Home of the Africat foundation, Okonjima is well-known across the globe for having the largest free roaming cheetah population in the world. The organisation takes in hundreds of unwanted wild cats who would otherwise have been trapped, or even killed, by livestock keepers to prevent them from preying on their animals. The private reserve spans across 22,000 hectares and is used to rehabilitate and conserve the carnivores that are under the care of the foundation. The conservation project was first started back in 1993 and is run by the Hanssen family who own and live on the property.Read More
While there is an emphasis on cheetahs at the Okonjima reserve, there are a number of other large carnivores that are protected here. Leopards, lions, wild dogs, hyenas and caracals are all protected by the Africat Foundation. Since the birth of the project over 1000 carnivores have been rescued and 86% have been aided to such an extent that they have been successfully released back in to the wild. Unfortunately, some of the animals get too habituated to being in protection and lose the ability to hunt and fend for themselves, making reintegration into the wild virtually impossible.
Aside from the conservation of these magnificent creatures, the Africat Foundation aims to create a sustainable future for large carnivores through the medium of education. Changing traditional habits and values is certainly not easy but the valuable members of Okonjima are giving their all to make this hope a reality. Tourism is one of the main ways that the project boosts conservation. The funds that come from visitors go directly towards the cause and the cheetah and leopard tracking tours that are on offer provide valuable information to the public about the animals and the cause in general.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Okonjima
If you are planning a Okonjima holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Okonjima Luxury Bush Camp Okonjima
Opened in 2001, Okonjima Luxury Bush Camp offers stunning rondavel style accommodation. The 8 thatched African style chalets are designed with beautiful earthy walls and khaki-green canvas. All are equipped with comfortable beds and roll down canvas giving you the opportunity to see all around the bushveld surrounding you. Given that the area is famous for the protection of the big cats at the Africat foundation - you may be able to hear the lions roar long into the night. Located around two and a half hours from Windhoek.
Okonjima Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Okonjima.