Best place to see cheetah in Southern Africa?

Old Nov 24th, 2006, 12:32 AM
  #1  
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Best place to see cheetah in Southern Africa?

Hello Everyone,

I have heard read great things about Phinda. Anyone recommend another location?

Thanks,
Danny
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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 12:47 AM
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santharamhari
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Danny,

Phinda is your #1 bet....but, bear in mind it is a fenced-in reserve. I had some sightings in August, but, the sightings were brief and a rush...

I'm cheetah obsessed myself.....

In Botswana: The following areas are great for cheetah (in no particular order)

1.) Kwando concession (Lebala and Lagoon)- I've had fantastic viewing during MY visits. During my recent visit in August, we found a female cheetah that i spent atleast 3 full drives with (and a brief portion of other drives also)...this was at Lebala. We could have spent many more drives watching her, but chose to go find other animals....

2.) Selinda/Zib- John(afrigalah) can tell you a lot more about this area....he has visited MANY times....the habitat around here is ideal for cheetah....

3.) In the delta- Vumbura,Chitabe,Kwara,Mombo (Mombo used to be fantastic, not so good in the middle and they are having cheetah once again from recent reports)

4.)Duma Tau and Savute

In Zambia, i guess your best chance is in the Kafue National Park.....

In the Sabi Sands area in SA, Cheetah is going to be in areas with lower predators ON the particular day....you can luck out at any of the lodges there.

Another favourite around here is a particular co-alion of brothers that can be anywhere from Lagoon/Lebala/Zib/Selinda/Duma Tau/Savute....

Hari
 
Old Nov 24th, 2006, 04:44 AM
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Danny,

I've seen cheetah on all but one of my safaris, but the best sightings have been Mombo and Selinda. Mombo was 10 years ago and I don't think it's as good for cheetah as it used to be. Selinda has delivered every time: cheetah with cubs and the legendary 'three (now two) boys'. I don't wish to be tiresome by overdoing mentions of my website URL, but it does have many images of cheetahs seen not only in the Linyanti region (Selinda and Kwando) but also in the Okavango Delta and Kenya...www.afrigalah.com

John
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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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Oh, heck...Kenya doesn't belong in the link. I should have put in a space after Kenya

John
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 12:56 AM
  #5  
skimmer
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Danny,

According to my experience and readings:

Your best chances are at Phinda and Kgalagadi TP in SA and Linyanti/Selinda/Kwando in Botswana.

Cheetahs are not easy to see and unlike leopards in f.e. Mala Mala there is always a draw of luck involved in it to see them in the wild.

Cheetah sightings used to be excellent on Chief's island (Mombo/Chief's camp) (Botswana) but according to my own experience and talks with guides who worked a long time in that area, it used to be much better in the past.

I would advice to go to an open area where off-road driving is allowed so if you are extremely lucky you will be able to see a chase from start to end.
 
Old Nov 25th, 2006, 04:54 AM
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A chase from start to end is what I saw at Mombo on my first full day on safari. Guess you can say I was lucky. On the second full day, we saw wild dogs at their den, then followed a cheetah coalition until dusk when we 'heard' them bring down a kudu (only to have it stolen by lions in our headlights; we had to return to camp then because of the curfew). That's why I class my Mombo cheetah sightings as among my best. I also saw 'the boys' chasing impala at Selinda; they caught two simultaneously in the dark, so the actual kills weren't seen...but the feasting on one carcass was. The other impala was left for the hyenas. Johan is right about choosing places with plenty of open ground and off-road driving (and, I add, night driving... nightfall doesn't stop cheetah hunts).

John
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 05:55 AM
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Another cheetah fan! As he mentioned, Hari was not enthralled with Phinda. After July, I be able to add my 2 cents on Phinda.

I agree with Hari's list.

There are also the sanctuaries and outreach programs like DeWildt in Johannesburg and Spier's in Cape Town. The cheetahs that live there are not wild cheetahs. I hope to visit one of those places some day.
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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santharamhari
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Bear in mind, in or two places where there is a very high lion density the cheetah can be skittish.....happened to me ONCE. She/he bolted the moment the vehicle came in sight and could not be followed......i was CRUSHED!!! i'd rather not hv seen him/her AT ALL. But then, our guide mentioned that the particular animal may never have seen vehicles much or just the fact that there were too many lions in the area that particular week.....

Hari
 
Old Nov 25th, 2006, 06:34 AM
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Cheetahs are one of my favs too.

As far as Phinda goes, the reserve is focused on cheetah conservation. That's why they have a 70% success rate in cheetah survival and for that reason, do not have a higher density of lions.

A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with a brother and sister pair who were hunting.
The brother was collared and monitored and was to be eventually sent to another park for breeding purposes.

There were also a couple of new cheetahs being held in a boma for a couple of weeks prior to being released into the reserve that we were able to view.

Like with any wildlife encounter though, it's also a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
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