History of the Cheetah Project
The Emdoneni Cheetah project was established in 1994 after the property owner, Ida Nel received three cheetahs from Eshowe; Nandi, Jjabu and Tau, who have since died of old age. Not long after receiving the cheetahs, Ida received an injured Serval and established the project. People would bring injured, orphaned or unwanted pet cat species to the property to be cared for. The project in conjunction with the KZN Parks Board Wildlife Services have helped to release Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wildcat back into the wild at places like Cape Province, Charters Creek, Phinda Game Reserve, Mkuze Falls Game Reserve and in the Bushlands area. The lodge keeps a breeding pair of cats as well as any cats that are unable to be released back into the wild.
We drove out to the rehabilitation center so the kids would have a unique opportunity to interact with and see up-close the different African cat species. We arrived early enough to visit the coffee shops for ice-creams and for Max and Ava to burn off some energy in the kids playground before the tour began.
Our informative guide told us and the small tour group that joined us all about the center and specific stories about different animals. We all had the opportunity to pet the cheetah brothers and watch the feeding of the Caracal and African Wildcats.
Part the way through the afternoon the tour group left and it was just us left with the serval. Max loved throwing the ball to the Serval who would chase after it, not so good at bringing it back though.
Our kids loved this unique experience, one I think both you and old would enjoy.
Tourist Information on the Cheetah Rehabilitation Center:
You need to arrive at least 15 minutes before the tour to get your tickets from reception.
- South African Visitor with ID: Adult R200 per adult/Child under 14 R100
- International Visitors: Adult R260 per adult/ Child under 14 R130
- Morning – daily at 10.30 am
- Afternoon – includes feeding of smaller cats: Winter (May to August) – 4 pm/Summer 4.30 pm
If you wish to do a Private tour than you can contact the lodge at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information either click on the link and see the following website: http://www.emdonenilodge.com/cat-rehabilitation/visitors-info/
Tour information was updated in April 2019