Cheetah Revisited – Malika

Africa's most famous Cheetah poses with her cubs for our Mara Photo safari

 

cheetah-kiss

40mm 1/500 f7.1 iso 640 – One of the cubs kisses my lens

cheetah on vehcile

121mm 1/1250 f7.1 iso 250 – At one point we had 4 cheetahs on the vehicle

 

cheetah in grass

I’ve been lucky to meet Malika on every photo safari. Last year we had a unique encounter with her so I was looking forward to seeing how she and her cubs were doing.

malika cheetah 1

We caught up with her on our second day in the mara. As usual the game rangers were close by and instead of a camera crew she now also had some researches documenting her life.

cheetah cubs and mother

I was over joyed to see her with two new cubs. The previous four had left around six months after I saw them. Im not sure of her total litter this year, one year she had six which is typically the maximum for cheetahs.

cheetah cubs playing

cheetah cubs playing close upcheetah cubs playing

These young cheetah twins were already starting to portray their own personality. One was the mischievous instigator pushing the other to play and practice their skills. Malika looked on happily as they ran around in the grass oblivious to the cameras. When she approached them the more energetic cub leaped and tried to trouble her as much as possible. She appeared to be as gentle as she was with her last cubs, keeping them clean and making sure they didn’t get into too much trouble.

cheetah cubs
I’ll be leading another photo safari this year and hope to see her then and check how the cubs have progressed.

cheetah cubs playing

cheetah-posing

Cheetah Photo Gear:

Images shot on a Nikon D810 Opening shots on Canon 5D, 7D
For these cub shots subject distance was 20 meters and under so most images are in the 300mm range. Using the Nikon 200-500 F5.6 at 1/1250 iso 250.
Hand held, shooting from the vehicle window to keep an eye level perspective.

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  1. In a captivating display of learned behavior, a female cheetah named Malaika at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya climbs onto tour vehicles as a means to gain elevation to make it easier to spot prey on the horizon.

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