Cheetah sightings have been fairly scarce over the last 6 months. The resident male that we used to see so regularly in the south-west of Londolozi has – we believe – met his maker, as there have been no recorded sightings of him for a long time. Having said that, an adult male has been viewed once or twice in that same area over the last week or two, but I doubt it’s the same male. We’ll try to confirm with photographic evidence.
With no more clearly resident male though, the way is open for prospective territorial individuals to move in, and this is exactly what has happened in the form of two young cheetahs that have been viewed consistently over the past couple of weeks.
Having moved in from the east, and originating we presume somewhere in vastness of the Kruger National Park, the pair have likely reached independence sometime over the past year, and are still in the nomadic phase of their young lives.
Cheetah siblings tend to stick together upon reaching independence. Males and females stay together for a couple of months before splitting, but males, much like male lions, form coalitions that have a much better chance of taking down larger prey as well as securing and subsequently defending a territory. Coalitions can number as large as six, but in an area like the Sabi Sand Reserve, which is rife with stronger predators, we are extremely unlikely to see a coalition like that.
As cheetahs invariably do on Londolozi, the young pair in question have made it down to the southern grasslands, where the predator density is slightly lower, and they have a better chance of hanging onto kills and staying out of trouble.
Young cheetahs like this are probably too young to properly establish territory, and ultimately if they did, it would likely only be the male that stuck around. Females tend to be far more nomadic than males, and this one might still wander far and wide before finding an older, unrelated male to mate with, assuming she makes it to sexual maturity.
Maybe they’ll get chased off and disappear back into the Kruger Park, maybe not, but either way, just knowing that the tiniest percentage of the less than 1000 cheetahs in South Africa still find their way here occasionally, dodging leopards, lions, hyenas and the occasional wild dog pack, is a rather nice thought…
Filed under Wildlife
Great news. It seems as if there are regularly cheetah coming over from Kruger. It is sad to hear that the resident male might have died. Was it the one with the scar of an injury on the right front leg?
James, we were there in October 2018, we saw the 3 cheetahs on that visit. I hope the new cheetahs survive.
Beautiful cheetahs! They are so scarce anymore. Any sighting is sacred!
What lovely Cheetah pics? DO hope they are able to stay alive in Londolozi down in the South. Imagine if we had some Cheetah babies with the accompanying pics! Wouldn’t that be great? Love Wendy M
Fingers crossed your wishes come to fruition for a resident pair of cheetahs. It seems they are difficult to find in the SabiSand area, due to lower populations than other African countries such as Botswana and Kenya. Any thoughts on this?
Fingers crossed they stay awhile. They are such beautiful animals to photograph as evidenced by the shots in this blog. Well done!
James. Londolozi is a popular place and I don’t blame the Cheetahs for wanting to hang out at the preserve.
I have pictures and video of the loan mail that you referred to that was taking up residence in late 2017. I looked at those again after reading this article. Keep up the good work. Hoping those two cheaters find a home somewhere Within the property boundaries
Wonderful news along with exceptional images. Love the latter one with great light on top of the mound. Glad you got a chance to see them and wish them the very best whereever they travel. Thanks James.
Fingers crossed they find their home with Londolozi. Cheetahs have such adorable faces. Happy 4th of July from the US. Victoria
Could they be the siblings of the mother cheetah that was frequenting the area last year, or are they younger than those two?
We were fortunate to have multiple cheetah family (mother + 2 cubs) sightings over several days during our first visit in 2013. We also experienced the cheetah tracking and taking down an impala–to be followed by the mother instructing the cubs to finish the kill. I can still recall the yelps and pounding paws as the hunter and prey came ever so close to our vehicle.
I hope they stick around!!
Any chance these are the two yearlings we saw on a kill with their mother in the shadow of Ximpalapala Kopje one evening late May 2018? Believed we read about them occasionally in the blog for weeks after.
James, What great news! The constant evolution and movment (and your tracking) of leopards, lions and cheetah continues to amaze us!
This is such wonderful news!! Hopefully they’ll stick around long enough for our next visit.
I am sorry to be late on commenting on such great news!!do we know what happened to them? where are they now(December 2019)?