I’ve been on an African Safari at least 30 times over the past 5 years. And this one instance is one of those highlight moments.
When you are on safari you have no idea what you are going to see. You can sit in the car for hours and see absolutely nothing or you can be blown away by the amount of wildlife that can congregate in one area. This was one of those days that we were hit with one thing after another after another…
It started with a Cheetah just sitting in a field with an adult Thompson’s Gazelle sitting right next to him. It looked like they were just two buddies sitting there hanging out… In reality the Cheetah had probably already eaten this Gazelle’s baby and had caught the adult as well.
Suddenly we look to the left and we see this large male lion staring down the Cheetah. The two looking back and forth at each other in a staring contest. The Cheetah knowing that there is no way that he could beat a male lion starts to walk away…
The Thompson’s Gazelle sees the Cheetah walking away and once his back is turned gets up and gets ready to take off. The Cheetah hears him move and turns around. Hunting instincts taking over.
He catches the Thompson’s Gazelle and puts him out of his misery…. The male lion seeing the kill now starts moving faster towards the Cheetah and his kill. The Cheetah again realizing he has no chance walks away allowing this big male to take the Gazelle.
The lion grabs the gazelle and looks back and the Cheetah and continues to eat his lunch. The Cheetah walks away.
As the Cheetah is walking off we thought that all the action was over. Suddenly, the Cheetah was in a full face off with a female lioness. Other animals at the watering hole are now paying attention to what is going on. After a severe face-off with the Lioness the Cheetah where we thought that it was the end for the poor Cheetah the Lioness decided it’s time to move on and leaves.
All seemed like it would be quiet at the watering hole. The Zebras were in the water cooling down and the Cheetah had distanced himself far enough away from the lions. Suddenly a warthog comes around and decides he wants the Cheetah to leave. He starts to charge at the Cheetah. The Cheetah having enough turns on the warthog and chases him away.
The Cheetah finally leaves… and the Lioness goes to the waterhole with her cubs. Then the male lion joins them and together they have a little Lion King moment drinking water next to their dad.
And this all went down in 1 hour at one watering hole on the Savannah.
Photography by Kathleen Hertel Photography