Talk about the day of the cheetah!
Shortly after leaving the lodge this morning the ODP Safari group caught up with the three cheetahs they had seen yesterday.
The cheetahs were hunting and the ODP group followed them, managing to get some superb shots of the busy cats.
In the bush, the one certainty is the unexpected, and today was no different.
The three cheetahs suddenly looked up, caught sight of another cheetah about 200 meters away, and made a beeline for that one.
Uh oh, what now?
Approaching closer, it was clear that the fourth cheetah had a fresh kill, not more than a few moments old. What would happen?
The three cheetahs sauntered up, and joined the fourth, who readily shared the meal with them.
Having watched the cheetahs complete their meal, the ODP group moved on … and encountered the other cheetah family they had seen yesterday.
The mother with her four tiny cubs, aged about four to six weeks.
They spent quality time with this family, watching the cubs playing gleefully, climbing small trees, running, rolling, pouncing and tumbling around.
A dusty wind came up, and the family sheltered under a thorn tree, where the cubs nursed thirstily after their busy time. Aaahs, as cameras again worked overtime …
Next, a large pride of 15 or 16 lions was sighted. They had wandered from the Serengeti. All members of the pride were in excellent condition, including the cubs who ranged in ages from around six to twenty four months.
In the distance, the migration could be seen, with thousands of wildebeest and zebra on the move.
After lunch, another highlight was an encounter with a Bat-eared Fox and her tiny, very playful cubs.
The group then decided to return to the mother cheetah and her cubs. She was hunting, and although she approached very close to many Thomson’s gazelles, she would look at each and simply turn away.
However, her actions and interactions with her family provided wonderful photographic opportunities, and the group remained with her until it was (albeit reluctantly) time to leave and return to the lodge.
The familiar meeting under the acacia tree again provided merriment, story swapping and sharing of photographic ideas.