This due, in my scientific opinion, to three rules, namely:
1. There are not many of them. In the Kruger Park, where Mrs Blog and I are currently residing, there are only about 200.
2. Cheetah, in my experience, tend to be a bit flightly. They seem to be nervy, highly strung creatures, not prone (generally speaking) to hanging around and waiting for you to pull out your camera, remove the lens cap, then remember to turn it on, and
3. I will only ever see something very interesting, such as a cheetah, when I am in a rush to get out of the park, or back to camp before the evening curfew.
There are exceptions to all rules, of course. While there are not many cheetah, there are some who stick to pretty well defined territories, so if you know where to look, you might find one, such as this particularly impressive specimen...
Mrs B and I have seen this fellow so many times (about four, all up - which is a lot in terms of cheetah spotting) that we have given him a name. Spot.
One of the boundaries of Spot's territory is the dirt road that runs between Numbi and Phabeni gates in the south east of Kruger. When we've seen spot he's bee scent marking (poohing and weeing, to you and me) on prominent bits of high ground along the road, such as this tree.
Cheetah don't lounge around in trees (like leopard), but they do like getting up on things to mark their turf, and to scan the surrounding country for meals.
As to rule 3 (above) Mrs B and I invariably see cool things on the odd occasion that we are in a rush, and that doesn't happen very often.
On the day we last saw spot we were hurrying to Hazyview to pick up Miss T, a former work colleague of Mrs Blog's, who spent a week with us (I must add, here, for the record that Miss T was very low maintenance, and well up for a bit of the old animal spotting, which makes her our ideal type of guest. Plus, she left behind a cool cowgirl hat that Mrs Blog has taken to wearing, so all in all, a good visit).
Yesterday, we were rushing to get out of the park to the nearby town of Nelspruit so I could get an anti-hijack immobiliser thingamebob fitted to our new(ish) Land Rover, Broomas. Broomas already had an alarm and an immobiliser, but that wasn't enough to satisfy the insurance company in the land of the car-jacking.
Of course, we saw a leopard, didn't we... stalking impala just near Malelane Gate, and didn't even have time to get a decent picture.