Category: Cheetah

Cheetah are one of my favorites and I had been on the lookout for them since we entered the park several days previously. On the last day we had a long drive from the Satara campsite to J’burg airport and so it was another early morning.  We drove slowly down the road and spotted lots of wildlife, including sable antelope, hyena, and a chameleon.  I had all but given up on seeing cheetah but as we came around a bend in the road we spotted two casually walking down the middle of the road. Initially we were the only ones around and slowly followed them along the road. However, within a few minutes another car approached from the opposite direction and instead of stopping and letting the cheetah continue to move along the road, the people drove right up to them to try and get some pictures. The cheetah calmly moved off to the left into the green grass and low laying trees and shrubs that were charred black from a recent fire.  Like most of the wildlife in Kruger, they didn’t seem to mind the human attention too much and I was able to get a few decent photos below.

Cheetah jogging along searching for any signs of danger or potential prey

Using it’s keen sight, this young cheetah spots a herd of impala off in the distance.  The siblings maneuvered to the be downwind of the herd and slowly crept closer to the herd using the few shrubs as camouflage.  However, they still stood out like sore thumbs and the impala easily spotted them in the green grass.  The impala emitted their warning calls to the others in the area and casually moved away from the cheetah.  Seeing that the had been spotted, the cheetah relaxed and moved off into the bush to regroup.  A large percentage of attempted kills by cheetah are unsuccessful and even if they do manage to make a kill, they are routinely pushed off the kill by the much more powerful lions, hyenas and leopards.  These two cheetah appeared quiet young and likely just left their mother to try to attempt to establish a territory of their own. Male siblings will stay together to work as a team, while the female siblings will eventually move off to hunt on their own.