Cheetahs & Gazelles in the Serengeti
If you want to take a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah, be prepared to get up at 4am, but it’s a fun adventure to soar over the landscape and see the animals below.
After the brunch, we headed out for another adventurous day across the Serengeti. How wonderful to find these beautiful creatures relaxing under this lone tree.
I could have stayed here all day and watched these beautiful cats! You can tell that they have recently had a meal because their cheeks are stained red, but there was no sign of a kill. Could it have been stolen by this hyena that was under another tree not too far away?
We didn’t see any evidence of a kill here either, so I can’t blame him this time.
It’s hard to believe that these sleek and sinuous cheetahs are faster than my Tesla, or any other sports car for that matter. My Tesla accelerates like you’re being shot out of a slingshot, or taking off like a jet engine. It can go from zero to sixty miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. Cheetahs are faster; they move from zero to sixty in 2.9 seconds, but can also stop and laterally accelerate. They are the fastest animal on the planet.
Thomson’s gazelles are one of the most popular and well known ones in Africa, with numbers over 500,000 in the Serengeti. You can recognize them by the black line that runs from their eye to their nose, the rust colored streak from their horns down to their nose, and another big black band running across their flanks.
These gentle gazelles depend on short grasses for grazing, so they are often found near zebras and wildebeests, who are great at mowing down the tall grasses first, with the gazelles following behind for the tender greens. Even though they are small, they are really fast, running up to 55 miles per hour, making them the fifth fastest land animal, and a favorite food of the cheetahs. They are also chased by lions, hyenas, leopards, but they are much more agile and faster, which helps them escape.
We came upon a mama cheetah sitting beneath a tree, wanting to feed her two cubs. Hunger is always the strong motivator to launch into action.
In the distance, was a gazelle. I love the little birds picking off the insects.
The cheetah’s finely honed skill of stalking begins and the chase is on…she’s so fast, my camera cannot keep up with her.
Unfortunately she was unsuccessful with this hunt today, and the gazelle got away to live another day, but each day, both animals risk their lives in this harsh world.
More more information on helping to save the endangered cheetahs, visit the Cheetah Conservation Fund at www.cheetah.org.