Dawn feels very early. It can be difficult to extract yourself from the comfortable, warm bed and emerge into the semi-darkness to head out on safari, but this is the best time to view animals and one never, ever regrets it.
We certainly didn’t. Within a few moments of leaving the ol Donyo Lodge we came across a jackal who had grabbed a newborn impala. The lamb’s mother stood by helplessly, unable to do anything to save it. Such a brief life and a reminder that life in the wilds is harsh and unforgiving. The jackal however will gain strength.Moving on we were treated to a very special sight. Ol Donyo’s resident cheetah brothers were moving swiftly over the plains, constantly checking where the other was. Female cheetahs are solitary animals but the males often form coalitions to improve their chances in life and these boys are in prime fitness. Their home range is vast and they can cover a great deal of distance quickly so seeing them is lucky indeed.Yawning and scent marking along the way the led us towards the mineral-rich lava flows, thick in vegetation and harbouring a great many species. They seemed highly alert and hungry.Slightly clumsily one climbed a tree to view the surrounding plains. Not only does height give them a vantage point of potential prey, but they also need to be careful of lions and they’re certainly very aware of where the other is at all times.
The morning heat began to set in and the cats eventually settled in the shade. Breakfast was calling us too so we left them to sleep and will see if we can find them again later when they may well try to hunt. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky so far, and whilst there are never any guarantees in the bush, perhaps our luck on this wonderful safari will hold!