At Londolozi you don’t have to go very far to see wildlife and interact with nature. Guest, Sumei Shum, can attest to this having watched something incredibly rare, right from the comfort of her room.

Sitting in her lounge at Tree Camp, she noticed a large-spotted genet, moving about in a Jackalberry tree, just off her deck. Normally these animals are nocturnal, hunting and foraging for small mammals and insects as well as birds, frogs and fruit at night. Being drizzly and overcast, Sumei thought this may have contributed to why the genet was so active during the day but that was until a second genet arrived. These animals are normally solitary and it soon became apparent that they were courting.


One of the genets caught moving about in the tree outside Sumei’s Tree Camp room. This was before we knew that there were in fact two genets here.

The male would approach the female, rubbing up against her and grooming her. She would flee from him, darting around the tree, and then shoot back towards him, after which they’d run around each other in circles. Eventually after about an hour of this, they leapt down onto Sumei’s deck where they eventually mated.

Due to their solitary, nocturnal and shy natures, this is quite something to have witnessed and captured on camera. In fact most of the resources I have looked at base their research on genet mating behaviour on captive populations. Asking the rangers, camp staff and trackers, no one that I’ve spoken to has seen this before and so our guests were particularly happy to have trumped so many long-standing staff in a sighting. Sumei absolutely fell in love with this pair of genets; click on the video below to see what she reckons was the highlight of her trip.

About 70-77 days from now, this female will give birth to her kittens in a hole or nest of leaves, possibly using this Tree Camp deck as her nesting ground. Their ears and eyes only open on about the tenth day and at this point, their mother will spend long periods of time with them. They will then start taking solid food at about six weeks and gradually become competent predators in stages that vary individually in length. They will start trying to hunt prey themselves at about 11-18 weeks but almost all prey eaten by the young are killed by the mother until 18-24 weeks. By eleven months they will be fully grown.

Hopefully this means that we will soon have a whole family of genets living at Tree Camp in the future, spoiling our guests to sightings right from the comfort of their rooms.

Filed under Video Wildlife

About the Author

Amy Attenborough

Media Team

Amy has a rich field-guiding history, having spent time at both Phinda and Ngala Game Reserves. This diversity of past guiding locations brought her an intimate understanding of different biomes across South Africa, and she immediately began making a name for herself as ...

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on Have You Ever Seen Genets Mate Before?

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Jill Larone

Wow, that’s incredible! Great video and pictures Sumei and what a fantastic sighting!


love the accompanying music.


I laughed aloud when I heard the accompanying music 🙂 If only that were playing when I took the video, whilst perhaps sipping a G&T. Instead I had to squat next to the deck door to get eye level with the mating pair.
Thanks Amy for researching more on the gestation period. If only I could time my next stay at Londolozi to coincide with seeing the little ones!

Amy Attenborough

Haha ya Sumei, I’ve caught some flack for the music choice! Thank you again for this special footage. It seems this genet has made herself quite at home at Tree Camp, so hopefully you can get back for one of her litters at least 🙂

Vicky Sanders

What a fabulous sighting!! Ms. Genet sure makes the Mr. work for it. So happy your guest was watching at just the right time and had the foresight to record this wonderful Genet activity. Here’s to many babies.

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