Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Southern African Cheetah

The IUCN Red List estimates that there are roughly 6,700 cheetahs in the wild, with 4,190 in Southern Africa, 1,960 in Eastern Africa, 440 in Western, Central and Northern Africa and 80 in Iran. In Southern Africa most of the cheetahs are surviving in a single transboundary population stretching from southwestern Angola, Namibia, Botswana, southern Zambia, and northern South Africa to southwestern Mozambique. 
Cheetah in the Okavanga Delta, Botswana.
Momma is to the right. Her two cubs are to the left. 
Four years ago we saw cheetahs in East Africa. The East African cheetahs tend to be sleeker/leaner and more pale than their South African relatives. 

We recently visited the Okavanga Delta of Botswana and saw a mother cheetah and two of her adult cubs resting in grass in shade beneath a large tree. Our guide, K.T., spotted the mother cheetah peering out at us over the side of a small knoll. He veered off-road and pulled up just about ten yards away and we were able to watch them for about 20 minutes. 

Prior to this, as we first flew into Africa at Cape Town, our first stop, after picking up a rental car, was Cheetah Outreach in Somerset West. 

There we had an opportunity to pet an adult cheetah and an eight month old cub. 

That was fun, but seeing them wild in Botswana was much better. 

1 comment:

  1. It was quite something to actually TOUCH a cheetah. I felt even more awe when we saw them in the wild. It was also fun to experience what I can only term as reverence that our guide emanated as we watched this momma and her twins.