Although we go to the Kalahari Transfrontier Park often, this was our first Christmas. We were all was giggling and laughing about soaring temperatures, sweltering nights, sunburn and the barking geckos that joined in the conversation at dinner the previous night.

I knew, that Christmas in the Kalahari Transfrontier Park won't be ordinary at all. Something special is definitely waiting for us.

We were the first vehicle to leave camp so we still needed our coffee. As we were leaving the kids asked me what was on my Christmas wish list – "A Cheetah kill" – with a giggle of disbelief my youngest let me know that that was a tall order! Last coffee cup being filled, we spotted the Cheetah brothers on the dune sitting up straight.

Scrambling to put down the coffee, to get the camera's ready and get into the position we managed to get our focus on the cheetahs. Drips and drabs other vehicles started to arrive and you could see that it was a special day. Everyone was dressed neatly (contrasting the rustic bush outfits that became the norm here) – clean shirts, ladies with make-up and friendlier moods everywhere. We were making small talk with a couple in the vehicle next to us and the next moment the Cheetahs started their stalk – over the road and ran between vehicles towards the riverbed.

Dilemma struck – we were facing the wrong way! With speed and accuracy, our driver made a 3 point turn in a moment of chaos and manoeuvred through the fleet of vehicles in reverse facing the riverbed. Window mount still on the other window, 1.7 converters still on the 500 lense, but yet I got the shots. Within seconds everything was over.

In hind side: Make a specific wish on a special day, don’t order coffee from the passenger waiting for a special moment (the whole Christmas outfit smelled of locally ground coffee beans). Be aware of oncoming traffic (vehicles and possible prey) and be fully prepared for the unexpected!

What are the chances to witness this? One thing is certain: In Africa 100%. Patience and perseverance in sweltering heat paid off and in return, we got a memory that will last a lifetime!
  • The Telegraph

    National Geographic's site, YOURSHOT
    Beverly Joubert is an SA NatGeo explorer. She took the time to write me a message about my photography:
    "This is an exceptional moment. I love the title almost as much as the image because its ambiguous and I believe that photography and wildlife photography, in particular, can be ordinary if the photographer is merely taking a quick shot, merely capturing those images could end up been posters only, so some element of a question hanging is always good. So is this a moment in time, moments before death, or even moments to escape. I suspect this particular moment ended in tears for the Thompson’s but you never know. The next frame may be the two cheetahs staring at a patch of dirt as the gazelle flies over their heads to safety. But what a great moment to capture? I have to add a note here, that wildlife photography done well is painstaking, slow, unrewarding in general as you miss more than you get, and then the animals themselves sort of compete against you, filling the frame naturally with their obvious beauty. So keeping a cool head when something like this is going on, is admirable."

    National Geographic photographer, Jay Dickman took the time to write his feedback on my images: "I looked at many wildlife images, but few brought the moment to the foreground like this photo. The composition and timing are impeccable; the lighting is so nice. Look at how the ears of the springbok faun fill the left middle of the frame; the “bookends” of the two cheetahs frame the victim perfectly. So many works in this greatly engaging image–nature at it’s tragic best." This amazing blurp was published on National Geographic's site, YOURSHOT.

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