09 May 2011 by Kate Turkington

Stalk a speed champion

What I remember best about my first experience of tracking a cheetah on foot was the loud sound of her purring. It was a thrilling rumble that soothed rather than scared. She washed her whiskers and took no notice of us.

Now it’s your turn. San Parks is giving you the opportunity to follow cheetahs on foot and also get within a few metres of the fastest animal on land.

Once upon a time, cheetahs roamed freely in the area of the Mountain Zebra National Park, but disappeared over 100 years ago. However, in 2007, 4 cheetahs were reintroduced They thrived and their numbers have increased to over 30.

Go walking with a qualified guide who’ll be on the alert to spot the tracking devices which have been placed on some of the cheetahs. Your chances are high of finding one, and at a fraction of the cost you’d have to cough up in a private reserve.

If you prefer to shy away from cats, then you can still go on a 3-hour guided walk, or go alone on a short walking trail.

But on the cheetah trail - always walk, never run. Unless you can get up to speeds of 120 km/h (75 mph) that is.

www.sanparks.org/parks/mountain_zebra

Category: Adventure

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