Before heading out for a game drive, it’s always a good idea to find out what everyone is hoping to see or at least what interests them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone reply with “I really want to see a kill!”.
Expectations can sometimes make or break someones experience in the bush. Wildlife documentaries, filmed over months and sometimes years and cut down into a hour of lions mating, hunting and taking over prides definitely play a role with that! To be honest, most of our big cat sightings involve watching them sleep, hoping that they will get up and show off their beauty. My advice to a first time safari goer, would be to slow down and take in all that you can, big and small, and allow for things to ‘happen’. You’re overall experience will be so much richer.
In a year of guiding, I have only managed to see one successful hunt take place in front of us. Countless times though, we have managed to see some extremely close calls! In the video below, we witnessed another close call.
On a cool early morning, two young female cheetahs, who have left their mother but have not yet split apart, used a road with a bank beside it to stalk a lone Impala ram. After a minute of pacing up and down, crouched down low to stay hidden, one of them decided it was now or never. She catapulted into an all out sprint in what seemed like a split second! In hind sight, she probably needed to get just a little closer before taking off, as the impala managed to dash towards a denser area where he effortlessly cleared the low thorn bushes and left the cheetahs to rue their impatience. Every inch counts in these situations…
We didn’t see a kill, but witnessed two of the fastest land mammals hunting mere meters away from us… I’ll take that any day!