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How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

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dpan16
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How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by dpan16 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:44 am

Hi - I'd like to book the Cheetah walking trek in Mountain Zebra National Park in July. I live in the USA and have been trying to call the Mt. Zebra NP using Skype for the past two days without any answer. I also called and emailed SANParks but they said I need to call Mt. Zebra. I also emailed Mt Zebra but didn't get a response. Any idea what else I can do? I'd love to figure this out soon so I can figure out the itinerary for the rest of my trip.

Thanks!!
David

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Karin Mitton
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:59 am

Hi, welcome to the forum.
I did this in December and it was fantastic. I only booked on the day I, so you really don't have to book to long in advance.

Are you using the contact details listed here?
https://www.sanparks.org/parks/mountain ... vities.php

Just a note - there has to be a minimum of 2 people to do the cheetah tracking. If you are the only person on the day, you can still go, provided you pay for 2 people.

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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by dpan16 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:03 am

Hi Karin - awesome that you were able to do the experience! Yes, I called both numbers listed on that page and a few other numbers that SANParks provided me but none of them work. I was worried that it might be busier in July since it seems like it's high travel season in a lot of African countries. The website mentioned to book in advance. Did you just show up to the ranger station or did you call beforehand?

Thanks!
David

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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by gannet » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:15 am

Hi dpan16

Back in 2013 we did the cheetah walk - a fantastic experience :D
Approximately 4 weeks in advance of our stay, via email I tried to book 2 places for a specific day - their reply stated that bookings must actually be made in person at MZ camp - no problem, upon arrival and check-in at reception we made our booking for the following morning - the transport uses a SANParks game viewing vehicle (10-12 seats) to the "start of the walk"; this place / position is selected by the ranger using his signal tracking device - that morning we saw 2 separate cheetah and I estimate that in total our group did around 6km of walking.

Hope this info helps - enjoy the walk!

Cheers, Ian
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:37 am

dpan16 wrote:Hi Karin - awesome that you were able to do the experience! Yes, I called both numbers listed on that page and a few other numbers that SANParks provided me but none of them work. I was worried that it might be busier in July since it seems like it's high travel season in a lot of African countries. The website mentioned to book in advance. Did you just show up to the ranger station or did you call beforehand?

Thanks!
David


I made the booking at reception when I checked it. When I booked, I was the only person at the time, and 2 other people only booked later. The next day there were only 2 people.

This is not a large park, and it does not accommodate the large numbers of visitors like Kruger as an example. You do not have to worry that you will not get space!

July is winter in South Africa, and it will be very cold in MZNP in July.

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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:14 pm

Karin, I hope you don't mind me giving David the link to your trip report where you describe and have pics of your wonderful experience on the Cheetah tracking activity.

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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by dpan16 » Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:37 am

Hi everyone - thanks for the posts! A quick update. The park finally got back to me via email. I'm confirmed for 2 people in July. (I know I'm booking way in advance but Cheetahs have been my favorite animal since I was a kid so I didn't want to risk it). Thanks everyone!

Any other tips and tricks for our time in MZNP?

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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by saraf » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:32 am

First tip is to relax and enjoy the park, it really is a little gem.

One of the things I have taken from my Kruger trips is to go out as early as possible and pack a flask of coffee/tea and some rusks or biscuits. Then find a quiet spot out on the road, park up and just sit and watch. There are a number of viewing areas in MZ that you can do this in.

A walk up the Black Eagle trail is also worthwhile - the trail starts and ends by the swimming pool. Its a fairly steep descent so pack some decent hiking boots but the views all along the trail are magnificent.

Have at least one meal in the restaurant, it really is rather good.
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:33 pm

dpan16 wrote:Hi everyone - thanks for the posts! A quick update. The park finally got back to me via email. I'm confirmed for 2 people in July. (I know I'm booking way in advance but Cheetahs have been my favorite animal since I was a kid so I didn't want to risk it). Thanks everyone!

Any other tips and tricks for our time in MZNP?


I am glad you are sorted.
In 3 visits to MZNP doing the cheetah tracking was the only time I saw the cheetahs - their invisibility cloaks work exceptionally well! :twisted:
All jokes aside - it really is amazing how these guys can hide in such a small park. I truly hope you enjoy the experience as much as I did - tracking wild cheetahs and getting so close to them on foot is truly amazing!

You did not mention how long your visit to MZNP will be - I do hope it is for a few nights at least to really enjoy this spectacular little park! You can easily drive most roads in the park twice a day.
You will get a map when you arrive. Link Road and Ubejane loop can deliver really cool sightings.
The views from Kranskop loop are breath taking.
Go on a night drive .... or maybe not - In July you will probably freeze your tush off on the drive. But you may get to see some nocturnal animals not seen during the day.

saraf wrote:Have at least one meal in the restaurant, it really is rather good.


I can second that - the food is very good!

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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by arks » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:34 pm

Karin Mitton wrote:Go on a night drive .... or maybe not - In July you will probably freeze your tush off on the drive. But you may get to see some nocturnal animals not seen during the day.

I went on a very rewarding night drive at MZNP in July 2015. We saw several aardwolves and a bush pig, plus much else including a massive buffalo roadblock on the way back to camp. I'd suggest watching the weather forecasts and choosing the warmest night for your drive. And wear lots of layers and heavy socks. The park also provides heavy blankets on the truck. As an American used to having central heating in winter, I find South African winter quite grim :roll: :shock: , but I was quite comfortable on my MZNP night drive, so don't be put off just because it's July.
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:29 am

dpan, enjoy your trip. :thumbs_up: The Park is a real gem.

I am going to back Karin's warning about dressing up warmly for the drive on the open truck. It will make all the difference to your comfort.

I have done many things in various Parks; the cheetah tracking is right up among the most special and memorable.
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by FrontierPR » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:09 pm

I got to witness these super duper lazy lads while out cheetah tracking about two weeks ago. Our guide, Charl Lyell, was dead set on getting us a sighting - even if it took a full four hours of looking for them. After a short walk, the experience was unbeatable, even if the boys only lifted their heads once or twice to peek at us...
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by lion queen » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:11 pm

What a lovely experience!!!

Thank you for sharing!!! :gflower:

The guides of MZNP are doing a stunning job!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by FrontierPR » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:29 am

Cheetah seen soaking up some morning sun last week. Pics taken by guest, Monica Viljoen Haasbroek.
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Re: How to book Cheetah Trek in MZNP

Unread post by FrontierPR » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:20 am

Senior Field Guide, Charl Lyell, took this pic last week. He says the latest litter of cheetah cubs are about 10 months old now and look eager to help mom with hunting duties. This little male was quite confident and even approached the group tracking them to have a closer look.
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