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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Reintroduced cheetahs now thriving!

Mountain Zebra National Park - South Africa

Visitors to Mountain Zebra National Park can now join a guide in searching for the elusive cheetahs by means of tracking with radio telemetry equipment.

Cheetah were introduced to the Park in 2007 following an absence of over 100 years from the area. The species has adapted very well to the Park, increasing in number from four in 2007 to over 30 animals. A number of cheetah have been relocated to new locations in the last few months to ensure that the integrity of the natural ecosystem balance is not affected.

The new activities include two new guided walks: a three-hour route and a hike up the Salpeterskop to view a chessboard relic from the early 1900s. Guided walks, cheetah tracking and guided drives are led by fully qualified, knowledgeable guides. The opening of guided walks follows the closure of all hiking trails in July 2010 following the tragic death of a hiker who was attacked by a buffalo on one of the hiking trails.

Walking trails
The two short walking trails (1-kilometre and 2.5-kilometre trails) are available to visitors as self-walk options, having been enclosed, along with the rest camp area, with electrified fencing.

The three-day hiking trail has yet to re-open but the two mountain cottages, formerly used exclusively as hiking trail huts, are now available as an ideal rustic getaway option for visitors with high clearance vehicles.

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