The cheetah sits in the long grass staring patiently at the impalas. She’s hungry and needs a kill but she knows that a poorly timed attack will be a waste of time and energy. So she sits in the grass and waits. The impalas know danger is lurking but they’ve not yet run away. The males stand guard as the female with young holds back.
The cheetah sees her chance and starts to circle the herd. She is too small to take down the adult impalas or the topi that has joined in protecting the impala herd. There are two young impalas in the herd that she could take down if she catches them. She’s seen them and is taking her chance. Suddenly she takes off, a yellow-brown dot sprinting through the long Mara grass. She’s so fast that she quickly catches up to the impala herd but the herd have played this game before and they know how to protect their young. The male impala pushes the female and young left while he and the male topi turn around to charge the cheetah. They know she can’t take them down and this is their defence tactic. The cheetah stops momentarily when faced with the two large males. It breaks her stride and she’s lost the chase.
Resigned but clearly annoyed, the cheetah skulks over to a small mound near a shrub and watches the impalas graze further across the Mara. She will sit like this until she has another chance at catching some prey.
The whole hunt was watched by two big male lions. These kings of the jungle don’t need to hide from hunters. They just laze in the sun until they too are ready to hunt. The small impalas don’t interest them. They will probably hunt some nearby bufallo later in the day.
About a kilometre away on the other side of a creek, a lioness basks in the sun next to her two male cubs. No doubt these big cats will one day take down their own kills.