"Ultimately conservation is about people. If you don’t have sustainable development around wildlife
parks – then the people will have no interest in them and the parks will not survive." NELSON MANDELA
AfriCat UK is a registered charity whose vision statement is "Conservation, Environmental Education, Research and Community Enhancement". We predominantly support and raise awareness of the AfriCat Foundation (a registered Namibian not for profit organisation).
AfriCat Foundation HQ is based at Okonjima www.okonjima.com, a private, 200km² nature reserve, 50 kilometers south of Otjiwarongo in central Namibia, and the AfriCat North base borders, western Etosha National Park. The AfriCat Foundation was founded in the early 90's and formally registered as a non-profit organisation in August 1993.
AfriCat has since grown significantly and what started out primarily as a welfare organisation has over the years identified the need to include a focus on child and adult education and research as being essential to accomplishing our mission - the long-term conservation of Namibia's large carnivores and the enhancement of the surrounding communities.
#GivingTuesday 2018 27th November
AfriCat North’s mission is the protection and conservation of wild or free-ranging lion populations in Namibia and throughout the rest of Africa, ultimately ensuring the survival of the species. AfriCat North strives to mitigate human-wildlife conflict thereby reducing poverty, to keep lions in their natural habitat, to prevent the exploitation and inhumane treatment of lions and to ensure that captive populations are well cared for.
More about the project:
The Protect Our Pride Campaign focuses on:
You donation you will help pay for:
To support this project click on the following link: #Protect our Pride
AfriCat UK is delighted to announce that it is a sponsor of this year’s Bradt Big Cat Festival to be held on the 13th April 2019 at the Royal Geographical Society London where AfriCat’s patron Chris Packham is a key note speaker. Book the date in your diary, order your ticket and come and say hello to the UK team on the day. Last year’s event was informative, fun and friendly.
Tickets available from Eventbrite
Carey and Janet Widdows from AfriCat UK recently came back from an updating visit to the AfriCat Foundation in Namibia. The AfriCat /Okonjima team pulled out all the stops to ensure we saw it all, learnt a lot and got a perspective on the goals for the future.
The initial night in Bush Camp provided a chance to experience the camp as many other guests do. The evening drive, having flown in that morning, was spent in the company of leopards. Rohan, our guide, expertly explained what might happen to reassure and prepare us for a lovely close encounter of Mawenzi (from the safety of the vehicle). It was great to then catch up with Electra and her latest now nearly fully grown cub. Being keen we booked to go to the night hide an option from Bush Camp and there saw wonderful porcupines, a spotted genet and two brown Hyaena - a first for us at Okonjima. The next morning up early we had a great drive picking up a variety of birds and animals to find Mundi resting in the morning sunshine, lovely. On the way we chanced one of the other leopards out exploring. Since it was a lucky day we then come across Harley finding a shady place to rest! Just demonstrating how a stay at Okonjima can be quite magical.
After a few days in Etosha National Park we headed up to the community owned lodge, in the Hobatere Conservation Concession, where AfriCat's northern project is based to spend time with Tammy and catch up with the work going on with the lions and communities. During an afternoon and evening drive we found the pride of lions and cubs being monitored by the project including the big male Sores, who keeps himself busy ‘looking after’ the Hobatere lodge and Etosha roadside prides. Indeed early one morning we found him on his way to visit the three lionesses we had spent two nights trying to collar! The ‘roadside pride’ had killed a Zebra near the campsite with a good proportion of the carcass remaining and in an accessible location it presented a good chance to dart one of the lionesses.
Raising funds for a GPS radio collar for AfriCat was chosen by the staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park as one of their different conservation projects this year. The Wild programmes support conservation efforts across the world and are chosen by the keepers. The animals within the Safari Park act as ambassadors for their wild counterparts providing a valuable educational resource for park visitors. Running themed days and weekends to highlight and support each project the Education team invited AfriCat to the Big Cat Weekend at the end of July. AfriCat was delighted to accept.
A wonderful real Scottish welcome awaited AfriCat which included the more traditional nice wet weekend! Our stands (AfriCat and the Education Team) moved out of the rain under the shelter offered by the Macaque House. The AfriCat stand had a steady stream of visitors and staff. It was wonderful to meet so many enthusiastic, generous knowledgeable and concerned people. The keepers and education team were found generally to be leaving with their arms full of T-shirts bags mugs and other goodies from the stand, which all helped the fund raising effort. Our particular thanks go to Stuart, Katie and Sheila without whom AfriCat would not be building what we all hope to be a long term relationship. AfriCat looks forward to coming back next year.
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Working with Communal Conservancies - An opportunity to transform livelihoods.
The importance of working with the communities who live alongside predators and suffer loss of livestock has perhaps not always been seen as crucial to long term sustainable populations of carnivores but is essential. Isolated populations in parks will not ensure the survival of endangered species in the wider eco systems. In the northwest around Kaross, most Conservancies rely on subsistence farming, herding goats and cattle. They live next to a National Park with healthy populations of lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah. The results are predictable. Unprotected livestock is picked off by predators and poor communities struggle. AfriCat works with the Communal Conservancies to build strong kraals (livestock enclosures) to protect animals, to encourage employment of herdsmen and to manage grazing to improve grass quality. The impact on these farmers’ lives from small changes in practice and assistance in the cost of protecting their animals can be transformational.
Recruited from the communities they serve the Africat Lion Guards play a vital role in supporting fellow farmers to adapt and adopt researched livestock management techniques and husbandry that have been shown to help reduce livestock losses to predation and help the farmer to build their livelihoods in a sustainable way. The Lion Guards working under the direction of Tammy at AfriCat North and with the backing and approval of the senior members of their communities help with a range of tasks from monitoring boundary fences to supporting kraal building. AfriCat UK is seeking funding of £25,000 to meet the costs for a year. Donations really help Africat and the community work together for the benefit of all. Do let us know of any fundraising idea you have by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, all contributions go direct to the project and make a difference. More information can be found at AfriCat: Lion Guards