There is something about cheetahs that makes you want to just stare. They way they move is so almost liquid in its grace, and that gaze is always looking far ahead. Heads up and walking along, a cheetah is simply magnificent to watch.

I was looking for a mother cheetah in the Kruger with 3 cubs. Now I had seen her when they were little and not seen them for a long time, I figured they would be almost ready to move out on their own. A rustle in the long grass that we were watching was the first hint that something was there, moving, and then from behind a small bush came mom. Looking ahead and walking with a purpose. The youngsters trailed along one by one behind her.

Cheetahs like to use raised ground to view the area and often will climb termite mounds, or fallen dead stumps and sometimes ever research vehicle bonnets in their search for a good view. This group was no different. As we watched the mother climbed a step or two up on to a dead log lying in the bush and after a minute stepped down and walked away.

Of course, the youngsters were not far behind and they one by one climbed on too, just to see what mom was up to. Cheetahs have to be careful when they hunt, to choose good ground for running and not give away their position because in the bushveld there are always freeloaders waiting for a meal. Hyenas! But more on that another time.