All You Need to Know About the Lightning Fast Cheetah


Meet the fastest land animal in the world, the cheetah. The cheetah is part of the subfamily “Felinae” and can be found in East, Northern and Southern Africa.

With its long legs, this magestic animal can reach a speed of 120 km/h within three seconds, which is faster than most sports cars. Their adapted claws help grip the ground when they run and their long tails help them stay balanced.

Quick Facts

Average Lifespan

10 to 12 Years


Up to 90 cm


21 to 72 kg

Main Prey

wildebeest, gazelles, ostriches

Physical Characteristics

These cats are slightly taller than the leopard and has a greyhound-like body with long legs. They may be part of the cat family, but they have non-retractable claws just like dogs. Although this limits their tree-climbing, it is a great advantage when they run.

The cheetah has around 2000 spots covering its pale yellow body. Although people can get confused between the leopard and cheetah, the cheetah has single, solid black spots on its fur while a leopard has irregular clusters of black rosettes with a dark brown spot in the middle.

The length of these big cats’ bodies can reach up to 1.4 metres with a tail reaching 80 centimetres. Their average weight can range from 34 kg to 54 kg.


These hunting cats like to roam in open, grassy savanna plains specifically in sub-Saharan Africa and there are also a few dozen which inhabit northeastern Iran.


Tanzania Cheetah

Also known as the Kenyan Cheetah, the Tanzanian cheetah can be found in East Africa. These cats inhabit the grasslands of Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda. The Tanzanian cheetahs are the second largest cheetah population.

Sudan Cheetah

Also known as the Somali cheetah, the Sudan cheetah can be found in grasslands, savannahs and deserts in Central and Northeast Africa. These cheetahs are nearly extinct due to habitat loss and smuggling.

South African Cheetah

Also known as the Namibian cheetah, the South African cheetah is the biggest subspecies of cheetah in Africa. They can be found in the grasslands of Transvaal, the Okovango Delta and the Kalahari.

Northwest African Cheetah

Also known as the Saharan cheetah, the Northwest African cheetah inhabits Northwest Africa. This subspecies of cheetah is the most threatened and is classified as critically endangered.


Cheetahs are social animals usually found in small groups consisting of a mother, her cubs, and siblings. The group can also consist of males who live and hunt together.

The females live in solitary and will only meet with males to mate.

Interested in Seeing the Cheetah in the Wild?

Want to see these magnificent animals going about their day in the wild? Africa Travel Co offers many tours for travelers to experience seeing these lightening fast animals in their habitat. Visit www.africatravelco.com or simply send an email to cpt@africatravelco.com to book your safari tour with us today.