The temperature was much warmer today than in the past few weeks, and it was nice to have cool-ish morning to start off with (as opposed to near freezing temps). Oh, and we had clouds today! We all decided that we would put some time in to see if we could locate cheetah, as there had been a lone male cheetah spotted in the southern part of the property yesterday morning. We stopped and listened to any alarm calls from birds or mammals every few minutes, and within an hour we heard an impala’s snorts just to the east of our position. We didn’t know the specific area, so we drove all roads near where we heard the sound so we could either find the alarm caller or at least locate tracks.
Cheetah On A Termite Mound
Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1250 @ f/8, ISO 800
There are many different ways of locating predators, and one of the methods is to listen to vocalization from specific animals. Good examples are impala, kudu, francolin, guinea fowl, vervet monkeys and baboons. My least favorite is from francolin, because often they are false positive alarms and can lead to dead ends.
We eventually found a cheetah on the top of a termite mound, just as the morning sunlight was breaking through the dense clouds. We photographed him on many different mounds and downed trees over the next hour and came away with some great shots. Cheetah? Check. Good light? Check. Good visibility? Check.
On the way back to camp we stopped for a journey of giraffe, and just sat there and enjoyed a long stop to watch them feed on the trees. Giraffe and elephant are my two most favorite mammals to watch and to photograph, so I was glad to spend some good time with a relaxed congregation of them this morning.
Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1400 @ f/4, ISO 1600
Friends (Lawrence and Renneck, our amazing trackers)
Nikon D800, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/640 @ f/4, ISO 320
Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.
Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by Borrowlenses.com. I rely on borrowlenses.com for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to borrowlenses.com to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.