Cape Town - Can you imagine being on safari and having a cheetah hop in for a closer inspection?
This is exactly what happened recently in the Serengeti, Tanzania as this video captured by photographer Peter Heistein shows.
A curious cheetah can be seen climbing through the back window, and despite the harrowing situation the occupants appear rather calm. The video of the encounter was posted on Facebook by ABC News and has since gone viral.
Tanzania, as an East African country is renowned for its vast wilderness areas that include the plains of Serengeti National Park and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain - incredible wildlife sightings are expected. But this video taken by Heistein is rather extraordinary.
Fortunately, the passengers "stayed quiet and didn’t make eye contact so the cheetah didn’t see him as a threat".
Obviously, things could have turned out worse, but as a rule - guides are expected to keep a safe and measured distance between their safari vehicles and any wildlife on the prowl. For instance in Kruger, no open doors are allowed, while getting too close and disturbing the animals is seen as a serious offense.
Of course, when an animal decides it wants a closer look there isn't much you can do.
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Traveller24 also recently visited the popular wildlife haven, specifically Tanzania's Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where hippos dominate the Great Ruaha River. They're seen as the rulers of the running waters that even crocodiles fear.