Chris Packham, one of AfriCat’s patrons, said
‘I have the great fortune to visit many conservation projects around the world and AfriCat is in the premiership. Its whole ethos is founded upon securing practical solutions to problems in the field. It’s about really making a difference, not talking about it. It’s about intelligent and effective solutions being implemented now, not tomorrow. ‘
This short video taken at AfriCat gives an idea of what it takes Chris to get a particular image.
The AfriCat Foundation in Namibia is working to save the large carnivores of Namibia. It is committed to the long term conservation of these animals and the environment they inhabit. It does this by protecting endangered species, education, research and working with the communities who live along side them. The greatest threat to these animals comes from habitat loss/degradation and increasing competition and conflict with people. AfriCat listens to local people and works with them to find sustainable solutions. When visiting Namibia you can stay at the Okonjima, the home of the AfriCat Foundation, learn about the conservation programme while tracking rehabilitated cheetah and seeking the elusive leopard in their ‘wildlife reserve’. The 22,000 hectare reserve/park is itself a project in rebuilding a sustainable ecosystem. Okonjima was a cattle farm with the ensuing issues of bush encroachment and degraded grasslands. The grassland management programme being implemented has seen all forms of wildlife benefiting. Now even a small herd of cattle are back within the park helping to enrich the soils.
In the past the threat to livestock posed by the large carnivores meant that farmers regularly shot or trap them, so much so that lions and spotted hyenas have been eliminated from most farms and thus much of Namibia. Currently it is estimated that there are less than 900 lions left in a narrow band along the Zambezi strip, through Etosha National Park and westward to the coast. AfriCat North has been working tirelessly with local community farmers running a human wildlife mitigation programme on the Western Boarder of Etosha National Park developing solutions that work locally. For example AfriCat has been supporting communities to strengthen or build kraals so livestock are better protected at night.
The community Lion Guards, local farmers themselves, are providing advice, information and support to fellow farmers. The information gained from the lion research programme has given valuable insight into the movement of local lion populations and enabled AfriCat through the Lion Guards to alert villages to the presence of lions AfriCat is now seeking funding to create a sustainable operational basis for developing and expanding its lion research, education and community conservation programmes in the area.
You can donate to special appeals
There is scope to ‘adopt-a-carnivore’ at Okonjima.