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The Cheetah Outreach Program has relocated to Paardevlei in Somerset West after many happy years on the property of Spier Wine Estate. The new facility has mountain views, lots of nature and promises to be a wonderful experience for both the visitor and all the animals that make this project their home.
Anna Beckhelling, founder of Cheetah Outreach, said, “While we are sad to leave Spier and have enjoyed a long and happy relationship there, our new home at Paardevlei offers us exciting prospects. The move marks a new chapter in the story of Cheetah Outreach and we’re excited about this next phase of our journey.”
The project moved to Heartland Properties’ Paardevlei site, situated across from Somerset Mall, just off the N2. The new property borders a rehabilitated wetland and has a water-body on the edge of which the new running enclosure will be built.
The project currently houses about 10 adult cheetahs, but it’s also home to many smaller predators, like caracal, serval, bat-eared fox and black-backed jackal. At the previous facility, they weren’t as accessible to visitors, but once settled in their new home, you’ll be able to stroll between the enclosures on walkways to see these beautiful animals up close as well. The two resident meerkats will definitely also enjoy the added attention.
A large viewing platform with both shaded and raised seats is being erected and will give you a comfortable vantage point from which to admire the animals, the larger running enclosure and the natural beauty of the site.
Another notable aspect of the new site, is the national monument that has been donated to Cheetah Outreach for administrative use. This Sir Herbert Baker original was built in the 1890s and is known as Quinan House. It will house the audio-visual room, gift shop, offices as well as a small tuck shop serving tea, coffee, sandwiches and snacks. In the near future, the adjacent historic building will become a deli, cafeteria and silver service lunch venue. Wine lovers will also be able to enjoy tasting the Flagstone Wines, which currently operate out of the old dynamite factory that is also found on site. Visiting Cheetah Outreach, will therefore become an experience in itself, and not something combined with a visit to Spier.
Cheetah Outreach was founded in 1997 to create awareness of the plight of the cheetah and has an extensive conservation and education delivery programme. The Anatolian Shepherd Guarding Dog Project, for example, is a very successful non-lethal predator control programme established in 2005 and benefits both cheetahs and the smaller predators. Cheetah Outreach also has a very active volunteer project.
A few weeks ago, Chobe, one of the resident cheetahs, was taken to the private beach that is located close to the new facility. This was his very first encounter with sea sand and although he was much more interested in this strange texture beneath his paws than he was in running, it shows the possibilities that this new facility holds for the cheetahs.
Heartland is facilitating the move, and the new Cheetah Outreach is expected to open in the beginning of June. Prices will remain the same at R10 entrance fee for day visitors during the week, and R5 over the weekend. A personal encounter with an adult cheetah costs R110 and it’s R220 for an encounter with two cheetah cubs.
Tel: +27(0) 21 851 6850
Daily from 10h00 to 17h00