Cheetahs (acinonyx jubatus) are the fastest of all the land animals. They have been clocked at sprinting speeds of 114km/h. Cheetahs can bring down their prey after a short-coursing hunt, but would not be able to chase an animal to death over longer distances.

Cheetahs are known to be sight-hunters and can be watched hunting in the mornings or late afternoons. When they eventually kill their prey, they are often totally out of breath for awhile, and since they are the weakest of all the animals of prey, a bigger predator can easily snatch their prey away from them.


A few years ago the cheetah was still on the list of endangered species. Through the combined efforts of the southern African countries, initiated by private organisations, their numbers have recovered.


Cheetahs are often confused with leopards, but there are some clear distinctive markings, such as the typical tear stripes in the cheetah's face, the longer legs and the darker spots in its fur. In contrast to leopards, cheetahs are quite social beings who usually live as couples or in small groups. They are not very aggressive and it is relatively easy to tame them.

Game Parks: With a bit of luck one can spot cheetahs in the Etosha Park. Recommendable is a visit to the AfriCat Foundation on Okonjima or the Cheetah Conservation Trust CCF, both near Otjiwarongo.