cat…. some were fresh and appeared to be from the previous night, whilst a few others were slightly older. I did try to determine whether it would be possible to walk those trails at night, but couldn’t get a definitive answer – I imagine it wasn’t anything that had been asked about before ! There did seem to be a potential issue about being allowed in if there was Elephant activity in the area, which could hinder any attempts, and I would think that given the level of monitoring of the area regarding Gorillas, it would be necessary to use guides ?
    Cheers, Steve

  • Michael

    When I stayed at Broadbill camp at Bwindi a few years ago, the owner said that Golden Cat often walks among the huts at night and that he had seen it a number of times at night along the road through Bwindi. I tried unsuccessfully, but it really sounded like one would have a good chance if you put in the time.

  • Samuel

    Yes, We were in Bwindi last year in February for gorillas and some birding and our guide was indeed mentioning golden cats as being regularly present/seen there but I understood it was basically sheer luck to nicely observe them, like the one seen in Sichuan with Martin Royle during our panda trip this year in April…

  • Jon Hall

    These sightings, sign and rumours are really interesting. This is an animal that is barely ever reported and so Bwindi sounds like a definite hotspot to me. Of course hotspot is relative … but perhaps the animals there are fairly well habituated given all the Gorilla traffic and so easier to view. In any case I will be making enquiries!

  • Antee

    Should be interesting to do a week of spotlighting here with focus on finding one if there is a road network to use. Probably never have been done.

  • Toby Nowlan

    I’ve just been birding in Ruhijia, and was spotlighting for nightjars and owls from Broadbill Forest Camp, when I saw a golden cat (picked up with eyeshine). The cat was unphased by my light and I watched it for a while. I would suggest Broadbill Forest Camp could be a worthwhile location to search from for those looking for the cat. From the washrooms nearest the restaurant there is a lookout over an open area which is where I picked up the cat.

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