Man survives close encounter after cheetah jumps into car during African safari.
A CHEETAH has given some safari-goers the ultimate experience to get up close and personal with nature after it jumped into their car.
The group of tourists, who were on a safari through the Serengeti, were shocked when a cheetah invited itself into their car.
American tourist Britton Hayes, who can be seen in the video, said that the group was watching three cheetahs when one of the big cats spotted the vehicle and hopped onto the bonnet. They were busy watching the animal as a second one decided to hop into the back.
“While we were all watching the cheetah in the front, one of the brothers had flanked around the back and hopped in back of the vehicle to try and sniff us and make sure that we weren’t a threat,” Mr Hayes told Komo News.
The group’s guide told them all to avoid eye contact with the animal and stay calm.
On the video, which was taken by Peter Heistein, the cheetah can be seen sniffing the inside of the car and clawing and nibbling at the head rest of an empty seat.
Mr Hayes said he tried to slow his breathing so the animal wouldn’t sense his fear.
“Honestly, it was probably one of the scariest moments of my life while it was happening. I felt like I had to clear my mind of any thoughts because from everything you’re told about predators like that, they can sense fear and any sort of discomfort you’re feeling and they’ll react accordingly,” said Mr Hayes.
Eventually the curious cat left and nobody was harmed.
“We just, everyone in the car just looked at each other, we paused for 10 seconds as the cheetahs walked away and we couldn’t believe that we got out of the situation, that it was real,” he said.