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Cheetah Outreach





cheetah lazing in sun, black and white
© Christopher List Photography

 

Did you know that there are only 7500 - 10 000 cheetahs left in the entire world? Now VULNERABLE on the IUCN's Red list, the sad truth is that the cheetah's population numbers have been declining for many years and Southern Africa is their last remaining stronghold; South Africa being home to between 1200-1300 individuals.

Of these 400-500 are outside of protected areas and approximately 800 within various nature reserves. One of the biggest threats that cheetahs face is habitat loss - due to increasing human populations and an increased need for farming to provide enough food to sustain people. Subsequently, cheetahs face direct persecution from livestock farmers who often perceive the need to kill predators as a way to protect their livestock.

side profile of cheetah, black and white
© Christopher List Photography

 


Cheetah Outreach is an organization whose aim is to conserve Southern Africa's free-ranging, wild cheetah population through human-wildlife conflict mitigation.

 

cheetah walking towards you, looking into camera

 

Since 2005 the trust has been providing farmers with an effective, holistic solution to control predatory animals on their land, thereby eliminating the use of lethal predator controls and reducing their stock losses. This solution is an Anatolian Shepherd livestock guarding dog - a special Turkish breed, which has been used for thousands of years to defend livestock against bears and wolves.

Anatolian shepherd, a livestock guarding dog sits on grass guarding sheep

 

The breed was introduced as a non-lethal control agent in Namibia in the early 1990s and following positive results was introduced by Cheetah Outreach to South Africa in 2005. 212 dogs have been placed and up to 250 000 hectares of vital farmland habitat has been safeguarded for the wild, migratory cheetah population and farmland biodiversity since the project began.

The dogs have also reduced stock losses to 91% of farmers by an average of 98%, which is a momentous success.

kids play near jackal

 

Cheetah outreach conservation and tours

The work of Cheetah Outreach would not be possible without a dedicated team of people comprised of a core staff, international and local volunteers, all passionate about the conservation of this important and beautiful species. Cheetah Outreach is unique in that it not only provides an in-Situ conservation delivery, it also teaches the general public and under-privileged learners about cheetah conservation and the work of the trust at an educational facility in Somerset West in the Western Cape.

Open 365 days a year, Cheetah Outreach has been greeting visitors and school groups since 1998 and excels in providing adequate awareness about South Africa's unique wildlife heritage.

side profile of beautiful cheetah looking into camera
© Christopher List Photography

 

Upon arrival, people are greeted at the gate and from there, they will have the chance to enjoy a guided facility tour (tours depart every hour on the half hour from 09:30-16:30). During this tour, guests are able to see the cheetahs and other small predators such as caracal, jackal and serval while learning about the important role Anatolian Shepherds play in safeguarding vital habitat for farmland predators.

The tour is a great way to prepare guests for an encounter with an adult cheetah, a cub encounter (seasonal), bat-eared fox or meerkat encounter (weather dependent), where they will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to get close to some amazing animals who are ambassadors for their species. Money from these encounters also contributes directly towards the dog programme.

meerkat snuggling into couple

Ambassador animals fulfil an important role in instilling a passion and respect for nature by interacting with these charismatic creatures up-close, Cheetah Outreach aims to reinforce its conservation message and create a generational change of mind-set in its visitors and school learners who are the future decision makers, advocating for South Africa's biodiversity.

The Cheetah Outreach trust can only be successful in its endeavours with buy-in and support from local communities and stakeholders, including its generous sponsors and donors. In turn, the work of the educational facility relies on the presence of both local and international visitors.

Visit the Cheetah Outreach website for more information: www.cheetah.co.za or Like the Cheetah Outreach Facebook page. For more information on sponsoring an Anatolian Shepherd puppy or donating to the trust please contact cheetah@intekom.co.za

family pets cheetah as it lies in grass

 

To visit the Cheetah Outreach facility, no booking is necessary for encounters and tours, but should you wish to plan your visit in advance or book a more exclusive experience, enquires can be sent to bookings@cheetah.co.za.

 

 

Activity Price (2015-2016)
Entrance & Guided Tour R10 (Mon-Fri), R5 (Sat & Sun)
Adult Cheetah Encounter R130 per adult R80 per child
Cub Encounter (seasonal) R240 per person
Bat-eared fox encounter (weather dependent) R60 per person
Caracal Encounter R150 per person
Meerkat Encounter (weather dependent) R60 per person
Private Club Experience (seasonal, subj to availability) R500 per person
Cub Walk (summer, pre-book only) R750 per person
Public Cheetah Run (summer, pre-book only) R80 per person or R210 per person with adult encounter or R300 per person + cub encounter
Private Cheetah Run (summer, pre-book only) R3000 per group, not exceeding 6 people
Private on-site function (pre-book only) R4200 per person
Offsite function (pre-book only)
R6050 per person

 

cheetah outreach logo

 

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