Serengeti Kopje Cat

Cheetah, Tanzania

Cheetah, Tanzania

In parts of the Serengeti there are granite outcroppings called kopjes; huge rocks in the center of the savannah.  Sometimes the kopjes are accompanied by a few trees and plants.  Hollows in the rock catch rainwater, providing moisture for plants to grow.


The word originates from Afrikaans and means “little head” in Dutch.  The result of volcanic activity, these rocks vary in size and shape, and are home to many different wildlife.  Granite formations rising up out of the flat grasslands, they have a vague resemblance to a head.  When pronounced, the word sounds like “copy.”


Our safari vehicle circled around this kopje and we found several cheetah here who were using the rocks for height to aid in their hunting.  Faster than any land animal, the cheetah runs with the grace of wind.  We were lucky to come upon this fast and fierce wild animal while he was still.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander


32 thoughts on “Serengeti Kopje Cat

    • A childhood memory of Serengeti…hmmm, that would be an interesting and fascinating way to start out life. How wonderful for you. Thanks so much, Inese. 🙂

    • It was relatively small compared to other kopjes. The rock formation itself was about 15-20 feet high with a circumference of about 150-200 feet. Thanks for bringing up the size. And thanks for stopping by Bertie. 😀

  1. I enjoyed learning about “kopjes,” Jet (I’d never heard of them). And that cheetah — what a beautiful animal! Must have been wonderful to see the grace and speed with which it, or one like it, ran.

  2. Hi Jet, thanks for that. I was referring to the cheetah’s “little head”. It is great you included the Dutch translation of “kopje”. Sorry for the confusion, I was trying to be clever….

  3. What a great shot Jet! Cheetahs are amazing animals. We’ve been on a couple of Kenyan safaris when we lived in Sudan, and we had good luck spotting cheetahs. Often they were up in a tree with a recent kill. By the way, love the title. 🙂 ~Terri

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