The Cheetah Outreach

A few years ago, I went on a quick drive up to Stellenbosch and we spotted a cheetah sanctuary. We are lucky in South Africa. We get so much amazing opportunities to see wildlife, that most people only get to see on the National Geographic channels. Whether the animals are in their natural habitat or in sanctuaries, we are still lucky to be able to see them in plenty.

  • I have been informed that the Cheetah Outreach has moved to Somerset West, about 20 minutes from Stellenbosch. Please refer to the website (below) for more details)

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I stopped along Spier to relax by the River, when I noticed the Cheetah sanctuary next to the premises. The sanctuary is on you way to the entrance of Stellenbosch and is not hard to miss or access.

We also got to see some zebra grazing, kudus and ostriches on the farm grounds which actually faces the busy highway. It’s not everyday, you get to drive past Africa’s wildlife while driving to or from home!

The Cheetah Outreach

The cheetah are bred and raised in captivity as apart of a rehabilitation program. You get to see them up close and if you want you even get to touch one! They have options to go and stroke an adult or pose with cubs!

The farm was formed to help create awareness for the cheetahs and to promote their conservation. Cheetahs are on the endangered species list and once roamed all over Africa and as far as the Middle East. The funds raised from visitors and tourists go to to the rehabilitation and conservation of the animals.

The Cheetah Outreach was founded in 1997 by Annie Beckhelling. I had seen her once on local television and once in Cavendish Square shopping Mall walking with one of her cheetahs amidst shoppers. It was on a leash!

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I decided to get up close and personal with an adult female cheetah. You had to bring in your own camera and there were 2 handlers on site. Only 5 or 6 people were allowed to go into the enclosure at a time.

The cheetah, like any cat, likes to be stroked. However you had to put more pressure on the stroke, If it was too gentle they will get ticklish and turn or run away. Nobody was going to force this kitty to stay still!

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Cheetah fur is soft, rich and exquisite!

Afterwards you can relax and have a glass of wine or lunch at the Spier restaurant, famous for serving a fusion of South African cuisine. If not, chilling on the lawns is still nice. There are a few food stalls and shops to get a sandwich.

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Cheetah visiting Tips:

  • Take note of the handlers or guides instructions. They are no liable for injuries.
  • The photo encounter times are restricted to 9-5pm daily
  • You will need your own camera for this photo opportunity. The helpers or volunteers will snap you
  • To find out more visit their website at: http://www.cheetah.co.za/

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24 thoughts on “The Cheetah Outreach

  1. I had no idea that there was a cheetah outreach program! You’re so lucky to be able to live in an area with such exotic animals! I live in the mountains and the most we have are moose, bears, and the occasional mountain lion!

  2. This looks amazing! I have a daughter who would just LOVE this. If I could manage to surprise her with a visit, it would make her year. Thanks for the information!

  3. You really got lucky to see them up, close and personal. Cheetahs were once found in India, my country. Sadly they are extinct in India now. Rehabilitation centers like these go a long way in conservation.

  4. Cheetahs are beautiful creatures, but I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to stroke one! That said, the sanctuary seems to be doing a good job of looking after them. The lunch and glass of wine after sounds like an additional bonus to visit here!

  5. waaaaaaaaa!! I am so jealous!! What a wonderful opportunity. South Africa is definitely on my bucket list, you are truly lucky to be around so much wildlife! It is heartbreaking that cheetahs (and many other animals) are endangered. What a gorgeous and majestic creature! <3

  6. Cheetahs are the most beautiful animals EVER! I love to watch them run, its the most magnificent thing besides birds flying. What a great experience, and I love that there is an actual sanctuary for these animals.

  7. I have seen cheetahs only in zoos. You are so lucky, as you are seeing them so closely and even touching them. These golden colored spotted animals look so appealing in your pictures. Good you had a nice time with cheetahs, zebras and ostrichs in Stellenbosch and helpful tips for cheetah outreach.

  8. I think cheetahs are such amazing creatures; and you got to see zebra and other animals too! I loved stellenbosch when we visited and always get excited when I see a wine from the region on a wine list in a restaurant! Do you think you will visit south africa again?

  9. The outreach program seems to be an amazing program and your encounter with Cheetah must be an even amazing experience, true that you get to see so many exotic animals in Africa which we rarely see may be sometimes in zoo. Africa is a dream hope to visit sometime soon. Thanks for this post and tips.

  10. The Cheetah is an amazing animal. We happened to witness a Cheetah feeding session in New Zealand zoo and saw the animal race to eat its food. Lighting bolt speed in action. Sad that they are an endangered species now. So graceful.

  11. Last year I had visited South Africa and there I had got a chance to see a lot of conservation sanctuaries, zoo and national parks. Dint get to visit this one though but yes they give a different experience for sure.

    Manjulika Pramod

  12. Cheetahs are such beautiful animals! I’m not sure if I’d really like to stroke one though. It’s amazing the variety and accessibility you have to wildlife in Africa. The outreach program sounds interesting.

  13. The Cheetah outreach is a great initiative and I’m happy to see that these animals are well taken care of. And you are so lucky to get so close to the Cheetahs and even got to touch them. Definitely going to plan a trip here when I visit South Africa in future.

  14. Africa in general is amazing since people are trying really hard to preserve wildlife! Due to hunting and poaching cheetahs became extinct in India back in the 1970s. The Cheetah outreach is a great initiative. Hope it becomes a huge success and a lot of other places follow their footsteps!

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