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LOCAL TIME: 02:38 pm | Friday, 19 July
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Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre (De Wildt Cheetah Sanctuary)

The Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre (formerly known as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre) is a cheetah breeding centre and park located just to the east of the Hartbeespoort Dam only 30 kms from Pretoria – just over the border between Gauteng and the North West Province.

The breeding centre was started as a conservation project for the threatened cheetah in 1971. It was the first of its kind in South Africa – in fact in the world, and it has been a great success. To date, the Centre has successfully bred over 800 cheetah cubs.

Today, other African animals such as the African Wild Dog are also bred at the centre, the aim of which is to “ensure the long term survival of the Cheetah, African Wild Dog and other wild animals in general.” A number of Vulture species are also a part of the breeding programme.

The Centre is open to the public and a number of guided tours are offered – including daily safari tours, family tours designed for couples with young children, educational tours, private group safaris and private couple safaris. A unique and amazing feature is the opportunity to see cheetahs run. Three “ambassador” cheetahs run behind a high speed lure and you get to view close up the incredible acceleration of the fastest animal on the planet.

Other animals that can be see on the tours and safaris include several species of vulture, jackals, caracal, wild dogs and several specie of antelope.

Accommodation is available at The Cheetah Lodge.

You will find the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre commonly referred as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre in travel guides and brochures, and the website url and e-mail still reflect the old name. However the name was recently changed in honour of the woman who started the breeding programme – a breeding programme that has contributed very significantly to the survival of a magnificent species that is, very sadly, still on the endangered list. Well worth a visit – and while you are there you can also choose a cheetah or other animal to ‘adopt’. The Centre is entirely dependent on private funding.

Take home a memory of Africa…and help ensure the future of its fastest cat in the process.

For more info and to book.

Getting there: From Pretoria, take the R514 west. Turn right onto the M17 after 7 kms, then left on to the R513 after a further 9 km. The entrance to the Cheetah Centre is 13 kms along the R513 on the left. From Johannesburg head to Pretoria central via the N1, Ben Schoeman Freeway and on to the N14. From Pretoria Central take the R104 west to the R55 turn off at Danville. Follow the R55 to the R514 turn off west.

More on the quaint town of Hartbeespoort More on the Bojanala Platinum area