mother cheetah and four cubs

The family that preys together, part 1

On our first day at Serengeti camp, we came upon a mother cheetah and cubs on the afternoon game drive.  They were sleeping, as cats usually do.  Our guide said there were four cheetah cubs.  We couldn’t make out four cubs, but by now, we knew better than to doubt the guide on counting animals.

sleeping cheetahs
sleeping cheetahs

We kept our distance and watched.  Occasionally a head would pop up for a moment and plop back down.  After 40 minutes, several heads popped up at the same time. Now we can see three cubs.  It’s getting dark.

several heads popping up at the same time
several heads popping up at the same time

Five minutes later the entire family is awake.  A proud mother and her four cubs, posing for us.

proud mother and four babies
proud mother and four babies

They get up and stretch.  My yoga instructor would be proud of these cats.  The cheetah cub does a cat pose.  The mother cheetah does a variation of the downward facing dog pose, a cat with its head up.

cheetah cub does a cat pose
cheetah cub does a cat pose
cheetah mother stretching
cheetah mother stretching
okay, we're up now
okay, we’re up now

And then the rain started.  They went for cover.

running for cover
running for cover

They played for a bit and then ran off, through the rain, into the night.

cubs climbing
cubs climbing
cheetahs nuzzling
cheetahs nuzzling

We had a great visit with the cheetah family.  It was dark, and we had a long drive back to camp in the rain, on dirt roads.

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Published by

charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

8 thoughts on “The family that preys together, part 1”

    1. Thank you. The cheetah mother and cubs are so darling, any photo looks good. Seeing the cubs, their play, and their interactions with their mother was my favorite experience on the safari. We saw this cheetah family again, so stay tuned. Our safari members counted how many cheetahs we saw on safari — we saw eleven. 🙂

  1. Beautiful – like I said I’ve only ever seen cheetah at Thanda (which almost makes them feel not truly wild…)

    Crazy how the light changes so quickly for pictures! G had a tough time keeping up with changing settings all the time when we were out there – just something you get used to if you are lucky to spend a while in Africa I guess 🙂

    1. You’re absolutely right about a tough time taking pictures in Africa, and especially with these cheetah photos. As you know, the best times to see animals and for lighting is near dawn and dusk, when the light is dimmer than midday. You do your best and live with the photos you get.

      It appears WordPress doesn’t display the photo metadata, the data about the photo such as camera, lens, time of photo, aperture, focal length, and GPS location. Too bad — the data’s useful when reconstructing the story, for this blog, for example.

      We used two cameras for these cheetah photos: a Canon 40D DSLR with a 100 – 400 mm f/4-5.6 lens and a Canon S100 point and shoot. After sunset, it got really dark — too dark for the 40D and telephoto zoom lens, even with the ISO maxed out.

      The last 3 photos are from the S100, which have a greenish hue. The S100 is a new camera that we still don’t really know how to use. But it’s superior in low light, and it records GPS locations. The GPS is very accurate, much better than “somewhere out on the Serengeti”.

      I’ll try to do a post about photography gear and tips after the safari posts are complete. Thank you for your comment and the idea from your comment.

      Charley

      1. Fair play if you would remember all that information 🙂 I can hardly remember where I was yesterday!

        It’s a real skill to know what you are doing with a decent camera – G would confess himself to still being at the early stages of learning. To be able to capture something as beautiful as you see it in real life is always a challenge.

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