We were driving back to camp after our second day at Maasai Mara, the sun had already set, and all of a sudden we skidded to a stop on the track leading out of the reserve. Right there, sitting beside a large rock on the side of the road, was a cheetah.
Somewhat unnerved by our proximity and the noise of our stop, it got up and started walking away. I fumbled to take a few shots (having already put my camera away), most of which came out blurry, but I managed to get one decent shot in the low light as the cheetah paused for a moment before heading further off. I felt so lucky. A real live cheetah, right there in front of us! Wow.
Rufus brought along one of the Maasai from the camp to help spot game during our game drives. His eyes were like binoculars. On the afternoon of our third day we were looking at zebras and he gestured far off in the distance. We tried to spot what he had seen through the binoculars with no luck. So Rufus headed off in that direction, towards what ended up being one of my favorite moments from the safari. The Maasai had spotted a mama cheetah and her two cubs.
We parked nearby and watched them for what must have been over an hour. Mostly they just looked in our direction and occasionally dozed. We stopped watching them for an elephant turf war, and then came back to them just before dusk when they started to get up and move around. Their combined cuteness was overwhelming.