Two American men got more than they had signed up when they were joined by two cheetahs while on the Grand Ruaha Safari in Tanzania. One of them entered the jeep, while the other settled down on the hood.
This was Britton Hayes and his stepfather Peter Heistein’s first trip to Africa together. They were observing cheetahs hunting in the Gol Kopjes of Serengeti National Park, and had stopped for lunch to observe some of the wild cats taking a break.
Heistein wrote on Instagram (below), that while they were photographing the cheetahs from the road, two younger brothers broke off and came towards their jeep. “The cheetah makes use of high points such as termite mounds to scan the environment. Apparently we represented a unique scouting platform to them. Before we knew it, one jumped on the hood of the safari vehicle while the other made use of the spare tires out back to get into the rear window.”
Though terrified, the men forced themselves to remain calm and avoid eye contact with the cheetahs, so as not to startle or provoke them. Hayes, the eerily still man visible in the video above, credits their guide Alex Mnyangabe with helping him remain calm, even as the cheetah nibbled on the seat right next to him.
A longer video below also shows the other cheetah, who took a liking for the hood of the jeep instead: