Most people list the leopard as the most elusive of the big cats to locate on safari. In truth, cheetah on safari can be even more difficult to sight because their population is less abundant. Regular sightings of cheetah on safari are usually sporadic and local, hence they are limited to only a few regions where the habitat and predator pressures are most favorable.

If cheetahs are on your must-see list, here are SafariBookings' tips (in no particular order):


1.  Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya

Mother cheetah with cubs at Masai Mara, Kenya

Cheetah sightings occur regularly at Masai Mara GR (and surrounding conservancies, like Olare Orok, Mara North, and Naboisho) and also at Serengeti NP, northern Tanzania

Masai Mara Tours

2.  Lewa Downs, Kenya

Cheetah at Buffalo Springs, Kenya

Lewa Downs is renowned for its excellent cheetah sightings and recently removed the fence barriers with its neighbor, Borana Ranch extending this ideal cheetah habitat even further.

Lewa Downs Tours


3.  Okavango, Kwando, Selinda & Savute, Northern Botswana

Cheetah walking past zebra and wildebeest at Savuti, Botswana

This vast region offers good opportunities for cheetah and, as a result, safari goers enjoy regular sightings.

Okavango Delta Tours

4.  Private Reserves in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Cheetah with cubs at Phinda Game Reserve

A number of private game reserves in this province of South Africa re-introduced the cheetah and populations are doing well.


5.  Private Reserves in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Cheetah and safari vehicle at Shamwari Game Reserve

In the South African province of the Eastern Cape, cheetah populations benefit from private ownership. There are consistent cheetah sightings at a number of the reserves in the region.


6.  Etosha National Park, Namibia

Namibian cheetah at Etosha National Park

With its arid open grasslands, Etosha supports a good population of cheetah and is consequently the largest repository of these speedsters in Namibia.

Etosha Tours


7.  Okonjima, Namibia

Cheetah resting at Okonjima Nature Reserve, Namibia

Okonjima is home to the Africat Foundation and is a significant rehabilitation center for cheetah. Although it is not a safari destination per se, it is a wonderful stopover for anyone travelling by road to Etosha.

Okonjima Tours


8.  Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pan in Botswana

Two cheetahs on the road at Central Kalahari Game Reserve

With ample prey species (especially springbok) and open grasslands, the Central Kalahari, Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan region in Botswana is a good place seek out cheetah. Make sure to heck out Deception and Passarge Valleys, Piper & Tau Pans.

Central Kalahari Tours


9.  Kafue National Park, Zambia

Cheetah stretching at Kafue National Park, Zambia

Cheetah are found throughout the Park, however they come into their own in the northern Busanga Plains region of Zambia.

Kafue Tours


10. Ruaha Nantional Park, southern Tanzania


Despite the dense predator numbers of lion, leopard and wild dog, Ruaha NP (in Tanzania) is still a good location to seek out cheetah on safari. It is important to note is that you should go there in the dry season, for better visibility.

Ruaha Tours

So now that you have our list of the 10 best places to spot cheetah on safari, why not choose a destination and book a safari tour? Bring a good camera and click away!

By Patrick Brakspear
Australia AU

Patrick has been an Africa travel specialist, based in Australia, for over 10 years and prior to that was a safari operator in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.

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