No Serengeti Safari Holiday would be complete without seeing the Cheetah in action. Fast, stealth, and so incredibly well camouflaged that they are almost impossible to see in the tall grasses of the Serengeti plains, they are one of Africa’s most majestic hunters, and while it is reported that just 1 in 10 hunts are successful, we witnessed no less than 2 cheetah kills in just one game drive.
After spotting a well-known family of 4 cheetah, a mother and her 3 juvenile male offspring, our safari guide pulled over for us to take some pictures. Just seconds later, a single gazelle appeared to our left, and within the blink of an eye, the hunt was on!
As her youngsters looked on, the mother cheetah began making her way silently through the long grass towards the gazelle, which was completely unaware of just how much danger it was in. When she was close enough to ambush the unsuspecting animal, the cheetah began to run at an electrifying pace, at which time she was spotted by the gazelle.
By the time the gazelle has realised what was going on, the cheetah was just 2 or 3 paces behind it. After watching numerous National Geographic documentaries, I had assumed the chase would go on for several minutes, and as an animal lover, that was something I just didn’t want to witness, but thankfully, it did not go on for long at all. The cheetah brought the gazelle down in less than 10 seconds, and after suffocating her prey, she simply stood up and walked away, leaving her 3 young to feast on the prize she had worked so hard for.
While we were at a distance, here’s a glimpse of our Serengeti Cheetah encounter…