Curious cheetah jumps onto the backseat during a Serengeti safari

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    Want to experience having close contact with a cheetah? Then, consider going on an ultimate Serengeti safari trip.

    Two days ago an American student from Seattle, Washington was enjoying his spring break in Tanzania when two cheetahs came a little too close for comfort. Source

    Cheetah jumping into the safari vehicle

    Forget zoos—going on safari is the real deal. Each year, thousands flock halfway across the world to spend time on African safaris, to witness our planet’s most alluring animals on their home turf.

    But what happens when the script flips and a wild animal’s curiosity becomes greater than yours? Last week, Britton Hayes found out.

    The Seattle college student was traveling through Tanzania for his spring break from college. During an afternoon game drive in Serengeti National Park his guide stopped their SUV to watch three cheetahs brothers engaged in a gazelle hunt. In an instant, the cheetahs drew near to their SUV and one decided to jump on the vehicle’s hood. The driver was highly professional and told everyone to stay calm and still.

    But no one could have guessed what came next.

    Distracted by the first cheetah, a second cheetah suddenly leapt right into the back of their safari vehicle, inches from the passengers. Everyone froze.

    “Alex (my guide) kept me calm and made sure I never made eye contact nor startled the cheetah,” Hayes said.

    The group had to sit still for ten minutes—about how long it takes to fold a load of laundry!—while the cheetah sniffed the seats. He once even stuck his head out the top of the SUV as if looking for wildlife himself. Eventually, the cheetah jumped out and the two brothers continued on with their gazelle hunt.

    Following the encounter, Hayes stated that he now feels he can tackle anything and that the experience made him feel “alive.”

    Fact #1

    Cheetah attacks are extremely rare to nonexistent. Any historical incidents have largely been in defense of their cubs, never proactive aggression on behalf of the cheetah. 

    Throughout history, instances of cheetah aggression have been predominantly limited to defensive actions, often occurring when their cubs are under threat. It’s crucial to note that cheetahs rarely exhibit proactive aggression towards humans or other animals. Their behavior is primarily driven by survival instincts and protecting their vulnerable offspring.  

    These remarkable big cats, renowned for their incredible speed and agility, prefer to avoid confrontations whenever possible. Their streamlined bodies are optimized for high-speed chases rather than direct combat. While there may be isolated incidents involving cheetah interactions with humans, the overwhelming evidence suggests that such occurrences are extremely unusual and often tied to specific circumstances that trigger the defensive response.

    Understanding the nuanced behavior of cheetahs helps foster appreciation and respect for these magnificent creatures. Their natural instincts, coupled with the rarity of aggressive encounters, further emphasize the importance of coexisting harmoniously with wildlife and safeguarding their habitats. As we explore the wonders of the animal kingdom, it remains crucial to approach these majestic animals with both awe and cautious understanding.

    Fact #2

    All Easy Travel vehicles are custom built and fully equipped with easy-to-shut windows and pop-up roof hatches, whenever inclement weather or large animals come a little too close for comfort. Learn more.

    Source 1, Source 2, Source 3 – BBC

    Getting you there?

    Looking to experience a close encounter with wild animals in Tanzania? Easy Travel have over 30 years of  experience in Tanzania Safari Tours. From exploring the Serengeti to the Great Wildebeest Migration, they offer tours for everyone. Still unsure? Contact us today and allow us to help answer all your questions

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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