Ndutu – Tanzania: A Cheetah Kill from Start to Finish

Hilton’s News:

What a fantastic day we have just experienced! No-one could ask for better …

We headed South as planned to the Makau area to try and see the journeying wildebeest. Although we were prepared to see hundreds upon hundreds of these animals nothing really prepared us for the vista of rolling hills for miles around covered – yes, covered – with hundreds of thousands (I even think millions!) of wildebeest. The steady march northward is a spectacle in itself and witnessing this event leaves one standing in stunned awe. We gathered ourselves eventually to start taking hundreds of photos.

We had taken a packed breakfast with us and were therefore able to relax and enjoy the entire scene without the thought of rushing back to camp for a meal.

We travelled on and came across a new cheetah kill where we again stopped for images.

And not far away from that we were puzzled to see a dead wildebeest, but no predators nearby. The local vultures were enjoying the feast … giving us ample time to compose our shots and get dramatic interactions and flight shots.

This afternoon we decided to head out to a large pride of lions, but on the way there we we interrupted by the kind of event that wildlife photographers dream about …

A mother cheetah with three one year old cubs was deciding to hunt.

We watched with bated breath as she stalked, moved closer and closer .. then stealthily crept even closer to a herd of wildebeest. We were convinced that she was after a young wildebeest and strained our eyes to watch as she moved into the herd.

Suddenly there was movement – a commotion as she sighted her prey and the chase was on.

Then she broke out of the herd on the tail of a Thomsons Gazelle.

And miracle of miracles – they were running directly toward our vehicle! Cameras clicked as we captured every second of the chase, which ended right in front of us when a final lunge brought down the hapless buck.

The mother cheetah and her cubs settled down to a well deserved meal, giving us a chance to stop shaking, recapture our breath and still our hammering heartbeats.

Wow, that was truly amazing … and we witnessed and captured the entire event from sighting the animals, the stalking, chasing, capturing and feeding! Whew!

By now darkness was beginning to overtake us and time to return to camp.

As we sit under the trees this evening chatting still wide-eyed about our amazing day and phenomenal experiences we know that it just doesn’t get much better than this!

Still planning to post pictures as soon as we find Internet –

Tomorrow we plan to head off in search of those 18 lions …