On our recent visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park we were lucky to see six cheetahs – two with kills and four in a group lying in wait for an unsuspecting Springbok to come into their path. Unfortunately we didn’t actually witness the kills, but must have arrived shortly after the chase had happened on both occasions. Cheetahs are the fastest of all animals and can reach speeds of up to 100 kph during a chase. They prefer to hunt alone, but do also hunt in groups, usually for larger prey.
On the road between Mata Mata and Twee Rivieren we came across a lone cheetah happily feasting on a Springbok. Along with a number of other spectators we watched fascinated as the cheetah steadily made its way through the meal.
Occasionally it would stand up, as if to shift the contents of its stomach to make room for more food.
We left after about half an hour and when we returned much later, we saw that the cheetah had no intention of leaving much of its prey for the gathering Black-backed jackals.
The following day we came across these four beautiful cheetahs that seemed to work in a group to hunt their prey. They were obviously on the look-out for their next meal, but bush telegraph works very well and the small herd of Springbok about half a kilometer up the valley were keeping wary eyes out for them. We waited patiently for something to happen, but it obviously wasn’t our day to see an actual kill.
Driving on the road from Twee Rivieren to Nossob we missed a kill by minutes. This exhausted cheetah was catching its breath after the chase.
Once rested, it dragged the Springbok to a more secluded spot. If we had arrived minutes later we would have missed the sighting altogether. Talk about good timing … well almost …. as we did miss the kill.