Servals only occur in Africa, where they have a wide distribution, inhabiting the wetter areas throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
They are absent from the central tropical rainforests and the deserts in the north and south west.
Historically there have been up to 18 subspecies of serval, however the latest taxonomic revision proposes only three subspecies, although further research is required:
Leptailurus serval serval - Southern Africa
Leptailurus serval constantina - West and Central Africa
Leptailurus serval lipostictus - East Africa
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.
Serval Distribution in Africa
Servals occur in 40 African countries across all five regions, but only marginally in North Africa.
List of African countries where Servals occur:
North Africa: Sudan, Morocco
West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
Central Africa: Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Gabon
East Africa: Burundi; Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Southern Africa: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland
Extinct: Southern part of South Africa (Southern Africa)
Possibly extinct: Algeria (North Africa)
Reintroduced: Tunisia (North Africa) and southern part of South Africa (Southern Africa)
Reference: Thiel, C. 2015. Leptailurus serval. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T11638A50654625.Downloaded on 14 June 2017.
Serval Distribution Map
Click to view an interactive current map of the Serval's range by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: