Friday, 3 October 2014

Cheetahs at Okonjima

Okonjima, part of the Africat organisation in Namibia is one of my favourite African destinations - partly because it's a great place to visit in terms of food and accommodation but it is also a terrific opportunity for any photographer to get eye-popping shots of leopard and cheetah in their natural habitat.

The Africat organisation began by looking after 'rescued' cheetahs (and leopard) from outlying farms in the northern part of the country (because there are so many farms here, all predators run the risk of being shot on site by nervous farmers.  It now has so many on its property, it no longer rescues animals, preferring to educate the locals into not shooting the predators, and by building kraals for the famers to house their livestock overnight - away from the potential killers.  So, by protecting the already rescued cheetahs and educating the wider public, Africat is going a long way in helping stop the loss of this amazing creature.

Early start on a game drive looking for cheetahs wearing a radio collar
One of the many distractions while out looking for cheetah in the early morning. 
Two kudu in the park.
Male cheetah with radio collar
Male cheetah in the 200 square kilometre Okonjima estate
Walking up to within 15 feet of a fully grown cheetah is quite something. 
They mostly take no notice of humans simply because they have never been threatened by them. 
This male was far more interested in an animal at the end of the clearing than in us.

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