The Cheetah Family and Me: a review

The BBC (the UK public broadcaster) is starting off the year with a whole host of wonderful wildlife documentaries. The Cheetah Family and Me is a three-part documentary by Gordon Buchanan where he gets to know a number of wild cheetah – on foot. The episodes are filmed over a series of visits to Africa. This documentary is filmed in South Africa, a country with around a thousand cheetah remaining within its border, however cheetah tend to live at low densities in most reserves. The largest reserve South Africa one of the largest in Africa, the Kruger, has a population that ranges from around 100-350. Cheetah survive best out in smaller reserves, and on farmland around the country.

Gordon Buchanan gets to know the cheetahs so they allow him to get closer than people would normally get.

As with other Gordon Buchanan documentaries it is a well put together production. It is a small team, with generally only Gordon Buchanan and a guide being seen on camera.

It is a Natural History production and as such there are difficult scenes for children – cheetah die at different points, and and there are several successful kills and scenes of animals being eaten. However these are not shown in too much detail and not for long, my two children age 6 and 8 had no problem – and have been thoroughly engrossed in the story of these cheetahs. If your children are particularly delicate it may be worth checking some of these documentaries first, though most children will not struggle.

If you live in the UK, this series will be available on iPlayer for some time yet. I am unsure as to how much it will be broadcast abroad, but it is likely to be available on DVD in the near future anyway.

For those readers with children: it is well worth trying small children with natural history documentaries. In our family we started watching these when our children were very small, often in small sections maybe only watching 10 minutes before changing the something easier going. It is essential that our children grow to love wildlife and care about is survival- visits to see them in the wild can be less expensive than you would think, however wildlife documentaries can also give them a love of the natural world that will last the rest of their lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Animals Wild