The cheetah is the fastest animal in the world and can run up to 120km (75 miles) per hour!
There are only 200 of these predators in Kruger National Park. On most of our trips to Kruger, we haven’t seen any of these felines during the course of a week in the park. Although it’s wonderful to see them, don’t feel disappointed if you don’t come across one.
Their habitat varies from open grassland to thick scrub and mountainous regions.
Count yourself really lucky if you see one! You can generally tell them apart from leopards by their black “tear-streaks” running down from the corners of their eyes to their mouths. They’re also slimmer and sleeker than leopards.
We once saw a fantastic sighting of six of these beautiful cats! We watched them for an hour, waiting for them to spring to action, to go on the hunt.
Eventually we decided to move on and to our dismay on the way back, we saw they had just made a kill! They do prefer to hunt in the morning or evening to avoid the midday heat so you may be more likely to see one at these times of day.
These cats cannot fully retract their claws, unlike lions and leopards.
Their claws give them extra grip while sprinting. They can accelerate from 0 to 100km (62 miles) per hour in 3 seconds, although they can’t keep their top speed up for long.
If you see more than one adult cat in a group, they’re probably males. Females lead a solitary life except for when they’re raising their young.