Guardians of the Wild: AfriCats and Namibia’s Nature Conservation
Namibia’s big cats face many challenges, from habitat loss to human-wildlife conflict and poaching. Cheetahs, in particular, are vulnerable, with declining populations due to loss of prey, habitat fragmentation, and conflict with farmers.
Leopards on the other hand also face threats, and ensuring the survival of these Namibia big cats requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both ecological and human-related issues.
In the vast expanse of this African nation, lies the remarkable organisation AfriCat Namibia. Through tireless efforts in education, research, and conservation, AfriCats play a pivotal role in the preservation of Namibia’s big cats and they contribute to the broader landscape of nature conservation.
What is the AfriCat Foundation?
The AfriCat Foundation was founded in the early 1990s and primarily started as a welfare organisation which has since grown. They continue their mission of conserving Namibia’s large carnivores through education, research, and community engagement.
One of their primary focuses is on cheetahs and leopards, and their initiatives are designed to address the challenges faced by these big cats in the wild.
Conservation through Education & Research
AfriCat conducts extensive research that is dedicated to the long-term conservation and protection of the big cats. They carry out research that covers territory, predation patterns, prey, population density, and dynamics.
Their research gives a detailed understanding of exactly how these predators live and thrive. It also guides conservation strategies and aids in the effective management and protection of the Namibia big cats.
Education lies at the heart of the AfriCat Foundation. It is through engaging fully with something and gaining more knowledge, that awareness increases and perspectives change.
Awareness is increased through providing opportunities for children to visit AfriCat’s Education Centres. The goal of AfriCat is to guide the youth to a greater understanding of nature and the importance of wildlife conservation.
It is this truth that drives AfriCat to win the minds and hearts of the youth in Namibia for environmental conservation. Through education, AfriCat is dedicated to making a difference and believes that youth education is of utmost importance to the long-term conservation of large carnivores.
Rehabilitation as a Beacon of Hope
The AfriCat’s Cheetah Rehabilitation project was initiated in 2000, and it aims to give some of AfriCat’s captive cheetahs the opportunity to return to their natural habitat.
Located in the breathtaking Okonjima Nature Reserve, and in the North West Etosha National Park, the rehabilitation and education centers help address the human-wildlife conflict while providing the big cats with a second chance.
Encountering These Majestic Animals
As we celebrate the strides made by AfriCat, we are reminded of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth. As well as the importance of collectively taking action to safeguard our planet’s most remarkable species for future generations.
Exploring this interconnectedness alongside these wonderful cats may just be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Eager to be a part of the wildlife extravaganza yourself? We suggest embarking on a Desert Tracks Guided Safari that covers the Etosha National Park. With luck on your side, you could experience the pride of our big cats.
Another opportunity to encounter Namibia’s big cats, might be on a Namibia Safari through the Caprivi Strip with the Chobe River as your backdrop. With our Self-drive Safari tours, you will be able to indulge in Namibia’s natural exquisite beauty and wildlife.
How to Get Involved?
Should you find yourself moved by the efforts of the AfriCat foundation and would like to be a part of something that matters, there are several ways for you to get involved.
The AfriCat Foundation graciously appreciates general donations that allows them to assign funding where it is most needed at the time.
For some more adventure, you can visit Okonjima Nature Reserve and the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre to explore how your contributions have helped these cats and encounter them for yourself.
With continued hard work and dedication, AfriCat harnesses the powerful tools of human-wildlife mitigation, education and the creation of a cheetah-positive mentality to ensure the future survival of big cats in Namibia. The AfriCat Foundation is one that we are truly grateful for. Their efforts do not go unnoticed.
Images by: Solly Levi