Wildlife Travel: Cheetahs
The cheetah is suffering the effects of human excess, encroachment and development. In 1900 it is estimated that there were approximately 100,000 cheetahs worldwide. Currently, there are thought to be between 10 and 15 thousand with about 1/10th of those living in captivity.
The cheetah is a magnificent animal and has been prized throughout recorded history. At one time a cheetah pelt was a sign of great wealth. As a result, they were often killed for their skin. Still others valued their hunting abilities and captured them for this reason.
Namibia is home to approximately 2,500 cheetahs – the largest wild population in the world. Smaller populations exist in Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. Other countries have even fewer.
Cheetah Wildlife Tours
With a nearly extinct population and topping speeds of about 45 miles per hour, one might think that experiencing a cheetah beyond the confines of your local zoo would be virtually impossible. Thankfully, there are several travel companies with experienced guides that provide excellent wildlife tours.
Natural Habitat Adventures is a company based in Boulder, Colorado which strives to take its guests to see “wildlife as it lives, wild and free.” They offer The Great Botswana & Namibia 16 day Safari tour which costs between $12,395 and $14,390.
On this safari guests visit the stunning red sand dunes of Namibia, home of the world’s largest population of cheetah. This endless desert is in stark contrast to the next stop, the Okavango Delta. Both environs supply ample opportunity for live wildlife experiences.
Best of all guests enjoy an exclusive experience as Natural Habitat Adventures limits this tour to a maximum of 8 travelers.
Paul Larson African Wildlife Photography, based in Southington, Ohio offers a unique opportunity to photograph cheetah in their natural habitat with the Kenya 12 Day/11 Night Safari. This trip costs $4,600 and includes all meals, accommodations and group tips while in the country.
This trip takes place between August and mid-September as it is designed to capture the Great Migration while in progress in order to maximize the viewing and photographing of the incredible African wildlife.
This trip uses either Land Cruisers or Land Rovers and limits each vehicle to approximately four guests. In addition, the tour is limited to between 10 and 12 clients and is open to both amateur and experienced photographers.
On Safari with your Family
Perhaps you’re interested in exploring the wilds of Africa with your family. African Portfolio, based in Old Greenwich, Connecticut offers a fun, safe, family oriented experience.
Their Big Five Family 11 Day/10 Night Safari costs between $2,695.00 and $2,995.00 per person. On this trip, you and your family will go on safari in two private game reserves adjacent to Kruger National Park, which is considered to be one of the best places for viewing wildlife in Africa. Game drives take place in open land rovers in the early morning as well as in the late afternoon. Guided wilderness walks are also provided by professional guides.