A cheetah mother faces a significant challenge in raising her young. Not only does she need to provide for them and equip them with the skills required to survive, she also needs to protect her young amongst the vast open plains of Kenya and the predators within.
With many mouths to feed, she is under constant pressure to deliver. By sharing her hunting skills with her young she can provide her family with the best opportunity for survival and optimise their chances of reaching adulthood.
Once the mother has stunned the prey, the cubs have to finalise the kill. Often the prey escapes, leaving the young cheetahs temporarily bewildered. A chase ensues, which provides the ideal opportunity for the young cheetahs to practice hunting.
We watched, and after several unsuccessful attempts to maim the prey, the mother stepped in to finish the kill.
After capturing the prey, the cheetah family dive in for the feast. The mother and cubs are temporarily relieved of their hunger, but this is little more than a snack for these youngsters. Shortly after the children finished eating and were groomed, the mother commenced the hunt once more.
Ever since our first visit to Kenya in 2005 we’d fallen in love with the continent and had longed to return. For four years we’d played our Africa CDs daily and viewed our photos longingly, anticipating the day we would return. Back in 2009 we had our chance…
Each morning we bounded out of our beds and into the wilderness, eager and hopeful of what the day would bring. We owe much of our success to the fantastic guides and staff of the Kicheche Bush Camp, Mara Safari Club and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who we cannot praise enough and to whom we long to return.
It is through our experiences and time in Kenya that we tell, and re-live, our memories of this amazing continent, and above all, of the Maasai Mara.