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A Special Beginning

A special start to my new adventures at Thanda Safari

We started our morning game drive looking for lions. My Tracker, Sabelo, directed us far west, to a beautiful area of the reserve, with a far-reaching view of the rolling hills. There we found the lions, and watched them sleep for a few moments, before moving on to more adventures.

A few kilometres later, we received an update on a female cheetah in the area and began to track her down. Not long after, we spotted the her resting on a rocky out-crop, about 100 meters off the road. We moved off the road to get a bit closer, and managed to get within 15 meters, where we stopped and quietly watched her basking in the sunrise.

We were moving away towards the Elephants we could see in the distance, when she suddenly stood up. We could see a group of Impala not too far and decided to wait and see if she would hunt them down. We turned the vehicle off and watched the cheetah approach from about 50 meters away.

Like a bullet, she ran straight towards the herd and snatched one of the youngsters. It happened so quickly the Impalas only sounded the alarm call when it was too late. The scattered away, leaving the cheetah to her prize.

We moved in to about 20 meters and watched her suffocate her prey. She hid her kill under some bushes in the long grass and moved to lie under a shady tree to catch her breath. The vehicle was very quiet when we left her to enjoy her breakfast; everyone silently reliving the special moment.

It is very rare to be able to see a kill from start to end, and I was very happy to be able to share this sighting with my guests. It was a great way to start my career at Thanda Safari, and I am looking forward to the many great memories still to come

Gerhard v d Westhuisen (Head Guide)

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