Cheetah are sadly one of many species classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list.
With approximately only 140 cheetah in the Kruger National Park, having a cheetah sighting is a very special sighting.
Most people know that cheetah are the fastest mammal on earth, to see them in action on the hunt is truly spectacular.
We had the privilege of watching a coalition of 4 males on the hunt. We were on the S25, close to the Biyamiti bridge, we saw them from the road, relaxing on the river bed below.
Knowing many of our best sightings are patience driven and it was a good time of the day for them to potentially hunt, we sat for a while to see if they would get into action. We didn’t have to wait for long before they got up, with more luck on our side, they headed up the riverbed embankment towards us.
They crossed the road in front of us, their prey – impala,were spotted and off they went. Their coordinated and high speed hunting was impressive but unfortunately unsuccessful. We think that an elephant got in their way, and that is why they weren’t successful.
We saw the elephant walking with authority down a slight embankment from where they took chase, and then behind our open safari vehicle. On the other side a hyena appeared, took a brief interest and then disappeared.
Three of the cheetah met up with each other and were looking and calling for their brother. Seeing their concern for their brother was truly heartwarming. It was a reminder and another lesson from nature of how much humans could learn from animals to be a better species. A few minutes passed and their brother appeared on the opposite side of the road.
The three cheetah ambled towards him and then they all headed together back to the river bed, where they regained strength to hunt again. We weren’t able to see if their second hunt was successful, it was too deep in the bush. We hope they were successful and more so that they prosper for a long time.