Singita Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park | July 2012

As the winter chill sets in during the early mornings, the guests were rewarded with two coalitions of three cheetah that were seen on the same day. The coalitions moved cautiously through areas where there were fresh signs of lions having been in the area, knowing only too well, that an unexpected encounter with any lions could result in fatality or severe injury. Remains of a carcass along with scent of lion were definite signs for the cheetah that lions were patrolling the area. The lingering stench of the carcass was filtering through the cool air as we all scanned the open terrain, deep down hoping we would not see a lion. The coalition needed to avoid any confrontations with the lions. Cheetahs are exceptional predators.  They require open plains to hunt, and habitat loss is probably the biggest reason for their declining population. Many cheetah cubs fail to reach adult age due to predation by carnivores which are in direct competition with the cheetah; predators such as the lion and hyena. The cheetahs moved on eventually settling under the shade of an umbrella thorn, constantly scanning the surrounding areas.