Ryan Hillier

NAME: Ryan Hillier





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Lions Chase Cheetah

This diary entry took place at Kwandwe

About 45 minutes into our game drive, we came across lovely big herds of springbok, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and zebra all in one fairly open area. These animals were all busy grazing and seemed quite relaxed. After viewing them for a short while we moved forward about 50m and Sakhi, up front, spotted a pride of lions also watching all the plains game! We got into a good position just in time to watch the lionesses stand up, stretch and then begin stalking some hartebeest. The cover was limited and after a mere 20 or so metres the lionesses were forced to stop and bide their time or else they would have been seen. Just as the first wave of excitement started to fade, Sakhi spotted a cheetah that was also hunting the same animals! We couldn't believe it! For the next 20 minutes, we watched the cheetah slowly edging ever closer to the prey until he was spotted by a springbok. With all the animals alert and the element of surprise gone, the cheetah gave up and began walking through the open, completely oblivious to the lionesses who were still concealed behind cover! When the cheetah was perhaps 150m away from them the lionesses went after him at a fairly fast run! The cheetah now saw them, turned and ran in the opposite direction for a short distance and then slowed to a walk, probably to conserve energy for what was coming. The lionesses continued after him and once close enough, really ran at him at full speed! The lead lioness got to within about 2m of the cheetah before he too used his full speed to get away from them and disappear into the bush! We raced around to try and get another glimpse of the cheetah and as we did so, he disappeared completely into the thickets. The lionesses, now with the male lion following them, came into view and began roaring together. They couldn't see the cheetah anymore and gave up the chase, but continued roaring as they walked off and also disappeared from view. We then decided to go and celebrate with a few drinks, and also managed to see a herd of buffalo on our way to a spot above the river where we could chat about the extraordinary interaction we had just witnessed!

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