LamandEgg on Walkabout! travel blog

Started off from camp at 5:30 for our very last game drive. Anna, Tanya, Nigel and I took the first shift on the roof seats of the truck. The view from up top was great. Soon after we started, we saw a leopard in a tree.

An hour later, we a cheetah under a bush (possibly with cub). As we continued on down the road, we saw a lone cheetah staring down a male impala, who was protecting the herd several feet behind him. The impala herd had packed themselves together for protection. We watched in silence, waiting and hoping to see some action (sorry, none of us were cheering for the impala today!).

Just as we were about to give up hope, something caught our attention. A female from the herd jumped forward out of the pack towards the male. Moments later, 3 impala (male, female, and baby) broke out from the pack and started running towards our truck. The cheetah took off like a light. As the 3 impala approached the front of the truck, we all thought they were going to pass between our truck and the Land Rover infront of us. However, the baby cut to the left, leaving the 2 adults. The cheetah never took its eyes of the young one. It gracefully turned and raced after it. In the blink of an eye, it swiped at the legs of the impala, tripped it, and had carried it by the scruff of the neck all in one fluid motion. Wow.

By the time the cheetah decelerated, it was met by the other cheetah we had seen up the road. They were too far away for us to see the aftermath (just as well).

We all sat in silence for a while, trying to take in such a powerful experience. Many of us had goose bumps. It was incredible to see this all take place right infront of us --they not only ran towards us, but the young impala and cheetah turned and ran the length of the truck not more than 10 ft right infront of us!!! Burned into Nigel's mind is the image of the cheetah stretched out, showing all its spots in full stride as it ran infront of us. Lammie won't forget the image of the cheetah as it came towards the truck -its eyes fixed on the young impala, ears flattened. The impala never had a chance.

Sadly, as the cheetah carried off its lunch, the herd of impala made a noise that was quite sad --it was their attempt to get the cheetah to drop the young one. (fat chance)

We rounded off the day with more bull elephants and 8 more lions as we exited the park.

Not bad at all.

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