The cheetah is a slender diurnal cat with a placid nature that enjoys a lifestyle of lone wandering. Possessing the gracefulness of a gazelle and accurate weapon like kill tactics, this big cat sprints at the speed the light; which makes it one of the most sought after cats to see while on safari.
They hunt during the cooler hours of the day while it’s still light and spend the blazing hot hours of the day conserving their energy. Cheetah can often be found sleeping on elevated areas – this gives them the best vantage point of their surrounds. Due to their mottled colouring that closely resembles the tan and brown hues of the bushveld, they can be tricky to spot. If you were a guest at nThambo Tree Camp over the past couple of days, you needn’t have even bothered searching for this majestic cat.
Why on earth would we say that? Well…A lone cheetah, who we suspect is female, came sauntering through the camp. A big cat sighting inside camp!
This youngster weaved her way through the stilts of the wooden chalet treehouses and then settled down to have a bit of a rest. Nadia, the camp manager, was the first to spot this youngster who appeared to casually approach nThambo Tree Camp’s deck and swimming pool area. This close-up sighting of a cheetah in camp left guests with a lifetime of memories. When will you ever get to sit on a deck with a drink in hand and observe a cheetah?!
With all the commotion surrounding this sighting, the Africa on Foot guests were summoned with immediate effect. At least nThambo’s sister camp managed to witness yet another big cat sighting!
This isn’t the first time a cheetah has visited camp. The area surrounding the wooden chalets clearly has plenty of shade and elevated mounds for this cat. And by the way, the stairs leading up into your treehouse accommodation on stilts have a gate, which safeguards against any curious predators.
Did you know? Cheetah don’t possess the mammoth strength of lions and are not agile powerhouses like leopards. Thus, these cats are constantly surveying their surroundings for potential danger. A cheetah’s strength is its speed – it can reach up to 110 km per hour. Its long tail acts as a rudder and helps to balance the body when groundbreaking speeds are reached. Cheetah will hunt when other cats generally don’t. They cannot afford the competition for food and are weak when it comes to defending themselves against stronger predators.
So, we’ve noted that nThambo Tree Camp has plenty of pachyderms drinking from their swimming pool and now they have cheetahs strolling through their camp. Even if you choose to enjoy a lazy morning in the lounge at camp, you’re bound to enjoy a wealth of wildlife sightings!