About the Author

James Souchon

Field Guide

James started his guiding career at the world-renowned Phinda Game Reserve, spending four years learning about and showing guests the wonder of the incredibly rich biodiversity that the Maputaland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...

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18 Comments

on Why it’s Hard Being a Cheetah

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

It is fantastic news that there are more cheetah seen at Londolozi. It is always special to see this endangered species.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Had the opportunity to see a mother and 2 cubs during our first visit. The ensuing stalking and take down of an impala was incredible. The blinding speed of the cheetah made the chase a “no contest.” Such athleticism. Mother then “instructed” the cubs to finalize the kill.
Cheetahs always seem to be on alert with their heads continually swiveling even while at rest.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Observing the cheetah family roaming between Londolozi and Singita has been fascinating to watch albeit vicariously. She seems to be a good mom , watching out for her young, but as you so rightly stated, conditions aren’t great for her. Just after she makes a kill, having barely eaten, the hyenas rush in to take their meal. Such is the way of life for this predator…..I’m hoping this family will stay around for awhile.

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, what a wonderful blog – cheetahs everywhere🤗

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Guest contributor

We didn’t realize how predator-rich Londolozi had become. Interesting that it occurred as the Reserve was in lockdown. Perhaps Mother Nature is rebalancing wildlife as she rebalances humankind. Very interesting turn of events. Is poaching on the increase as well?

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Bob and Lucie, thank goodness in our area poaching has not been on the increase.

Barbi Evenson
Explorer

James…. your last sentence says it all!!! Thank for all of the sharing…. ❣️

Christa Blessing
Senior Digital Ranger

Great photos, James. How nice that there are now several cheetah in your area! I hope they will stay around a bit…

Kara Taylor
Senior Digital Ranger

It’s fantastic that they have been around lately. We have had some excellent cheetah viewing ourselves when we have visited. Very unexpected but absolutely lovely to see. Cheetah cubs are on the top of my list as are the wild dogs pups . You guys are super fortunate right now!

Darlene Knott
Digital Tracker

Love the cheetah! Thanks for sharing such good info about them!

Paul Canales
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks for this James! The hierarchy of predators is fascinating, especially because those of us in the U.S. who grew up on “Wild Kingdom” focused on the big cats (occasionally cheetah, but mostly the others) and rarely on the status of hyenas among predators. At least that’s my childhood recollection. Also, cheetahs have always held a special fascination, as the footage of their sheer speed always impresses!! But I never really understood their vulnerabilities. Thanks again!

Lisa Antell
Explorer

We saw a male in the southern area of Londolozi in early August 2019. I wonder if the female was in the area and in estrous since the timing is close to when she would have gotten pregnant with those cubbies.

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Are you perhaps visiting the Southern Area more?

James Souchon
Field Guide

Hi Ian, we’ve been lucky to have had cheetah sightings all over the reserve including the southern section.

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Interesting blog, James. Thank you very much. The old story of dogs chasing cats up trees happens in the Bush too! Wendy M

Victoria Auchincloss
Digital Tracker

I love cheetahs, they always look so
majestic standing on top of termite mounds or rocks. I know they are endangered, did not realize they were so far down the list of predators. By the sway you have probable heard of the Columbus, Ohio Zoo but they have a breeding programs for several endangered species. They just announced the birth of 2 cheetah cubs thru in vitro fertilization. Victoria

Cheung Yc
Digital Ranger

To be a cheetah mom is also the most difficult job in the world……

Oh my. So many cheetah sightings lately, makes it even more exciting for our return. James, I noticed that the cheetahs are not named like the lions or leopards, by pride names or territory. Why is this?

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