"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.
AfriCat UK has been delighted with the response to Protect our Pride and many thanks for all the kind donations. We have very nearly reached the target set which was to enable the team to meet the costs of collaring and monitoring a lion for about 6 months. One of the roadside pride lionesses was recently successfully collared after a number of unsuccessful attempts. Lions have a mind of their own and do not always make life easy for the collaring team.
For the lions to continue to thrive alongside the local farmers funds are still needed to sustain the work, collar additional lions and keep the lions and farmers safe. To make a donation please click this link Protect our Pride. For those of you that saw the Dynasties Lion episode which showed the effects of poisoning on the lion family you will know how vitally important it is to work with local communities so that incidents of poisoning, trapping and shooting are reduced and ultimately eliminated. This is what AfriCat strives to do.
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
Annabel Pope’s wonderful drawing has been won by a delighted Peter and Lesley Williams, many thanks Annabel for you kind donation which certainly helped us to come close to reaching our target.
READ MORE ABOUT THE WORK OF AFRICAT NORTH: The role of the AfriCat Lion Guards keepers of the wild is central and key to AfriCat overall success. The goal is to increase the number of lion guards and donations really help AfriCat and the community work together for the benefit of all.
More information can be found at AfriCat: Lion Guards
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 very Big Thank You to Blair Drummond Safari Park for all their fund raising efforts over the year and donating a magic £1,500 towards the cost of a lion collar and the collaring process. AfriCat UK met up with the team in January for Stuart to hand over the cheque to Carey, Director of AfriCat UK. Discussions are taking place for further collaboration. Check out the events page for further details. If your planning your summer in Scotland make sure you include a visit to the Safari Park.
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