sabi sands 2016 _ 1710

Cheetahs in Cheetah Plains

Cheetahs are Mrs Footprints favourite animal and I had assured her that we were likely to see some during our time at Sabi Sands. Now, eleven game drives into our stay there, we still hadn’t seen any. We’d had fantastic times with lots of different animals but cheetahs had remained elusive. If this didn’t change soon I could be in trouble.

Cheetahs are very vulnerable to attack by larger predatotors, so they are always on the lookout.

Cheetahs are very vulnerable to attack by larger predatotors, so they are always on the lookout.

We were staying in a our third reserve within the Sabi Sands Wildtuin, Cheetah Plains, surely there would be some of the eponymous animals here, not just the sculpture outside the main lodge building.

After days of searching for them one of the brothers walks past us

After days of searching for them one of the brothers walks past us

Some of the other guests had seen some the previous morning so we knew they were around.

Marking his territory

Marking his territory

Finally, on our twelfth drive, we saw them. Two brothers had moved onto Cheetah Plains Pan from the adjacent Kruger National Park.

They are never fully relaxed

They are never fully relaxed

In the end we saw the same pair on five different game drives. On three of those drives they were close enough to photograph, too. All the images in this post were taken on those three drives.

Ready to sleep after a long night

Ready to sleep after a long night

Most of the photos were taken in and around daybreak, which proved to be challenging and very few of the ones of them walking worked but I was able to take a lot of them just lying around.

Our first sight of the brothers

Our first sight of the brothers

Some of these poses and actions will be familiar to cat lovers everywhere.

Cheetahs can look just like domestic cats at times

Cheetahs can look just like domestic cats at times

A quick bath

A quick bath

Washing can take a long time

Washing can take a long time

On the second morning that we saw them I was able to photograph them in the golden light of sunrise that spectacularly emphasised the colours in the cats’ coats.

Showing affection to each other

Showing affection to each other

Mutual cleaning

Mutual cleaning

Mrs F was happy!

A golden coat at sunrise

A golden coat at sunrise

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