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conserving the big cats of Namibia

The AfriCat Foundation a non-profit organisation, based on the farm of Okonjima, which looks for solutions to the conflict between predators and farmers in Namibia. The foundation and Okonjima are certainly places you should plan to visit while you are on holiday in Namibia. AfriCat achieves this goal through farmer assistance, youth education, research, and animal welfare. The goals of AfriCat are:

  • To promote tolerance of the large carnivores among the farming community by assisting farmers in effective farm management techniques; including targeting problem predators as opposed to indiscriminate removal
  • Educate youth about carnivores and environmental awareness
  • Research large carnivores, including cheetahs, leopards, brown hyenas and lions
  • Provide humane housing and treatment for confiscated or injured animals

As exporting cheetahs is prohibited in Namibia all female cheetahs and leopards are put on contraception. The foundation feels it is better to place its resources into conserving the species in the wild, rather than breeding the animals in captivity. The cheetah is listed as an endangered species and in 1987 Namibia's population of Cheetah was estimated between 2500-3000. The biggest threat to cheetahs in Namibia is human intolerance. Namibia's leopard population is estimated between 4 and 8 thousand, they are also listed as an endangered species.

The majority of Namibia's cheetah and leopard live on commercial farmland. Calves, sheep and goats that roam the veld are occasionally preyed upon by these carnivores. As a result, leopard and cheetah are often viewed as vermin by the farming community in Namibia. In most cases an individual problem animal is responsible for stock losses. After the removal of the problem animal and improved management techniques, the predation generally decreases. Many farmers hunt, use traps or poison to remove the carnivores but fortunately a growing number contact the AfriCat Foundation for assistance.

AfriCat respond by travelling to the farm and temporarily bringing it back to AfriCat's holding facilities. After a medical check and data collection photographs are taken of the animal and a microchip is inserted for future identification. Conservation issues are then discussed with the farmer and AfriCat suggest alternative management techniques.

Animals that are not livestock killers they are released as soon as possible, either in the same region as they were caught, or in a similar region. Animals in need of care are kept at the foundation where it is treated. Predators responsible for livestock loss are located to game reserves or become part of AfriCat's experimental release program with radio collars.

Anyone owning a farm in Namibia may own large carnivores as pets therefore farmers who have captured cheetah and leopard often keep them. Many of these people do not know how to care for these animals which results in their condition deteriorating or death. Large carnivores are occasionally confiscated by the authorities from people who are holding them illegally. These cats are often in very poor condition, and many of them find their way to the AfriCat Foundation.

Become a citizen scientist & contribute to the long-term survival of Namibia's wild carnivores by logging your sightings on the Carnivore Tracker App


  • Africat: Caracal
  • Africat: Cheetah
  • Africat: Cheetah1
  • Africat: Leopard
  • Africat: Leopard1
  • Africat: Leopard2
  • Africat: Licking Caracal
  • Africat: Lion
  • Africat: Lion2
  • Africat: Pale Chanting Goshawk
  • Africat: Punky Cheetah
  • Africat: Tracking Cheetah
  • Africat: Tracking Leopard
  • Africat: Tree Leopard
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Okonjima Main Camp is the oldest and most affordable of the lodges at the AfriCat foundation.

Okonjima Bush Camp

Without a doubt one of the best lodges in Namibia, add leopard and cheetah viewing to stunning accommodation and well prepared meals and this place is a complete winner

Okonjima Bush Suite

A private two bed room suite, comes complete with own swimming pool, lounge and kitchen. Private chef and meals can be arranged or guests can visit Bush Camp.

Okonjima Villa

Large private complex, includes all modern luxuries. Enjoyed by international movie stars and corporate moguls - but available to any group wanting to stay!

Accommodation in Namibia