There are numerous Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres in South Africa that cares for injured and orphaned wild animals and birds. Any wild animal, (not domestic or agricultural), that has been injured, rescued or abandoned, is admitted free of charge. Most of the wild animals admitted to these centre have sustained injuries due to human negligence. Here we highlight a few centers that are committed to conservation and strives to return all rescued and rehabilitated wildlife to their natural habitat.
The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre was established in South Africa in 1971, known in the past as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, it has been renamed as a tribute to the woman who has devoted her life to the survival of the cheetah species. The Centre can look back with satisfaction on a job well done in ensuring the survival of Acinonyx jubatus – the cheetah, successfully breeding the king cheetah in captivity for the first time in the world. While the cheetah breeding project was the base from which Ann launched her conservation ethic, it soon widened to include other endangered animal species, such as the African wild dog, brown hyaena, servals, suni antelope, and riverine rabbits. Many of these projects such as the suni antelope and riverine rabbits once successfully running have been handed over to other institutions to continue with. The Centre does not receive any government funding and income generated from tours and the adoption program is used to subsidize their conservation projects.
Nestled in a picturesque setting at the base of the Drakensberg escarpment in the Limpopo Province Lowveld of South Africa, Moholoholo has become a haven for the rehabilitation and care of abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife. Wildlife is brought to the center from all corners of South Africa, and once healthy enough are re-introduced into their natural environments. Those creatures who cannot be returned to the wild due to the nature and extent of their injuries, are cared for at the center and are used to educate the many people who visit each year.
Another important function of the center is breeding. Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre was started in 1992 on a Game Farm owned by a wildlife enthusiast Mr. J.A. Strijdom. Brian Jones the manager had a Crowned Eagle when he arrived and then was brought in a day old Zebra, from there word got out that Brian was able to care and release animals and birds…and so the Rehab Centre started.
The center now houses confiscated Lions from a Mozambique Circus, Leopard, Caracal, Serval, Cheetah, Crowned Eagle, Marshall Eagle, Vultures and many more that have been confiscated, orphaned, abandoned or injured. This Centre is a non-profit organization, relying completely on the support of the public.
Monkeyland opened its doors to the public on the 6th of April 1998. This unique primate sanctuary is currently the top eco-tourism attraction on the Garden Route and for very sound reasons. Monkeyland has captured the hearts of visitors in its efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates. The sanctuary is exceptional as it caters for several species of primates who are not caged. They are free to move about the forest and this they do most harmoniously.
Awareness of the world’s environmental problems is increasing all the time and Monkeyland, as a center of conservation, can be an important educational resource in this field. Situated in an eco-sensitive location, 16 km East of Plettenberg Bay, Monkeyland works hand in hand with interest groups to enhance conservation-orientated tourism in the area. In doing so, Monkeyland helps to preserve the Garden Route’s natural beauty. Monkeyland’s prime location on 23 hectares of indigenous forest and the free-roaming aspect of the sanctuary enable us to convey a positive environmental message in ways that are both interesting and memorable to all age groups.
Dictionaries define a sanctuary for animals as merely a place where animals are protected from hunting. A true sanctuary for primates should, however, also be a place of refuge to protect them from much more than hunting and/or the pet trade. They must also be protected against exploitation, abuse, neglect and improper care.
Monkeyland provides the primates who live there with a stable environment, one with permanence and where there is no exploitation. At Monkeyland, care exceeds the regulations regarding animal welfare. Monkeyland is, most importantly, a place where primates are rehabilitated both physically and emotionally. They strive to achieve an effective balance between conservation and economic reality. It is therefore tourism driven and totally sustainable. A monkey safari is much more than just an unforgettable forest adventure; it is the vehicle that allows you to become part of the rehabilitation process. It is because of sanctuaries such as Monkeyland which go beyond idealism, and who strive to do something positive, that we can look forward to a more optimistic future.
Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre close to Plettenberg Bay offers a truly unique Wildcat Experience. Guests are taken on a guided tour to meet captive-bred furry felines, living in a semi-natural environment.
During the one hour guided tours you will see the charismatic Cheetah, ZweLakhe the Leopard and enjoy a cat and mouse game with South Africa ’s seldom seen Lesser indigenous cats, such as the African Wild Cat, Servals, Caracal and the rare Black-Footed Cat. Experience the inquisitiveness of the busy Meerkats, watch the Blue Cranes dance and take pleasure in getting to know the mischievous Marabou Storks.
For the more adventurous they offer a walk with the Tenikwa Cheetahs. Take an exhilarating stroll through Tsitsikamma Indigenous Forest and Cape Floral Fynbos as you join the Tenikwa Cheetahs on their daily walk. A unique and personal experience with these amazing animals, the Cheetah Walk will stay with you for life. At Tenikwa you will learn about the Wildcat’s struggle for survival in the wild and your support will help fund their Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Program.