Tanzania: Serenegeti NP – Cheetah with Cubs
Serengeti is one of the best places in the world to see the elusive cheetah cats. The beautiful slender-built feline is the fastest mammal on earth running at speeds of up to 112 kmh / 70 mph. Cheetahs are much smaller then lions and leopards, much more elegant and graceful, and much faster. They prefer open grasslands and plains for both hunting and consuming the kill (which they do immediately). Cheetah mostly hunt during the day – early morning or dusk. We got lucky to spot a whole family – a mother cheetah with four cubs – and on a fresh kill (which appeared to be a small baby antelope – maybe Thompson’s gazelle or perhaps a hare). The cubs were quite large and clearly capable of eating meat. The mother patiently waited until the cubs consumed most of the kill, then ate herself, and then the entire family groomed each other. By the way, cheetah’s roughly 2000 black spots are unique to every animal, like a fingerprint.