After the game, we spent the night at Emoya Estate (our second stay there). It is a wonderful lodge with friendly staff, where you can see giraffes on your way to breakfast.
Following breakfast, we went to the Cheetah Experience. It is a big cat rescue and cheetah refuge endeavor right on the edge of Bloemfontein. I love it. This was our third visit, but I think I could go there every day. I mean, look at this profile:
Though they also are young cats, and as such do harass their siblings as I would expect any young cat (or young member of just about any animal species) to do.
But they eventually tire themselves out, especially on a hot day, and must revert to napping oh so cutely.
Of course, when they get bigger, they are not quite so cuddly. The woman here is only able to get that close (those large lions are still really only adolescents and will get bigger still) because she helped raise them:
After the lion cubs, we saw these serval cubs:
For the record, leopard cubs are super soft. But they can also be rambunctious. A few moments after this photo was taken, this cub almost shredded the back of my shirt - and might have, had it not been for an alert volunteer!
Though dedicated to big cats, mostly, the Cheetah Experience has developed a good reputation for its animal rescue endeavors more broadly. So, not long before our visit, someone had left this meerkat with them:
These caracals were doing their best to sleep through the mid-day heat, but still looked cool:
One of the main projects at the Cheetah Experience, central to its purpose, is its cheetah breeding program. We got to witness firsthand the beginnings of the success of that program:
As noted, it was warm. And as such, the cheetah cubs were not much inclined to move. Who can blame them?