We had just reached the top of a higher part of the road when in the dip the slim shape of two beauties were seen just beyond the edge of the road partly hidden by the tall grass. Either too speechless or too scared to scare them away I tapped my SO on the thigh and pointed to the two cheetahs. Two stunning young specimens of one of my favourite animals.
What made it even better was that we were the only car in sight. The two cats and us spent a good 10 minutes with each other as they lay in the grass, got up again walked along the edge of the road. Its these characteristics that make Cheetahs so much more interesting to me then resting lions. Which is what we usually catch.
I heard an approaching car and so did the cats. They got up and moved off. I thought that was the end but they crossed the road and started to look increasingly active and alert.
Then it hit me... the impala further back. (The same group behind pumbaa in the previous instalment). These guys were hungry and they were ready for the hunt. They surveyed the situation and moved deeper into the thick cover waiting for their opportunity.
A brief crouch and very quick stalk under the thickets got our hair raised and the goosebumps going.
We last sight of the two in the same thickets and positioned ourselves in the perfect spot between the impala and cheetah waiting for the action.
Unfortunately for us (and fortunately) for the Imps the wind changed and the herd picked up on the cheetahs scent and scampered off.
Then up on the far banks I saw one again, I know they quick but come on they wouldn’t use their energy for that... nope...we counted again... one two... yes 3 cheetah.
I guess 2 youngsters and their mom. She come back down the hill and the three disappeared from our view. Maybe planning their next assault on this herd.
We continued on to Tam in awe out our closest ever sighting of cheetah very impressed with ourselves and the spotties.
Gosh they are elegant with their streamlined frames and black teardrop lines running from their eyes. A sighting like this is what the Kruger is all about. The thought of how everything in the day was meant to be... all leading up to that one second when you are in the right spot at the right time. That detour past Tshoks just to miss the lions, the longer than expected pit stop at Satara, the unplanned trip to the ancient baobab and more importantly the decision to not turn back halfway on the s100.
Along the H7 to Tam we had on ele herd, a baboon using a tree branch as a spring board, zb, impies, wildebeest, kudu girls and some giraffes as well as distant ground hornbills and a tawny eagle at the tip of a tree.
Driving through those gates at Tam and I didn’t think my SO realised how in the bush Tam really is. It is the perfect bushveld camp secluded, still and quite. The dry Timbivati was the perfect view from tent number 40.
I wonder what it could look like in full flood one day. We unpacked the car did a little bit of perimeter inspection and settled down to have a chat with our hornbill guest for some "dop and tjop" and took the obligatory photo of the braaivleis.
Before the night would be done. One more creature would pay us a visit by our fence. We always have the luck of these fellows visiting us on our stoep whether at Orpen and now Tam. The encounter at Orpen consisted of it been very aggressive to our neighbour, so my SO is a little scared of these guys. We were just reminiscing of our Cheetah sighting for the day when a rustling come from below. My SO jumped up screamed badger and ran inside the tent and closed the door.. Thank goodness it was that side of the fence or not some other predator as I was denied the right to flee inside. I still love her though. He he.
The little guy bolted with that unmistakable march of theirs.
This was the only night we could get at Tamboti so the next morning its back down the H1-3 and back to Lower Sabie.