A stay at the 22000 hectare Okonjima Nature Reserve - home of the non-profit making AfriCat Foundation - is a popular inclusion on Explore Tailormade itineraries to Namibia.
The AfriCat Foundation is dedicated to the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores and runs a rescue and rehabilitation programme with a particular focus on leopards and cheetahs. For a variety of reasons, there are some animals which can never be released back into the wild. These are cared for at AfriCat and act as species ambassadors, helping visitors understand the threats they face in the wild. The AfriCat Foundation has rescued over 1000 injured or troubled big cats in its 17-year history and has since released 86% back into the wild.
During your stay at Okonjima, you can choose from a range of activities including tracking rehabilitated cheetahs and spotted hyenas on foot, visiting the AfriCat Welfare Programme and tracking leopards from a game-viewing vehicle. Self-guided nature walks are also on offer and there is a guided Bushman Trail, where you will experience a 'day in the life of the San'. Spend time watching animals come to drink at the waterhole or take a cooling dip in the swimming pool. Choose from lodge accommodation (different grades available) to camping.
AfriCat Day Visits
Due to popular demand, from the 1st August 2012, AfriCat opened its doors to day visitors for the first time. During a day visit you will take a short, guided drive to the Africat Carnivore Care and Information Centre to see some of its residents and learn about the work of the centre. There will be opportunities to photograph the animals and ask the guide questions. It’s a great way of getting close to cheetahs and also contributing to their welfare. (Please note: there is no physical contact with the animals).
Packham meets his first Pangolin
BBC TV presenter Chris Packham’s unbridled passion for wildlife has taken him across the world, seeking out creatures of all shapes and sizes. An ambassador for AfriCat, he visits as often as he can but despite this, a sighting of one particular creature – the pangolin - had eluded him his whole life. The missing pangolin became a bit of an obsession to the point where, for many years, it sat firmly at the top of his ‘animals I’d most like to see’ list. In July 2012 during a visit to AfriCat, his dream finally turned into a reality when a member of staff spotted one in the reserve one night. A 20 km drive over dusty tracks finally brought Chris face to face with this strange and elusive creature. “Apparently I was saying ‘yes’ repeatedly and smiling insanely whilst peering, smelling and then cuddling the embarrassed animal.” Photos duly taken, the pangolin then slipped away into the shadows.
Find out more about AfriCat and plan your tailor-made itinerary to Namibia by speaking to our Africa Regional Specialist Kirsten Laas.