Rikus Grobler | Aug 22, 2017 | 0
Want to see and feel the work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund, book their new lodge
It may look like an ordinary farmhouse but this new structure at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s headquarters on their game reserve near Otjiwarongo, is actually a guest house.
Called the Cheetah View Lodge, it was opened earlier in July, targettting visitors who want to view the fund’s daily working with cheetahs and other wildlife.
The lodge was built to accommodate international visitors who want to spend more time learning about the fund’s conservation work. Its accommodation is priced in the middle range, complementing the existing upmarket Babson House.
Visitors to the Cheetah View Lodge will have the opportunity to experience the work of the Cheetah Conservation Fund hands on, and possibly meet its internationally awarded founder and lead scientist, Dr Laurie Marker.
“A key component of our mission is to educate people about the conservation work we do. In opening Cheetah View Lodge, more guests can stay with us longer and immerse themselves in all we do to save the cheetah”, said Dr Marker. “Our holistic approach to conservation is intriguing for visitors, and our many programmes offer much for them to learn”.
The Cheetah Conservation Fund administers a wide range of projects, including a guard dog breeding programme with Anatolian Shepherds, the offspring of which are placed with local farmers for the protection of their livestock. This neutralises the often ingrained response by farmers to shoot cheetahs on sight.
The fund offers a training course that teaches best agricultural techniques to rural farming communities, runs the Future Farmers of Africa programme and a school outreach programme to educate learners about. The fund also operates a world-renowned genetics laboratory which collaborates with researchers working on many African species and shares its data internationally. Furthermore, the Cheetah Conservation Fund has a thriving ecology department that conducts regular game counts, and a bush processing plant where invader bush is used to produce compressed wooden logs for fuel.
“CCF welcomes more than 10,000 tourists each year as day visitors, and they have long expressed an interest in learning about the programme work of CCF. Opening Cheetah View enables visitors to spend more time with us, to witness conservation in action, and our hope is they will spread the word internationally”, said Dr Marker.
The new lodge, which was dedicated by the fund’s patron, Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent in April this year, offers spectacular views of the Waterberg Plateau. The lodge offers visitors the opportunity to book cheetah conservation activities, game drives and escorted bush walks, as well as visit the fund’s conservation projects.