We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Up close with the big cats” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre
Forest Hall Road, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay 6602, South Africa
+27 44 534 8170
Website
Improve this listing
Certificate of Excellence 2014
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre offers your guests the opportunity for a close, safe, inter-active encounter with all of the lesser cats of South Africa, as well as Cheetah and Leopard. We guarantee sightings of African Wild Cat, Blackfooted Cat, Serval, Caracal, Cheetah and Leopard. The Tenikwa encounter is a great follow-on to a game reserve / safari experience; from viewing the cats at a distance to the opportunity to study these beautiful animals at close quarters. Tenikwa also has a Meerkat Meander where visitors can see Meerkats and Tortoises and there is also a variety of indigenous waterfowl, Blue Cranes and Marabou Storks to delight bird watchers. Tenikwa supports the upliftment of local communities through Eco tourism and is environmentally responsible. Entrance fees fund Tenikwa's NPO Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release Programme. Open 365 days a year. Amenities include a Tea Garden for light meals, Parking, Wheel-chair Friendly, Mothers Corner
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Dublin, Ireland
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“Up close with the big cats”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2013

small centre rehabilitating the cats of Africa, some amazing wild cats and the chnaceto stand 2 ft from the cheetahs was amazing, although there are other cat sanctuarys on the garden route that have a bigger selection of cats this was still a nice way to pass an hour

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

575 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    450
    92
    27
    4
    2
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
28 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Really upclose with the wild cats”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We didn't do the cheetah-walk, but got to be inside the cheetah cage while they were eating! The cheetahs were walking up and down their cages giving us the piercing stare because it was near their feeding time. While they were eating, the gamekeepers opened the enclosure and told us to go inside. We pretty much stood inside very still while the cheetahs were busy eating. We also got to see the leopard up close behind its fence, and while we were walking out it stalked and tried to ambush a member of our group!

Should also visit the small park area behind the visitors center that has meerkats, tortoises and storks.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“What an amazing experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

We decided to do the sunrise walk and the wild cat combo. Cost 660R/person. It was an amazing experience. You first go into a small room to watch a 5min video on not what to do eg don't walk in front of the cheetah, don't stay crouched for too long, if they decide to run let the leash go because you wont be able to keep,up with them, don't stare them in the eyes for too long they with think you are threatening them. The cheetahs are waiting for their morning walk. They are harnessed with a double harness. I didn't realise they are so big they are just beautiful and very tame. Didn't feel threatened at any time. A personal guide per cheetah and another for safety. The guide explains so much about them and you can ask as many questions as you like. So many photo experiences, it's like they know to stop and pose for shots. You can touch them as often as you like. I don't know what words to use to describe the experience. We actually take the cheetah for a walk around the outside of compound through the bush, it it a decent walk 7:30 until 9. After this we are given a muffin and coffee at the shop. Then go and see the cheetah have breakfast, we go inside the gates and stand only a few meters away from them.
Next we did the wild cat combo. 1st stop the leopard, no chance of walking in their enclosure you wouldn't come out alive. We saw caracal, serval, baboon, honey badger, maribu stork, meerkat and SA national bird the blue crane. All the cats you could walk in their enclosures, if they wanted to interact they will jump a 1.5m fence and walk around you legs and you can touch them. Then another chance to take more photos of the cheetah while they were soaking up the sun. The entire morning went from 7:30 to approx 11am.
They have a rehab area for wounded animals. They nurse them back to health then set them free back into the wild where they found them. They had bush pig attacked by dogs, confiscated monkey, dove attacked by a cat, seagull missing feathers and some penguins they take any form of wildlife.
They don't allow small children on the cheetah walk.
A camera with a zoom is a mat especially to get those close up face shots of the cats.
This attraction should not be missed, you learn so much and the interaction with the cheetah is something that you will never be able to experience anywhere else.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“chance of a lifetime- incredible experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

I had read about Tenikwa and the chance to walk with the cheetah. Being a cat lover myself, I knew I had to jump at the chance to have this experience. Our guide was awesome and the cheetah herself was majestic. The rest of the cats are beautiful as well, and so varied- we had a great tour, and have to say, the staff was amazing and friendly. So glad we got to stop and take part- thanks Tenikwa for the experience in seeing these majestic creatures up close.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“The Cats Steal the Show!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

My husband and I visited Tenikwa about three or four years ago and unfortunately we had a very uptight lady guide who obviously loved the cats but didn’t like the people too much. My husband who also loves the cats was so taken with the cats that he stepped on a twig which made just a slight noise and he was told to look where he was going as snapping twigs and walking too close to the grass etc might scare the cats. Needless to say we were then more concerned to look down and make sure that we didn’t cause any trouble so for us the experience was not such a good one on that occasion. A week ago we decided to give the place another chance and this time we had a male guide. He was informative with a good sense of humour and told us much more than the previous guide. We had such a good time – we were told not to approach the cats unless they approach us, and lo and behold, the serval came right up to my husband and rubbed himself around his legs. My husband reciprocated and scratched behind his ears which resulted in loud purring – it was just so special. We were lucky to see the leopard sunning himself and then perking up his ears as he heard food coming to the next enclosure – of course he then went off and waited for his food. By this time our tour was finished and as we came out of the restaurant we saw him eating – we walked just a tad closer and was then asked quite rudely by another female guide where our guide was. I told her our tour was finished and we were just having another look – the leopard’s cage is about 50 m from the restaurant and she said we were not allowed to look without a guide! For those who have read my reviews elsewhere on tripadvisor – I do not appreciate rudeness and it was just a pity that an otherwise perfect visit had to end like this.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tenikwa, Owner at Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, responded to this review, May 16, 2013
Thank you for a candid and fair review of your experiences at Tenikwa. Irrespective of our rules and focus on safety of our guests, there is no excuse for rudeness, and the circumstances of your experience have been discussed with all our guides. Regards Mandy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre also viewed

Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape
 
The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
 

Been to Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.