Cheeky cheetah goes face-to-face with tourist in safari jeep

A cheeky cheetah got up close and personal with a tourist on safari.

With its razor sharp claws and teeth, this is one moggy you certainly don’t want curling up in your lap.

The cheetahs interacting with the jeep

The cheetahs interacting with the jeep

The bold big cat jumped into the back seat of the jeep as it drove through the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya.

Slowly it sauntered over to where Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin until it was barely a foot away from his face.

The cheetah about to jump into the jeep

The cheetah about to jump into the jeep

Family friend David Horsey captured the tense standoff between the pair as it looked like the cheetah was going to make himself comfortable on Mickey’s lap.

David, 62 from Mombasa, Kenya, said: “I’ve been living in Kenya all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this.

“The cheetah just wasn’t scared of getting up close and personal.

The cheetah about to jump into the jeep

The cheetah about to jump into the jeep

“At first Mickey was really relaxed but I think he was quite concerned it might try and sit in his lap.

“Unlike a domestic cat, you certainly don’t want that.”

David captured the pictures on Friday June 12 as the group tracked a well-known family of cheetahs, whose mother is called Malaika.

Having followed them for a couple of days previously, they observed that the family hadn’t had a kill for a few days.

 Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin gets a shock off a cheetah

Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin gets a shock off a cheetah

David said: “The family had been looking for a gazelle for a few days with no luck.

“As we’d been around for a couple of days, I think they were used to the jeep so the mum jumped on top to get a better view.

“I think the other cheetah tried to follow her up but went a different way.

“Once it had got bored of Mickey it turned away and looked out of the vehicle for a few minutes.

Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin and the cheetah

Irish tourist Mickey McCaldin and the cheetah

“It just jumped out afterwards.”

Mickey was out on holiday with his wife and sister, who are friends of David and his wife Vicky.

David said: “Me and Vicky have lived in Kenya all our lives but we never feel the urge to leave.

“People always ask us where we’re going on holiday and it’s always around the game reserves.

“You never know what you’re going to come across – just like this.”