Inverdoorn is like an oasis in a vast open scrubby basin. It was a former fruit farm, but ten years of draught in the 80s killed that operation. The owners removed the dead trees and started creating habitat for African wildlife to include a Cheetah rehabilitation center. I was a little suspicious driving in, since I was in the middle of nothingness, but once I got there I was rewarded with a nice operation.
They served us breakfast while our group of six filtered in. Our guide, Eugene, had us load into the Land Rover Safari truck and off we went. It was a 2 ½ hour tour of several thousand acres of preserve. We saw Rhino, Buffalo, Lions, Cheetas, Springbok, Giraffe, and many many more. Eugene was very knowledgeable and provided a lot of insight as to the current status of preservation in Africa. Some of the larger issues where illegal Rhino horn harvesting (and killing), game species inbreeding, and a common thread to all species, shrinking habitat. Their lions in fact were rescued from an illegal hunting preserve, all bread for size (trophy). They had no ability to hunt on their own, so the staff fed them every few days. They were abnormally large, the male was 600lbs, the females about 450 lbs each, just enormous. They were used to humans too, which can be bad since they have no natural fear. We kept back about 100 meters, Eugene had an escape path at the ready. Cool fact alert, if you neuter a lion, his mane will fall out.
A primary focus of Inverdoorn is Cheetah rehabilitation. The currently house a half dozen in a separate enclose, the goal is to release three of them into the preserve general population and let them hunt and feed on Springbok antelope and other small species. One of the problems with the species is over breeding that has resulted in impotent males. I had the opportunity to pet one of them, a two year old female with a broken tail. She is unable to hunt, as her tail wont balance properly. Tripping at 80mph can have severe consequences. Another cool fact alert, Cheetahs must live in packs to be able to procreate. A male will raise his body temperature chasing down prey enough to become temporarily sterile. That male will share his kill with the other non sterile males. Females mate with all the males.
At the conclusion of the tour, they served us an awesome lunch. There was no game on the table, but Eugene made many recommendations should the opportunity arrive. Unfortunately I can’t remember any of them. So, if you have the time, head to Kruger, if you don’t, Inverdoorn will do. No Elephants though.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.