1 Lioness Steals Impala from 5 Cheetahs


Cheetahs are incredible hunters, their stealth and speed make for magnificent predators and their hunting skills are precise and strategic. So when they make a kill, the meal is a scrumptious reward. But when it comes down to a choice between feeding their cubs or protecting the lives of their young, cheetahs don’t mind losing a meal to a different predator every so often…

32-year-old Sales Representative Danie Bester was on a full day self-drive in the Kruger National Park on the 17th of December 2018, heading back to the gate about 2km from Crocodile Bridge when he and his family witnessed the spectacular sighting of cheetahs with a kill. ​

​ “As we passed Vurhami Bridge, we saw a cheetah running in the distance. We were very excited and then we saw another cheetah and then a 3rd and a 4th as well! I tried to get my car in the perfect position so that we could have the best view of them for a while when my sister Jeanette Bester screamed “here in front of us! – excitedly!” ​

​ “We were so busy trying to follow the other cheetahs that we completely missed the mother cheetah making an impala kill right in front of our vehicle! The mother is known as the Supermom in the areas and was calling to her 4 sub-adult cubs. We thought ourselves to be extremely lucky, seeing 5 cheetahs and a kill!” ​

​ “We were taking photos of the sighting when I noticed a change in the Supermom’s behavior, so I looked around to see if we could spot the threat. In the distance I saw a lioness, (also known as one of the Vurhami lionesses) approaching the cheetahs, obviously aware of the kill just made. Things were getting intense as the lioness kept approaching closer and closer. By this time the Sub-adult cubs ran away while the Supermom stood her ground for a while longer until she finally hid behind fallen trees keeping a close eye on the approaching lioness.”​

​ “We waited and watched when the lioness suddenly and quickly stole the kill and made her way back into the direction from which she came, and the Supermom Cheetah ran away. While the lioness disappeared, I decided to see if I could relocate the cubs and spotted them a short distance away from the road in some thicket where the mother was reunited back with her cubs and all were safe and healthy. What an amazing sight to see a bond like this.”

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“I am very privileged to go to the Kruger very often, and each of these sightings is unique. You will never have the same feelings and the same excitement for a sighting, and one cannot really describe the feelings during a sighting like this, just try and take it all in. You never know if or when you’ll get an opportunity to see something as rare as this again.”