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Chris Packham Photographs for Sale

Chris Packham Patron of AfriCat took some amazing images of leopards, cheetah and lions while visiting Namibia. Chris has kindly let AfriCat UK have some of these to sell to raise funds These have been mounted and are available to buy. To see all the prints and details of how to buy follow this link.
Lion sitting a Chris Packham photograph

International Leopard Day 3rd May2024

Leopards are often described as elusive, hard to see and intelligent.
They can hunt throughout the day but see well in the dark so often nocturnal, tend to be solitary – even a mum with young will go alone to hunt, opportunistic, crafty, and have stunning camouflage that helps them to merge with their background taking an experienced eye to spot them.

Found in many parts of the world they are often associated with the African bush or snow lined peaks. 

While counting any wild animal is problematic leopard numbers like all other felines in the wild are declining.

International Leopard Day 3rd May 2024

Leopards are often described as elusive, hard to see and intelligent.
They can hunt throughout the day but see well in the dark so often nocturnal, tend to be solitary – even a mum with young will go alone to hunt, opportunistic, crafty, and have stunning camouflage that helps them to merge with their background taking an experienced eye to spot them.

Found in many parts of the world they are often associated with the African bush or snow lined peaks. 

While counting any wild animal is problematic leopard numbers like all other felines in the wild are declining.

The reasons too are familiar. A key one being is habitat loss, encroachment of farming, fragmentation and prey species decline. As leopards and people now live in increasing proximity poaching, snares, road kills and being killed in retaliation to livestock losses all impact on numbers. 

Human wildlife mitigation solutions exist and are being adapted successfully across the world, but they need good local research and finance to enable them to be adapted to local conditions and cultures. The kraals needed to reduce livestock losses to snow leopards in Nepal are a little different to those needed in parts of Africa. 

Leopards have a varied diet, catching and eating what they can find. In one large city they could be said to be ‘helping’ to keep the cat and dog populations in check! Stealthy, quiet, and strong they frequently carry prey up into trees to keep it safe from other predators.

leopard mother and cubs

At the AfriCat Foundation research into leopards has been a key element of the Foundations work. The early ‘home-made’ trail camera increased understanding of leopard territories which is a key element to developing mitigation strategies. The research has shown that leopards within the AfriCat Nature Reserve have smaller territories with a higher degree of tolerance, helped perhaps by a good prey density. 

Leopards have been found to have a homing instinct and some are able to work out how to negotiate a supposed predator proof fence! Leopard Research continues at The AfriCat Foundation with the help of radio collars. Staying at Okonjima the home of the AfriCat Foundation is a great way to improve your chances of seeing one.

Any Leopard research project will value your support. Why not check out the AfriCat shop for cards, mugs or t shirts or make a donation via PayPal

Namibian Lion Trust 2023 Award Winners

The work of a Lion Guard is never done: a change of heart and mind-set, attitudes and behaviour, especially ‘modernizing’ age-old farming practices, takes time, determination and steadfastness… but will bring us all one step closer to co-existence between man and lion. (Tammy Hoth-Hanssen, Founder Namibian Lion Trust).

The NLT Lion guard tea with Tammy

The Kunene Lion Ranger Programme (of which Namibian Lion Trust is a part) has brought together key people, plus some international funding and facilitated important developments.

This project clearly needed to be on a landscape basis within the Kunene Region, Northwest Namibia, saw the welcome collaboration initiated in 2020, between the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), Namibian Lion Trust and several other local and international stakeholders. The net result has increased community support and livestock protection and improved the knowledge of lion numbers and their movement in relation to livestock herds.

Namibian Lion Trust Lion Guards on patrol.

