Arnfinn Johansen and Buddhilini De Soyza, professional Photographers, were on assignment in Masai Mara. They were lucky enough to witness a fantastic sighting of the Tano Bora Cheetah Brothers in Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. They’ve spotted the famous Tano Bora cheetah coalition on the edge of the flooded Mara river.
At first, it was seen as not possible for the brothers to cross the river, as it had flooded to the brim of the banks. The reserve received heavy rainfall during this season back in 2019. The river had swollen enough to cause enormous distraction within the reserve. But this did not deter the coalition from crossing the river, despite the heavy currents and water flow. The largest cheetah jumped in the water, and the spectators lost their breath when the other four animals followed soon after.
Arnfinn Johansen and Buddhilini De Soyza, who immediately took their cameras and, luckily, managed to capture the drama that unfolded from the coalitions. The coalition was seen contemplating on whether to cross or remain on the other side of the river.
Photographer Arnfinn Johansen stated that he had been following these cheetahs for some time. “They hunt on both sides of the Talek River, [so it’s no wonder] they wanted to cross it. Normally, they would cross the river by walking on stones but this year, it had been raining for a long time and because of the flooding, it was very difficult for them to do so,” Johansen explained. “They were walking up and down the river for quite a while, searching for a place to get to the other side. Because of the strong current, it was really dangerous. Also, that river is home to the Nile Crocodile for whom a cheetah can be an easy meal.”
Johansen said that fatalities were certainly possible that day. “Not long ago, another well-known cheetah drowned or got killed by the crocs when it was crossing the same river so it really was a big risk. After surveying the area for a long time, the five cheetah brothers went for it.”