Travelling to Africa and gaining new experiences there was always a dream of mine. Thanks to Inverdoorn Game Reserve the dream became reality.
When I arrived I was excited to meet the cheetahs and I was totally amazed how close they are to the humans.
Now, three weeks after my arrival, I can walk the chetaah ladies, Velvet and Nushka. I remember the moment when Lisa first gave me Velvet’s leash and said: “It’s your turn!”.
A cheetah kiss is definitely something I am happy to have!
And to be honest, I didn’t thought it would be difficult, I underestimated it. So when Lisa gave me the leash I was completely surprised but it was so nice after three weeks walking beside them to finally have a chetaah on the leash. A total new feeling and a wonderful new experience. So when I walked Velvet I recognised that it isn’t that simple and that you have to focus on so much things. First you have to watch your cheetah, read his face expression and see what he’s going to do. Then when you walk at the lodge you have to make sure that there are no people running around, that the children are with their parents and that no one makes loud noises.
It was last week when we drove to the big dam with Shady and Velvet and all of a sudden Velvet wanted to jump out of the car because she saw a springbok. So you have to watch not only your cheetah but also the environment around you.
And now is the time for me to learn all that, to become a good cheetah handler.
The best moment for me was last week. Lisa and I walked Shady and Velvet and we sat down in the shade. I am able to walk the cheetah females but with the cheetah males it’s different, because they are not that social, they need more time to get to know someone. So I stroke Velvet when suddenly Shady stood up, came to me and lay down. He even licked my arm, and that was such a nice moment for me, I’ll always remember. A cheetah kiss is definitely something I am happy to had!
So finally I can say that the work with the chetaahs is really great. It’s nice to get to know each of them and their character and to learn about cheetahs in general.