Key elements of this programme are the Lion Guards, Early-Warning Systems and Rapid Response Units to encourage greater tolerance of conflict wildlife, enabling co-existence and improved monitoring.
The 12 Namibian Lion Trust (NLT) Lion Guards are an integral part of the Kunene Lion Ranger Programme. They are dedicated to patrolling conflict-zones and to monitor lion across the northwestern landscape. A major development has been the much-improved Early-Warning Systems, which include Logger-units that are based near homesteads and in recognized lion ranges, together with Vehicle Response Units (GPS-Satellite communications modems fitted into the Rapid Response Unit’s (RRU) vehicles, commonly known as ‘Rovers’, which have notably changed the face of lion conservation in Namibia’s northwest. Whilst on vehicle/foot-patrols real-time lion locations are made available to the First Responder of each Rapid Response Unit, either via communications with the NLT base-station or generated by the ‘Rover’; this apparatus is of utmost importance in locating lion in need of immediate protection.

Regular foot patrols are carried out in ‘hot-spot’ areas in order to mitigate conflict on communal farmland. Trained in the use of SMART (Spatial Monitoring & Reporting Tool), valuable information on Lion whereabouts, livestock management, Lion and livestock mortalities as well as evidence of bushmeat poaching and the dreaded Lion Bone Trade, is collected and evaluated, providing reliable assessments and reports. Each Lion Guard’s patrol history, including total distance and route covered, is recorded.

Meet Jackson Kavetu, the Namibian Lion Trust Senior Lion Ranger and First Responder

Senior Lion Guard of the Namibian Lion Trust Jackson

Jackson was raised in the Ehirovipuka Conservancy, Kunene Region, and at a young age became a Conservancy ‘Environmental Shepherd’ or better known as Conservancy Game Guard. Rapidly attaining a senior position, Jackson was hailed as a devoted wildlife champion. Jackson joined the Namibian Lion Trust in 2016, recognizing the need for sound research, community support and the further development of tried-and-tested mitigation options to the ever-present, farmer-lion conflict. A farmer in his own right, he advocates improved livestock management to reduce the retaliatory killing of predators. Jackson recently won an Award for Dedication and Service as a First Responder; this accolade and his winnings, included amongst others, one ram and five ewes, which complement his livestock herd. The 2023 Lion Ranger Awards saw Jackson become Top performing Rapid Response Member. Working in the Ehi-Rovipuka Conservancy Jackson has now become a Rapid Response leader and has single-handedly covered the entire Ombonde landscape over the last few months, responding to conflict, transporting Rangers from their homes to their patrol bases and back, and supporting teams stationed at various bases. Between 21 October 2022 and 20 September 2023, Jackson covered a total of 31,281 km. During this same period, Jackson received 261 notifications and replied to 92%, responding to 90% of all conflict notifications he received.

Meet Rinoveni Tjauira who in the 2023 Lion Ranger Awards gained first place as Top performing Lion Ranger Working in the Omatendeka Conservancy.

Lion Guard Renoveni

Rinoveni says ‘I like working with Lions as they are very interesting animals and getting to learn about their behaviour from up close, is a good thing. My first patrol was with our First Responder, Jackson Kavetu, where I learned how to use the VHF-Telemetry Tracking system and to set camera traps and, for the first time, I saw a Lion that was very close to us – it was so beautiful I could not stop staring. During my time with Namibian Lion Trust, I have also joined in Anti-Poaching Training, Law Enforcement, Tracking and Predator Behaviour, which has given me more knowledge and confidence in my work.’

Rinoveni has shown incredible dedication and improvement over the last year. He has surpassed expectations this year, patrolling up to 47km on foot per day, covering over 800km in June and over 700km each month in July and August 2023! Between 21 October 2022 and 20 September 2023, Rinoveni covered a total of 4,887 km on foot, spending 1,297 active hours over 290 patrols, representing an average of 17km per patrol. Rinoveni is known among the Rangers as quiet and friendly, always ready to patrol alone or as part of a team. It is a great testament to his dedication and abilities that many of his fellow rangers consider Rinoveni capable of covering a more than 100 km² portion of his conservancy entirely on his own, across inhospitable, rough terrain, weathering extreme conditions ranging from icy cold winds and frost to temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius.

