Monday, September 24, 2012

Africa: day 5

On day five we flew to Kusini, in the southern Serengeti, and it was my favorite part of the entire trip.  We got out of the plane and went straight on a drive through the Serengeti.  Within a half an hour we saw a cheetah, then within forty minutes we got to see that cheetah make a kill.  It chased a huge pack of impala and Thompson gazelle, and it caught a huge impala.  We then watched, wide eyed, as the cheetah suffocated the impala. OMG.

The actual kill was really quick, the only shot I got was of the impala running away.  I'm not sure anyone truly saw the cheetah catch the impala.  We all did watch as the cheetah suffocated the impala. It took at least three to five minutes for the cheetah to finish it off.

Then the cheetah tried to drag it's kill to some tall grass or anywhere to hide from the scavengers.  Withing ten minutes vultures were already circling, and when they start to land...the hyenas won't be far away.  Hyenas will come and scavenge dead animals, and they travel in groups.  A group of hyenas can over take a cheetah, so the cheetahs will get out of there before the hyenas get there.  We sat staring at this struggle as the cheetah could not drag the impala fast enough and had to retreat.

Then we went back to the lodge for lunch and a short rest.  We kept saying, "we could see nothing else for the rest of the day and still be happy."  Little did we know that we were going to see a second cheetah kill!!!

A mother cheetah caught a baby impala and then allowed her babies to hunt it.  We were tooo far away to get a good picture of the kill, but it was an amazing sight to see.

Here is the mother after she had been feeding on the impala baby, I love the red blood on her chin.

Here is one of the babies looking right at us, I love these big cats, they are sooo striking.

Here are the babies pawing at the little impala.  I am conflicted about putting any of the really gory pictures online, I may do an update on this post eventually.

Here is one of my favorite pictures, it is one of the babies chewing on a leg.  This was one of the craziest experiences of my life, I still can't believe I witnessed this moment.

Love Always,


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