Over short distances of up to 150 meters, the cheetah is the world's fastest land animal, it can easily reach speeds up to 70 miles per hour. Every part of the cheetah is designed for speed, from its long muscular legs, small rounded head set on a long neck, a strong chest, a flexible spine and specific pads on its feet for grip. A long tail give the balance during a high speed chase.
A cheetahs claws is like spikes on a athlete's shoes and cannot retract
like the claws of a normal cat.
Distinct black "tear lines" going from the inside corner of each eye to
the mouth serve as an anti-glare mechanism for daytime hunting.
Cheetahs needs space to run, and prefer open grass savannah areas. The colour of their coats blends perfectly with the yellowish tan colour of the grass. A cheetah will try and get as close as possible to its prey, and than use its speed to catch the prey.
The cheetah are generally solitary animals, but some-times seen with siblings or sub-adult cubs.
Cheetahs do not have the distinctive roar of a lion, or rasping cough of a leopard, but they hiss, purr and growl. Most common sound that they make is a short chirping sound.
The main prey of a cheetah is small antelopes such as springbok and impalas. Once a cheetah has made its kill, it will eat quickly, as nearly all the other predators will take its prey from it.
Cheetahs prefer to hunt early in the morning or late afternoon, when it is not so hot. They use tremendous amounts of energy in their high speed hunts, and their bodies tend to heat up very quickly.
The cheetah is on the brink of extinction due to a very limited gene pool, and a ever decreasing habitat.
Namibia is one of the very few countries in Africa, that has a very healthy cheetah population.
There are various private conservation sanctuaries in Namibia (Naankuse and Otjitotongwe) that do their best to preserve these highly endangered cats.
Gateway Africa Safaris offers various tours in Namibia, that include a visit to cheetah sanctuaries..