Tammy says We are so proud of both Jackson and Rinoveni’s achievements. (Jackson far right and Rinoveni 2nd from left) From all of us at Namibian Lion Trust, we applaud our Lion Guards for their dedication and determination to mitigate farmer-lion conflict in our bid to enable co-existence. AfriCat UK wishes to sincerely thank and applaud the achievements of Jackson and Rinoveni together with the hard work of all the other Namibian Lion Trust Lion Rangers.

Namibian Lion Trust Lion Guard award winners

The Kunene Lion Ranger Programme 2023 Award winners includes Jackson and Rinoveni from The Namibian Lion Trust

AfriCat UK

There have been some further changes to the AfriCat UK Board with Frank Horan taking over as Chairman as Terry has needed to step down due to a change in personal circumstances. Frank has been supporting AfriCat UK in various ways since contributing to the new outside classroom at the AfriCat Foundation in memory of Jenny his daughter. Janet Widdows is joining him on the Board, and we are seeking new Trustees. In addition, we have keen supporters of the work in Namibia who assist the Board with various tasks and our longstanding Patrons and Ambassadors. 

Any offers of help are most welcome, please contact either Frank or Janet.

two lions in Namibia

AfriCat UK’s Vision
To contribute towards the conservation efforts of the Namibian charities who work to conserve suitable habitat and environments where carnivores and endangered species can thrive and survive. This work will involve education, research and working with local communities.

Misson Statement
To promote the need for conservation of the natural world for all in Namibia. To work with local charities supporting their projects and initiatives. This will include but not be limited too, awareness raising of issues in the UK, Namibia and the wider world; supporting local educational initiatives; fundraising; promoting visits to the region and Okonjima; encouraging and sharing relevant research work; working to reduce human wildlife conflict and to involve local communities with all relevant activities.

Contacting AfriCat UK

correspondence address: 5 Brackendale Way Reading Berkshire RG6 1DZ

phone: landline 0118 935 1681 (please leave a message if no reply)

email address: support@africat.co.uk will replace the current one of info-uk@africat.org from early January. (Anything sent to the old email will be forwarded)

AfriCat UK board members can be contacted with their first name followed by @africat.co.uk

website: www.africat.co.uk

leopard tracking and viewing in Namibia

AfriCat - Behind the Scenes

The AfriCat Foundation welcomes Okonjima guests to come behind the scenes to learn first-hand about the work of the Foundation.

The AfriCat Behind The Scenes programme is available for groups of guests between 4 to 8 pax booked into the Okonjima Bush Camp or Luxury Villa for at least three nights on a fully inclusive basis.

This experience will give you a deeper insight into our research projects, such as the Brown Hyaena, Pangolin, the Leopard and other endangered species. Guests will be able to see and participate in AfriCat work that can be scheduled for the time of the visit such as re-collaring as well as the option of meeting the “AfriCat ambassador carnivores” that are in the care of AfriCat.

For more information please visit: AfriCat Behind the Scenes

Since 2014, AfriCat UK (UK Charity Commission Number 1120026) has supported The AfriCat Foundation and The Namibian Lion Trust (Formerly AfriCat North). AfriCat UK raises funds for the various programs that have been developed by the Namibian charities to assist in research of key species, research of solutions to Human Wildlife Conflict, and the education of local communities in Namibia.

We have successfully funded research that has assisted in the better understanding of the Cheetah, Pangolin, Leopard, Lion, and Hyenas. AfriCat UK have funded the building of a school for local communities to improve the link in conservation and education for future generations. Many world renowned veterinary clinicians have based their research and resultant doctorates on the animals and facilities that can be found at the two charities in Namibia that we continue to fund. The importance of this research allows for wide-spread conservation initiatives that impact species globally.

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