CCF, worth a visit”
The day before we had seen a pair of cheetahs in the wild at Etosha, so it was cool to get to the Conservation fund and learn more about them from the very knowledgeable staff. While the activities were a little expensive, we were happy to be supporting the amazing work that they do in Namibia and other parts of the world to educate people about cheetahs and to help the cheetahs. We enjoyed the drive to see the cheetahs up close and watching the feeding. We only wish that we would have gotten there at a time to see the cheetah run.
Knowing that it was highly unlikely, if not impossible, to see these cats in the wild, thought it a good idea it get up close and personal at the Cheetah Conservation project. The morning did not disappoint. The guide who took us round on the drive was extremely knowledgeable about not only the cheetahs in residence, but the difficulties they are facing in the wild. The work that is being done is admirable. Would recommend a visit to anyone in the area, to learn more about these amazing cats.
“Absolutely Fabulous for cheetah lovers”
We stayed for 3 days at Babson House and it was an outstanding experience for us. We cannot comment on the day visit facilities but the full board with driver and chef at Babson House was perfect. If you stay at Babson for at least a couple of days, you get all of the regular tours of the facilities plus much closer contact with the cheetahs. The four “Ambassador Cheetahs” live in an enclosure just beyond the balcony of the house and can be seen any time you feel inclined, which is often. The scientific conservation work done here is also exemplary. There were excellent game drives on offer to see a wide range of antelope, birds etc. with no other safari vehicles in sight. The total acreage of CCF is over 100,000 acres.
Babson House is a luxury destination but we have never stayed anywhere better on any continent.
“Cheetahs, Leopard: Brilliant!”
We researched this venue as a side-trip between Etosha and the coast. Absolutely fantastic! It’s possible to stay here on an overnight visit but we simply turned up for a ninety minute morning tour. It was brilliant. You get to see a leopard hide, find cheetah in a large enclosure, and visit the Africat foundation. Unmissable and terrific guides too!
After touring South Africa and Namibia the Cheetah was the only one of the Big Five we hadn’t seen, as we were passing so close to the conservation we just had to go. After a long trip down a gravel 45 minutes roughly we came to this wonderful place.
The staff are so knowledgeable and passionate about the cheetahs, we took some wonderful photos, it was the climax to our holiday of a life time.
“Hats off to CCF!”
We just visited the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) near Otjiwarongo and had a very good experience that is well worth recommending to fellow travellers and a repeat visit in the future.
The CCF is located along R2440, 43 kilometres east of the B1, just north of Otjiwarongo. The facilities are modern and include a small museum, gift shop, cafe as well as a large fenced in areas where the cheetahs live and are cared for.
First and foremost the CCF is a research and conservation centre with the mission of saving the cheetahs in the wild. However, there are tourist related activities that allow visitors close access and a chance to observe these fascinating creatures in a variety of activities.
You can find information about all cheetah related activities directly on the CCF website. You can book all activities directly online or through your travel agent. During our visit, we participated in the Cheetah Run and the cheetah drive.
The Cheetah Run is a 40-45 minute experience where you stay in a gated standing area within an enclosure where cheetahs exercise each morning (8am) by chasing a cloth rag attached to a rope which is controlled by a motorised system. It is amazing watching the cheetahs stalk the cloth and give chase. Their acceleration is remarkable and they are just beautiful creatures when running in full stride.
We also participated in the Cheetah Drive that lasted just over an hour. Here we drove in an enclosure which had 6 older female cheetahs. The vehicle was a typical safari jeep with three rows of seats. It was lovely driving around spotting the cheetahs, which were all very comfortable with the vehicle. This allowed close access and many opportunities for close up photos. Ignatius the ranger/driver shared much information about the cheetahs and also positioned the jeep correctly with the nice morning sunlight which helped with our photo taking.
After the two cheetah experiences, we were shown the goat farm and the Anatolian Shepherd dogs which are being raised at CCF. We learned how CCF is working with local farmers to improve their herding practices (much to do with the use of the Anatolian Shepherds) to help reduce interactions with cheetahs, a major cause for the killing of these lovely creatures over the years in Namibia.
In the end, we were very pleased with our two cheetah experiences and felt the CCF were doing a very good job and acting highly responsible in everything they were doing. This seems to be the real deal and not a commercialisation arrangement whereby the cheetahs are being exploited or living in bad conditions. From what we could tell, the CCF truly care about the cheetahs, their survival and ability to thrive in Namibia. In this regard, they gained our full approval and support and are a place we would very much like to return to in the future.
“My wife had tears in her eyes of happiness!”
We booked the Babson House for two nights and with it an amazing experience: feeding the cheetahs, meeting the Ambassadors (you have to find out yourself what I mean with it), seeing the vets treat an injured Cheetah, having lunch with the founder of CCF (Dr. Laurie Marker) … these were truly two remarkable days. A must for every cheetah/conservation lover!
– Jurgen R
If you love cats you will love this place. It wa humbling to watch the cheetah being fed. They are amazing. The game drive was also amazing. This week s a must! The volunteers were incredibly knowledgable. Good work guys!
“Way beyond expectations!”
I knew on paper and from the CCF website that we would have an interesting time there. It was so much more than that! The staff, to begin with, is made up of the most dedicated professionals one can find anywhere. The 100,000 acre compound is a fascinating study in sustainability. Talk about virtuous circles! The cheetahs there are either rehabilitated (thanks to CCF’s wonderful veterinary clinic), waiting to be rereleased into the wild; cheetahs rescued as babies after their mother had been killed by a farmer protecting his livestock; and cheetahs that have been rehabilitated to the extent possible but not able to be released back into the wild.
The way the cheetahs are exercised is worth the trip alone! In a large open space, a rag is attached to a long wire that moves the rag up to 45 mph. The wire is powered by a truck engine. Cheetahs are cats and the love to chase anything that moves–just like my cat! Watching the cheetahs power up and race after the rag is simply thrilling!
CCF’s Anatolian Shepherd breeding project is fascinating. The dogs live with goats while they are being trained to protect livestock from cheetahs. They are then given to farmers so that they can protect the farmers’ livestock from cheetahs, thus dropping the farmer cheetah kills by close to 100%. Then the goats provide the milk for CCF’s delicious goat cheese. Best goat cheese ever! I wish I could buy it here.
CCF’s genetics lab helps keep track of the area’s cheetah populations. In a new study of the world’s cheetah population, the authors urge that the mere 7,100 cheetahs left in the world be declared an endangered species. At 7,100, critically endangered is what their status should be! CCF is doing more than its share to help restore populations of cheetahs. There is a lot more to see and do at CCF but it alone was worth the trip to Namibia!