African Golden Cat sighting from 2017: Bwindi, Uganda

A few weeks ago I posted a link to a facebook story about this wonderful sighintg. The author – Patrick Gijsbers – has kindly sent me a bit more information now to share. I have since heard from a couple of other people who have seen them there. But a lot of people visit Bwindi so it doesn’t sound like the species is common there.

Here’s what Patrick said.

African Golden Cat, Caracal aurata

Sunday, 19th of november 2017. 2:42 in the afternoon. Overcast day.

I had just visited the gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and was driving back  from the trek in the van. 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 back the way it had come from. Not scared or running. I saw it for about 20 seconds. Shots where taken through the glass of the window of the car.I was amazed this cat was so relaxed. It didn’t run away. Just glanced at us a couple of times and then slowly entered the bushes again.

African Golden Cat, Caracal aurata

Are they often seen there?

The local driver who was with me though had no clue what it was and asked me what it was. He’d never seen this animal before. And he was a Ugandan driver doing this work for about 25 years.

Cat sighting


  • tomeslice

    Great report, and thank you for the location on the map!
    Might be worth it to spotlight along that road at night… is it accessible?


    • Patrick

      Yes this road is accesable Tomer. It actually is a public dirt road crossing through the park.
      I think it would be even more advisable to set some camera traps at this region.

  • Samuel

    What a great picture of such a hard to see mammal !
    Thanks much for sharing Patrick

  • Stephen Babbs

    As they have been reported as being seen at Broadbill camp in the past, I emailed the manager. Their response was “We have not had any Recent sightings because we do not have camera traps.But when you are around you may give it a chance and check.” I certainly intend to try here or the nearby Ruhija Community Centre.

  • Harriet Kemigisha

    I have been guiding for 10 years but I have only seen this Cat once, when I was a little younger they used to take our goats and my grandfather called it (Omwaga)
    Now after seeing this article, I have gone back to my childhood village and asked the elders and ex poachers they say that omwaga ( African Golden Cat ) comes to take their goats at night and a every I have interviewed knows this Cat, and boy says he watched it take their young cow at the edge of Kibale National Park in Kiyoima Village.

    • Jon Hall

      Thanks Harriet, very exciting. I will be really interested to hear what else you discover. I feel a trip to Uganda – and maybe Omwaga – is in my future!

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