Africat is one of the longest standing conservation projects and guests staying in one of the camps on this private reserve can track Leopard and meet Cheetah that have been rescued and rehabilitated.
Okonjima is a beautiful private nature reserve located in the central highlands of Namibia and its purpose is to conserve some of Namibia’s larger cats, particularly Cheetah. Whenever absolutely possible they operate a rescue and release programme, as well as a welfare programme for those animals that cannot be released.
Africat provides the Cheetah with medical attention and a safe environment. They have also rescued Wild Dog and successfully released them onto a huge reserve – it’s yet another success story. At Africat, visitors can also track the Cheetah on foot whilst Leopard are better tracked from a vehicle.
The Leopard tend to be collared so that their movements can be tracked but also to make sure that they are still living in safe and protected sanctuaries. The rehabilitation includes learning to hunt in small environments first and then being released to the wild. Some may be relocated to parks and game farms, others to private reserves.
Some other wildlife conservation organisations have education and research centres and you can learn from experienced researchers about what is being done by the foundations to ensure the survival of Cheetah in Namibia. This will almost always include liaising with farmers on how best to protect their sheep from Cheetah and teaching children about conserving wildlife and the environment. These amazing conservation workers have immense empathy with the animals and are both vastly instructive and thoroughly engaging and very importantly they are seeing the benefits of their efforts.
At Africats camps one can also spend time in one of the hides and observe wildlife during the day and then again later for the nocturnal animals such as Honey Badger and Porcupine as forage for food.
Lions are one of the noted ‘Big Five’ and sightings in Etosha National Park are frequent. Lions are highly endangered and in the north of the country, there is another branch of Africat.
This non profit organisation works closely and tirelessly to protect desert and non desert Lions and are dedicated to the preservation and protection of Lions in land and farms alongside Etosha where they face incredible challenges. They support environmental education and farmer-predator disputes and they also monitor movements of lions over the whole Kunene district.
Pictures by courtesy of Mushara
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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