“Where have all the cheetahs gone?” That’s what I felt like singing not so many years ago. But my luck changed after going cheetah tracking and on a recent visit to the Kgalagadi I nearly lost count. By Romi Boom
At the time Wild’s digital editor Kate Collins was incredulous. “You always come back with the most amazing sightings, I can’t believe that the cheetahs are evading you,” she commented.
Then things changed when I went cheetah tracking in Mountain Zebra National Park and came across the famous Nixi, lying in the shade, flicking her tail and quite happy to tolerate our presence.
On my latest trip to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park I spotted no fewer than 12 cheetahs. This included two drop-dead gorgeous brothers walking into the golden sunset, no photographer could wish for better light. I also saw a female with a blood-stained mouth feeding in the shade, where photo opportunities were challenging to say the least. Even so, while mom was ripping into supper I had fun watching three teeny-weeny cubs through my binoculars.
Another memorable sighting was of a springbok watching a cheetah stroll past, strutting its stuff. I waited for the right moment when both were aligned in the frame and although I would have been a lot happier had there been more light on the cheetah, at least I have a photo that brings back exciting memories.
The lesson I’ve learnt is never to lose heart when you’re on a game drive. Who knows, those elusive wild dogs may yet favour me with a sighting.