The serval is a slender cat that is about 500mm tall at the shoulders. It has a tawny yellow coat colour and a white underside. The majority of the serval is covered in black spots. The serval has amazingly long legs compared to its body size that can reach 3m. The Serval has a small, long head with large rounded ears that are marked in black and white spots.
Servals have a diet of small animals like rats, birds, frogs, reptiles and even fish.
Kittens are born after a gestation period of about 70 days where there are usually 4 in a litter. The kittens are born in a lair but are frequently moved in order to keep them safe. The Serval is similar to the Cheetah in the way it raises its young. It will leave them during the day to go hunt. Females are very protective of their kittens and will chase away any male that comes near her cubs, especially when the cubs are mature enough to hunt. When the kittens are mature enough, the mother will drive her young away so they can claim their own territory.
The Serval is generally a solitary animal unless it is a female that is accompanied by her young. Servals have home ranges that can be up to 30 square km that they mark with scent. The home ranges are not exclusive and members avoid contact. These animals are generally shy animals that are proactive during the night where they hunt using sight and smell. The Serval has very good hearing that is mainly due to their large ears. They are generally quiet and great at pouncing and sneaking up on prey. Servals are solitary animals and rather difficult to spot while on a Kruger Park Safari.
They prefer moist, tall grassland areas that are generally associated with wetlands. They are rather sparsely spread because of habitat.