About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on Cheetah on the Backfoot. Again…

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Wendy Hawkins

James, what a pity that they can’t climb trees like the leopards, then his grub would be safe, unless a leopard decided to “investigate” 🙂
Lovely pictures & write up as usual thanks a ton for sharing. I’ve had the most wonderful start to the week with a post a day – yay!!! very lekker 🙂

Liam Donnelly

It was fantastic to personally witness this, one of several amazing sites witnessed during my 4 nights at Londolozi. Thanks to Sandros, what a ranger!


Hi James,Feel so sorry for the poor Cheetah losing her meal to a hyena.She could have been very hungry.Good story supported by very good action photos

Michael Klauber

Damn Hyenas! Great shots James!!

Geri Potter

As much as I cheer for the Tsalalas, I cheer for any cheetah MORE! Cheetah are…………..indescribable!
I want them to succeed! Love that the male took a stand against the hyena! One small step against the intruder, 1 GIANT step for cheetah on Londolozi!! 🙂

Geri Potter

Here’s hoping the ‘chain’ becomes complete for the cheetah et al. from the Kruger through the Karoo!!!!

Mary Beth Wheeler

Exciting action shots, James! I could just about hear his hiss!!

John Peters

Shoot the hyenas. Well, not all as we need them to clean up the carcasses but this is to much!

Hi John,

The hyenas form an integral part of the ecosystem here and throughout Africa. I think they have been painted in a bad light by many animated films (no names mentioned) but without them the system would fall out of balance.

The hyena needs to survive too and is just doing what it does naturally.


Henry Kago

Hi James!

Do cheetahs ever succeed in driving off hyenas from their kills or is this the same case over and over again??
I just get disappointed every time i see this in a wildlife documentary…..



Hi Henry,

I’m afraid this is pretty much the standard scenario. You may have cases where male coalitions of cheetahs (brothers often stick together) could defend a kill against a small hyena, but cheetahs can ill afford to get injured, and would far rather give up a kill and hunt for another than potentially receive a bone-crushing bite from a strong-jawed animal like a hyena.


Jane Thomson

Thanks for the awesome pictures.

Interesting that eating become s such a very stressful time for cheetahs, constantly looking over their shoulders for these approaching marauders.

We were fortunate recently to witness two young males, maybe brothers , bringing down an impala in the KNP and they did get to eat him – we watched for nearly an hour while they circled anxiously, keeping ther distance and taking turns eventually to eat while the other brother kept a lookout.

Look forward to being at Londolozi next March.


Very good photography and even better story.Feel so very sorry for the poor cheetah – they have the speed but not the build to match the hyenas.Thanks for sharing this fantastic story!!!!!

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