During a game drive on a Tuesday morning with young Rebecca, her parents and two other Jaci’s safari lodge guests, driving through airstrip road heading east following wild dogs’ tracks which confused the game ranger Oliver for a long time.
Behind a passenger sit, sat young Rebecca, intelligent little girl with dreams of becoming a vet one day, with a zebra being her favourite wild animal, it was during aftermath of rain and most of the roads were not in the condition to be drive able.
However Scar foot extension was open for game drives, such coincidence, game rangers began calling mangau(cheetahs) on a radio channel, patiently driving towards the direction where they had been found, Oliver had no idea what to expect and so did everyone else on a vehicle.
Two cheetahs were lying lazily on the ground and they looked less bothered by Impala that was roaming around and zebras grazing which too looked to have not noticed them, what came after took everyone by surprise.
Slowly one cheetah was on his feet, quickly Oliver pointed at baby zebra but she was protected by her family so that’s what everyone thought, there was one lonely Impala and cheetahs usually prefer Impala, but it was never the case.
On the side mirror by the passenger sit, quickly young Rebecca covered her face with a scarf but then moments later she took it off and she had a smile on her face.
She then alluded to us that finally she saw something amazing in the safari and would like to come back and see more of big cats hunting and catching their prey in the manner that she experienced it on that Tuesday.
Looking closely to see if the cheetah was going for then running impala looking for protection from zebras, Oliver had already started his engine and we were slowly driving behind the running cheetah but it quickly scattered between zebras leaving Impala isolated and there was a dying sound of a foal.
Everyone was still confused of how this cheetah, within 12 seconds, had spotted its prey, hunted it down and had it on the ground with it’s teeth deeply into the throat of a baby zebra.
It was amazing how one cheetah quickly ran straight to catch the prey and the other running lazily confusing other zebras to isolated themselves from a foal and again still scouting to see if there were no other big cats close by to disturb them.
After the quick running and dragging of the baby zebras, two male cheetahs were tired to eat but again they were not sure if maybe other hunting cats had heard them doing the killing.
They began looking in all directions while resting close to the kill, Rebecca was satisfied and so was everyone else on the vehicle, the talk back home was all about the kill mind all other animals we saw.
Writer: Thapelo Seleke