Tracking Cheetah’s at Samara Game Reserve was a once in a lifetime experience which was exhilarating and humbling at the same time. Michael and I had the opportunity to watch one in the wild on foot and it was one of the best experiences I have had, definitely bucket list stuff!
I have been on Safari before and seen a lot of amazing animals but the one which was still missing for me which I really wanted to see was a Cheetah. Luckily for me we recently headed to the Karoo to go to Samara private game reserve. In 2003 a cheetah that almost died at the hands of hunters named Sibella was released into Samara with two male cheetah’s. She went on to rear an amazing amount of 18 cubs in her life and contributed 2% of the wild cheetah’s in South Africa.
For monitoring purposes two of the cheetah’s at Samara are fitted with collars and we were lucky enough to have a capable guide that could track one of them. It might look easy but its not and we spent a good amount of time walking up the side of a mountain with the signal bouncing around. It was definitely an intense experience and the adrenaline was pumping through me the whole time. I have seen plenty of animals from the comfort of a game vehicle but never ever have I been close to a dangerous animal on foot.
Eventually our guide told us to be very quiet and still and pointed to the bushes. There she was yawning and rolling around like an oversized kitten under the shade of a bush. My hands started shaking and I almost forgot to take photos as I couldn’t stop staring at this amazing sight!
Eventually she got bored of us, got up, stretched and sauntered off up the mountain. We had to take a minute to regain composure and after getting into the safety of our vehicle there were high faves all round!
I think you just appreciate the good work and conservation going on a lot more when you see something that majestic close up. I cant wrap my head around anyone wanting to hurt such a beautiful animal!
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