Published: October 20th 2011September 19th 2011
After a short drive spotting giraffe towering above the trees along the way, we arrived at Nelspruit Cheetah project - an organisation for conservation of these speed demons and a visit which was included in our Acacia tour. We climbed aboard the elevated seats of the safari vehicle and toured the park seeing a nyalla merely hours old, wobbling on his legs that were not yet used to standing and hiding in the bush with his mother. The cheetahs have large fenced areas to roam and are encouraged into smaller pens to feed where they are locked in for a few hours to enable digestion and allow them to toilet. This keeps the large areas clean and enables the staff t clear up the waste and monitor the faeces for any mucus /blood that may signify health problems. The smaller pens are usually where the cheetahs are seen but it is a fantastic chance to see these amazing cats close up and to support their development and conservation. The cheetahs that display natural wild behaviours are kept wild and sometimes released. The safari here was also a great chance to see a variety of other animals rarely found in the bush such as the caracel with its tufty ears to check the wind direction and the rare southern ground hornbill. The nelspruit cheetah project is also home to lions rescued in association with the IFAW from a portuguese circus. The male lion was huge but due to being castrated before he was mature enough he has never been able to grow a mane.