The Caracal distribution extends throughout Africa, the Middle East and into South West Asia, but they are absent from the extreme desert regions and rainforests.
AFRICA: The Caracal is common in southern Africa and occurs widely in the rest of Africa, except for the equatorial forest and deep interior of the Sahara desert. The highest populations occur in South Africa and Namibia with viable populations throughout the rest of its African range.
ASIA: The Caracal's range extends from Africa into the Middle East and southern Asia as far as India, with populations declining in the extreme east of the range.
Historically up to nine subspecies were recognised however the recent taxonomic revision proposes only three subspecies, subject to further research:
Caracal caracal caracal: Southern and East Africa
Caracal caracal nubicus: North and West Africa
Caracal caracal schmitzi: Middle East to India
Reference: Kitchener et al. 2017. A revised taxonomy of the Felidae. The final report of the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN / SSC Cat Specialist Group.
Caracal Distribution in Africa
Caracals occur in 41 African countries across all five regions.
List of African countries where Caracals occur:
North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Western Sahara
West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo
Central Africa: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic Congo
East Africa: Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland
Other regions where Caracals occur:
Middle East: Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait; Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
Eastern Europe: Turkey
Asia: Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Reference: Avgan, B., Henschel, P. & Ghoddousi, A. 2016. Caracal caracal. (errata version published in 2016) The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T3847A102424310.Downloaded on 21 June 2017.
Caracal Distribution Map
Click to view an interactive current map of the Caracal's range by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: