The AfriCat Foundation is based at Okonjima Private Nature Reserve in central Namibia, about half-way between Windhoek and Etosha National Park. This worthy institution is dedicated to the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores such as lions, leopards and cheetahs in their natural habitat, and recognises that education and research are a major part of this process.
Large cats are seen as a threat to the safety of livestock and, as agriculture continues its steady march across this developing nation, so these animals are brought into conflict with farmers and their weapons, poison, fences and traps.
The AfriCat Foundation sets out to reduce human/wildlife conflict by assisting farmers to protect their livestock in non-destructive ways. Effective anti-predator kraals are funded and constructed by AfriCat on behalf of farmers in the vicinity of Etosha National Park; while the presence of herdsmen during the day to protect domestic animals has caused a significant reduction in livestock losses. Thus, farmers are becoming more tolerant of the predators that share their environment.
AfriCat Educational Initiatives
The AfriCat Foundation operates three educational initiatives to generate an understanding and appreciation of predators to the local community:
The Perivoli Okonjima Country School: This private rural school provides local children with a solid junior primary education, with a strog emphasis on environmental awareness.
The AfriCat Environmental Education Centre is used as a venue for 3-day/2-night education programmes which give groups of youths the opportunity to take part in conservation and sustainable wildlife management, first-hand.
The Adult Education Programme: AfriCat teaches tried-and-tested techniques for farming among wild animals to farmers and young aspirant agriculturalists.
Rehabilitation and Research
Orphaned, hand-reared carnivores that could not otherwise be released back into the wild, can perfect their hunting skills in the relative freedom of Okonjima’s 50 000 acre nature reserve, learning to become self-sufficient. All these animals are fitted with radio collars so that they may be monitored for research and safety purposes. These findings are used in collaboration with local farmers to prepare a better future for the large cats of Namibia.
A trip to the rehabilitation centre at AfriCat makes a great day trip from Windhoek, or an interesting stop on the way to Etosha National Park. You can also support this worthy project by adopting one of their carnivores or making a donation.