The serval (Leptailurus serval) (known as the tierboskat in Afrikaans) is one of the lesser-known smaller indigenous cats that still occur widely in the Sahel, eastern and central Africa and down to the far northern regions of Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Its conservation status is stable and continuing existence is classified as of least concern.

Because servals are nocturnal, they are not often seen in the wild and a sighting is an exceptional experience. Servals are usually solitary but may hunt together, while the females with kittens will be seen together. Servals are characterised by their long legs, distinctive markings, large ears and short tail. They have the ability to jump up to three metres into the air to catch birds in flight.


HESC maintains a strict policy of no contact or interaction with animals kept on the property. Our policy is aligned with international trends based on animal ethics and welfare and is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors. Our policy further endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted. We avoid human-imprinting, whereby the animals will identify more with humans than with their own species and cause them to become problem animals once released.