A Game Drive in Pictures!

This is the picture story of today’s evening game drive.

After leaving the camp we first encountered Giraffes with Oxpeckers on them.

We moved on to view a large group of Zebra.

Then we spotted an Elephant bull while we were looking for …

… the herd of Buffalo. The volunteers on my vehicle were most impressed when we were surrounded by one of the “Big Five”.

And while we were viewing the Buffalo we heard about a Cheetah sighting at a waterhole nearby.

After the Cheetah left we stayed until the sun was gone to take a few beautiful pictures of the sunset over the dam.

Another hard day in Africa 🙂

Giraffe and Cheetah

Day 2 of driving the photography volunteers was great!

In this picture five of the volunteers are taking pictures of a Giraffe bull (we were in a Buffalo sighting at the time :-). My colleague Simo is driving the Land Rover in the picture. The other five volunteers were in my car.

In the afternoon I took a picture of a male Cheetah. He was resting with his brother in the shade of a tree on the savanna.

Enjoy the pictures!

 

 

Evening Sun

At the end of a busy day at a “Mini Olympics Event” in one of the Zulu communities (I will post a few pictures of this event later) and an afternoon-“road-learning”-drive I got this shot of a male Cheetah in hunting mode in the evening sun.

Enjoy the picture!

Picture of the Week 18 – Climb!

Small Cheetahs – as all other small cats – love to climb. Once they grow up it is much harder to get onto trees with their “semi-retractable” claws. These claws are designed like spikes to aid fast acceleration.

Nevertheless, in the picture below an adult male Cheetah climbed a low branch for a better look around in the morning mist.

Enjoy the pictures 🙂

For more Cheetah images go to http://www.sperka.biz/cheetah

Picture of the Week 2 – View Point

Cheetahs are one of my favorite cats. In 2005 I had the opportunity to follow a Cheetah mom and her four cubs for three days. I got many beautiful shots from these days. This week’s picture was never published before. Enjoy it!

View Point – A Cheetah with her cubs resting on a termite hill looking for prey on Mziki Marsh – Phinda Private Game Reserve – South Africa.

For more Cheetah pictures got to www.sperka.biz/cheetah.

If you would like to order a print of this images online go to http://www.sperka.biz/potw2012/h2ba335ce#h2ba335ce

About Cheetahs:
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized cat inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East.  It is the only cat with non-retractable claws (therefore cheetahs cannot climb vertical trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches). It achieves by far the fastest land speed of any living animal—up to 120 km/h (75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.

The cheetah has unusually low genetic variability. It is thought that the species went through a prolonged period of inbreeding following a genetic bottleneck during the last ice age. The extinct genus Miracinonyx was extremely cheetah-like, but recent DNA analysis has shown that Miracinonyx (early to late Pleistocene epoch), found in North America and called the “North American cheetah” are not true cheetahs, instead being close relatives to the cougar.

Picture of the Week 45 – Warm Up

This week’s picture is of four Cheetah cubs looking straight into my camera at sunrise on a cold winter morning.

The picture was taken at on Mziki Marsh, my favorite area on Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

About Cheetahs:
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized cat inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only cat with semi-retractable claws. Cheetahs achieve by far the fastest land speed of any living animal – between 110 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and have the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.

Females give birth after a gestation period of ninety to ninety-eight days. The average  litter size is three to five. Cubs are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle. This gives them a Mohawk-type appearance. This fur is shed as the cheetah grows older. It has been speculated this mane gives a Cheetah cub the appearance of the honey badger, to scare away potential aggressors. Cubs leave their mother between thirteen and twenty months after birth. Life span is up to twelve years in the wild, but up to twenty years in captivity. Unlike males, adult females are  solitary and tend to avoid each other.

For more Cheetah pictures go to www.sperka.biz/cheetah