August 5

Cheetah Safari Sightings: Silvan Safari Blog

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By Elias Msaya on
August 5, 2022

When heading out on a drive during your stay at Silvan Safari, there are a few animals you can safely expect to see. While game drives are unpredictable by their very nature, a handful of usual suspects make more than regular appearances. So, when you come across one of the more unusual species, it makes it even more special. As it turned out, our game drive on a winter evening provided us with one of these memorable moments...

Sensational Safari Sightings 

Reisejahr 2022: Pirschfahrt von der Silvan Safari Lodge

Reading the signs of the bush is an art that can result in spectacular sightings

One of the best ways to track animals or understand what's going on in the wild around you is to observe the habits or behaviours of the animals you can (or can't) see. And as we made our way to a section of the Sabi Sand I know pretty well, I could sense something was different. This region's open "plains" are usually frequented by wildebeest or other game. And because they often move through this area, you can almost count on them as one of your game drive safari sightings.

However, on this specific afternoon, they were nowhere to be found. Everything seemed eerily quiet. I mentioned to my guests that there might be a predator in the area...

Seeking Predators 

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Cheetah sightings are rare in the Sabi Sand, Image Credit: Elias Msaya

After a short search, my suspicions were confirmed. However, it was not one of the predators I had been expecting. There, in the process of hunting a small herd of impalas, was a cheetah!

Cheetah sightings are unusual in the Sabi Sand, with only a small population present in the area. This is primarily because of the number of other large predators outcompeting them and their limited ideal habitat. Therefore, we did our best to make the most of this incredible opportunity to showcase this beautiful big cat to our guests. However, ultimately, the cheetah disappeared into a drainage line, and we could no longer follow it.

Twice as Lucky with Safari Sightings

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Cheetahs often make use of fallen trees or termite mounds as vantage points

However, our luck hadn't quite run out. As we emerged from the bush, a radio call alerted us to the presence of a second cheetah spotted in the area. We made our way to the sighting and saw a second cheetah perched on top of a termite mound, contact calling to a partner. As the daylight faded, we returned to the lodge, buoyed by our good fortune to have enjoyed two memorable cheetah safari sightings.

Another Day in Bush Paradise

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Cheetahs are remarkably social cats, Image Credit: Doug Croft

The following morning, we headed out again, searching for another chance to spend time with such an uncommon visitor. And, before long, we were rewarded! Whilst a lot less eager to be seen on this occasion, we could enjoy over an hour of watching a pair of cheetahs make their way through the bush and resting intermittently.

A bit of investigation revealed that these two cheetahs have been sighted in recent weeks a lot further south in the Sabi Sand and are a mother and a male cub of around one year old. Since this sighting, they have continued their journey north and were seen at various lodges on several occasions.

Forever Memories

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Sharing such a special moment with guests at Silvan is what guiding is all about, Image Credit: Elias Msaya

I feel fortunate to have been a part of these safari sightings and to have been able to share them with my guests. It's certainly memories that will live long in my memory, and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to add many more in the future. And that our guests will talk about these special cheetah safari sightings for years to come!

Come Visit Silvan Safari for Sensational Sightings 

Are you ready to be surprised on your next game drive? Join us at Silvan Safari, where our team will ensure you create memories that will last a lifetime. Contact Rhino Africa's Travel Experts today. As the World's Leading Safari Company, they can make your wildest African safari dreams come true!

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About the author 

Elias Msaya

Elias was born in Norton a small town south of Harare in Zimbabwe. Growing up next to Lake Chivero and Manyame, has led nature to be imprinted in his DNA. His love and passion of wildlife has made him pursue more challenges and adventures in nature. He moved to South Africa in 2007 and started training to be a Nature Guide. Elias holds an Advanced Diploma in Nature Conservation and a BSc Honors Degree in Environmental Management. He worked as a Nature Guide in Addo Elephant National Park before moving to ThornyBush Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park. He then later joined Silvan Safari Lodge where he is enjoying wildlife safaris in the Sabi Sands which has long been his life time dream.

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