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“A marvellous place doing great work”

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre
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Cheetah Walk and Wild Cat Experience
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Wild Cat Experience Tour
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Wild Cat Photographic Tour
Ranked #2 of 15 things to do in The Crags
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Tenikwa grew from humble beginnings in 2002 when the owners started rehabilitating injured birds in a wooded shed behind their house. Today Tenikwa has grown to be one of the largest active Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres in the Western Cape, attending to a diverse variety of animals accepting both terrestrial and marine mammals and birds. Rehabilitating injured and abandoned Wildlife with the goal to release them back to the wild. Our centre rescue, rehabilitate and release between 250 - 450 wild animals annually. We work closely with nature/conservation authorities in our area, CapeNature, SANParks, BirdLife, and SANCCOB. Our Awareness Centre ensures that our Rehabilitation facilities are sustainable, funding the rehabilitation work and to raise awareness of the conservation issues in South Africa, Tenikwa offers various, programs throughout the day, catering for all ages and fitness levels with a focus on providing a conservation-based, informative tour. Guests learn about the indigenous wild cats of South Africa and why they are disappearing from our landscape.Species include African Wild Cats, Serval, Caracal, Cheetah, Leopard and Lions. 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: Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Tenikwa offers close and safe inter active encounters with some fabulous indigenous cats, e.g.
servals, cheetahs, caracals. They also have a leopard in a large enclosure and we were lucky enough to stand underneath this majestic animal and view it close up.
In their brochure they say, "be they big, be they small, spotted, furry or feathered the creatures of Tenikwa will charm their way into your heart"..... and they will, even the less than pretty Storks !
A great place to spend time and study the animals up close and personal.

Thank scarpered
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,114 - 1,118 of 1,576 reviews

Reviewed October 13, 2013

What an awesome experience we had at Tenikwa today ... Our guide Jacob was brilliant and an asset to the centre.

Thank vanessa j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

We took the sunrise Cheetah walk during our honeymoon. We left Plett at around 6.30am and got to the centre (about 20 minutes outside) for 7am. They serve teas and coffees and you watch a short video. The guides clearly love what they do and it really comes across. Following this, you go and meet your cheetahs. They aren't rehabilitated wild Cheetahs as that would be dangerous but are rather bred for captivity and are used to human interaction.

We were a group of two, and there was an additional group of two older people and a sole male around our age. The forms you fill in ask you of your level of fitness. We're both around 30 and go to the gym most days. We're therefore pretty fit. We had expected three Cheetahs to share between the group i.e. one for myself and my partner, one for the older couple and one for the male as you hold them between two of you. In the end, rather strangely, we had to share a Cheetah with the older couple for at least three quarters of the walk whilst the other person had a Cheetah for himself. This didn't work at all well. Its a very expensive experience and it felt, at times, that we were trailing after the other couple walking their Cheetah. In the end, I made a comment about it and they took us over to the more active Cheetah and we got to spend some time with him.

Following this, we spent quite some time walking around the other enclosures seeing all manner of cats and birds. Its definitely worth tagging on this general tour to the Cheetah experience.

Thank BeccaB521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2013

We took the regular tour first and then did the “walk with the cheetah’s” afterwards. This was one of the highlights of our trip to South Africa. The guides were very informative and personable. They took our camera and took tons of pictures of us walking with the cheetahs!

Thank goldfield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2013

The folk at Tenikwa work to help injured or abandoned animals, using those who can't, for whatever reason, be released back into the wild to educate visitors in ways to get along with South African wildlife, instead of exterminating it as being inconvenient to their production of sheep/goats/cattle, whatever!
As such, it was a real eye-opener as to how very few of the population of the African big cats still survive!
Apparently the total population of Cheetahs is down to between 5,000 and 7,500!
One of the aims of Tenikwa is to educate the farmers that there are other, non-lethal ways of deterring Cheetah depredation of livestock, such as using deterrent animals - Anatolian Sheepdogs or Llamas, for instance.
Want to see how very dangerous Cheetahs are?
Do as we did! Join either a Sunrise, or a Sunset, and walk with a pair of them!
Maximum of six visitors, three handlers and two Cheetahs.
The walk is at a pace dictated by the cats, and goes where THEY want to go.
When they want to stop, we stop.
Did you know that Cheetahs are the only big cats that purr?
The ones at Tenikwa love being stroked, especially their heads, and they adore being tickled behind the ears! When my wife was stroking Tandi Tandi turned her head and gently licked my wife's hand!
Are they ill treated? Absolutely NO WAY!!!
They would definitely not have such a friendly response to visitors, or handlers, if they were!!
If they wanted to they could easily take off by themselves, despite being in a harness (they are prevented from walking loose by local Regulations). However, since the land around is quite wooded it is unlikely they would be able to hunt and survive.
When we got back we all went into their enclosure whilst they were fed not ten feet (about a half seconds worth of leap!) away from us. They made absolutely no objection at all to our presence.
If you go anywhere near Plettenburg Bay you absolutely MUST visit, and support, this establishment!!
They are doing good work in trying to educate people about how to live WITH wildlife, instead of shooting it!!!
However, if you go there with a young child, be prepared that you might be told that the child is not tall enough to join the walk. There is a 1.5 metre height limit.
Also, closed toe shoes are an essential requirement since the Cheetahs could decide that toes look like nice playthings, and Cheetahs are the only cats with non-retractable claws. They might be playing, but you might not appreciate the subtleties! :-)
Tenikwa - www.tenikwa.com

Thank Jaykprime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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