The Journey of Khanya

The Journey of Khanya

While exploring the various wonders of Nambiti Private Game Reserve, you may bump into one of our most precious animals. This animal is not one of the Big 5, however, she is one of the Magnificent 7! She is none other than our female cheetah, Khanya. Khanya’s story is unlike any other, she is indeed a special cat.

In the early hours of a morning in March, the sound of cheetah cubs moving in the grass could be heard. One of those cubs was Khanya. She was born in a litter of 4 cubs and grew up to be a courageous, beautiful sub-adult female. Khanya was born in captivity at a facility that aimed to breed cheetahs that can be released into the wild.

Cheetahs are classified as endangered. Over the past 13,000 years, human activity has reduced wild cheetah populations from approximately 100,000 to 7,000 individuals.

Khanya grew up with her siblings, but once she reached maturity it became clear that she wanted to be free. She longed to feel the wind rip through her fur as she chased her next meal, to feel independent and begin her life in the wild plains of Africa.

To make this dream a reality, Khanya had to undergo a rewilding process. It would prove to be a challenge as she was not hand-reared and wasn’t eager to spend time around humans. Once in the rewilding program she needed to learn the most critical skill, how to hunt. Within a few months of many successful meals, and some unsuccessful hunts, she was ready to be released. However, by this time she had given birth to her first litter of cubs. Khanya went off on her next adventure to raise her 2 young boys in the wild of Nambiti.

Khanya successfully raised her cubs and taught them how to survive on their own. They eventually left the comfort of life with their mother to be an independent coalition. Khanya and her two 6 month old cubs began their wild life together on Nambiti. Khanya is still living on Nambiti as a 12 year old female cheetah, wild and free as she should be.