The film entitled Duma is about a cheetah cub who was made an orphan after his parents were murdered by some lions. One day a young man known as Xan alongside his father Peter, saw the on the road and take it home. Xan names the cub Duma and starts taking care of it so much so that Duma becomes very close to the members of the family. Xan and Peter teach Duma how to do a few basic tasks like running. When Duma becomes fully mature, Peter asks Xan to take Duma back to its natural habitat to enable it live a natural and good life he was created for.
Xan is not happy about Peter's decision and idea but unwillingly accepts. Just before they take Duma away, Peter falls sick and dies. Xan has to relocate with his mother to Johannesburg and they take Duma along. While in the city, Duma creates confusion both at home and in Xan's school. Xan however, protects Duma from being captured by the authorities by taking him away to an unknown destination.
Xan then recalls Peter's plan of taking Duma to Botswana where he believed his home was. He takes his father's motorcycle and sets off with Duma. In the course of their journey they run short of fuel and take refuge in a crashed airplane which they find in the savanna. They are joined by a vagabond known as Ripkuna. Xan accepts to journey alongside Ripkuna despite his doubts about him.
After a series of challenges and difficulties encountered along the journey, Xan, Ripkuna and Duma finally get to their destination where Duma finds another cheetah and parts ways with his friends. At the end, Xan returns home to his mother.
The film was directed by Carroll Ballard. The characters in the film include Alexander Michaletos starring as Xan, Hope Davis starring as Xan's mother and Campbell Scott starring as Peter.