Satara Summer 2021 – Challenging Cheetah Camouflage

See if you can spot the female Cheetah in this photograph. We spotted her on the 15th of December a few kilometers south of Satara. With her were two cubs; they were even more difficult to see. This was the first of 5 Cheetah sightings during our December 2021 visit to the Kruger National Park

Four days later we had a decent enough sighting of a group of four young Cheetahs hunting close to Nwanetsi. They didn’t stick around for photos very long though before their fleeing prey forced them to follow deeper into the bush.

Our next Cheetah sighting, on Christmas Eve, was another very challenging one. While this individual lay perfectly out in the open about 150m from the road that spotted pelt is excellent camouflage.

On Boxing Day, late afternoon while heading back to camp along the H6 road, we found two Cheetah brothers sitting in the rain intently staring into the distance. Just what they were looking at we never figured out as we eventually had to depart in order not to be locked out of camp.

Our next and final Cheetah sighting was also in pouring rain on the 31st of December, this time along the S37 road leading to Tshokwane from Nwanetsi; a group made up of a female with 4 fairly large cubs who would take turns to sit up in the rain and keep a watchful eye while the others kept their eyes shut against the pelting drops.

The Cheetah is endangered, not only in South Africa but across the whole continent, where its range has been drastically diminished. South Africa is home to at least 1,100 of these beautiful animals, with about 370 living in Kruger National Park and adjacent reserves. For us to have seen five different groups during our 3 week visit to the Park was extremely lucky! The Endangered Wildlife Trust is again calling on citizen scientists to submit photos of Cheetahs (and Wild Dogs) taken during visits to the Kruger Park to their 5th Cheetah Census, and while Joubert and I didn’t really get useful images on this trip we hope we can encourage other visitors with more luck to participate in this important project.

41 thoughts on “Satara Summer 2021 – Challenging Cheetah Camouflage

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Dan het jy in Joubert dit in gemeen, Dina! Hy is so lief vir jagluiperds dat hy hulle roep goed genoeg kan namaak dat hulle hom eintlik antwoord. Dis natuurlik n talent wat gaan verdwyn wanneer sy stem breek…

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  1. wetanddustyroads

    Ek moes nogal mooi kyk op die eerste foto om die jagluiperd raak te sien … maar dan skielik sit hulle oop en bloot daar tussen die motors! Pragtige foto’s – ek het nog net een keer in my lewe een in die natuur gesien en was sprakeloos vir ure daarna!

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          As als goed uitwerk is ons einde Maart in Hluhluwe Imfolozi en ek hoop dan is ons geluk ook in soos julle s’n was. Dis n bespreking wat ons eintlik al in Julie 2020 moes opneem maar nie kon nie weens die inperking.

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  2. sustainabilitea

    I’m unlikely to spot any cheetahs around here so I’ll just drool over the photos of the ones you saw. I did see the cheetah in the first shot and got a smile from the two sitting right by the line of vehicles. They’re just beautiful and to see them run is marvelous…unless you’re the prey.

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