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“Get up close to Cheetahs”

Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre
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Wild Cat Experience Tour
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in The Crags
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 March 19, 2014

We had a hour tour around various "Cats" including Leopards, Lynxs, & Cheetahs - good opportunities to take many photographs.

1  Thank BELMONTIpswich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"cheetah walk"
in 234 reviews
"wild cats"
in 173 reviews
"big cats"
in 151 reviews
"photographic tour"
in 32 reviews
"crazy cat"
in 19 reviews
"morning walk"
in 27 reviews
"white lion"
in 43 reviews
"guide peter"
in 14 reviews
"cat lovers"
in 15 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 44 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 66 reviews
"private tour"
in 22 reviews
"south africa"
in 47 reviews
"honey badger"
in 24 reviews
"keep up the good work"
in 17 reviews
"hour tour"
in 34 reviews
"amazing animals"
in 21 reviews

1,083 - 1,087 of 1,655 reviews

Reviewed March 19, 2014

We walked a cheetah - on a lead like walking a dog, an amazing experience. The difference with Tenikwa is it being an awareness centre not a sanctuary which provides a different slant to learning about big cats. Guide had plenty of time to educate us and share his knowledge

Thank Katie085
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Note that you can only visit accompanied by a guide and you will need to sign a disclaimer - so no unsupervised wandering around which is understandable as even though they concentrate on the smaller cats these should not be underestimated. You do enter the enclosures and the guide tries to make the interaction as safe and informative as possible. If you are a keen photographer this is an excellent way to get some really exceptional pictures of animals you would normally never see or only catch an occassional glimpse of in the wild but try to take in the cats in without spending too much time looking through the viewfinder - they are well worth the time and attention. We saw Caracul (Lynx), Serval, African Wildcat , Cheetah - all of these in the enclosures and very close. The only (understandable) exception is the Leopard which is aggressive - as most, if not all of them are, so a fence is necessary between him and visitors - didn't stop him trying to eat the guide the moment his back was turned though, amazing how fast these cats are. Be sure to visit the meercats and tortoises on your way out.

There are lockers for your bags so you can walk around unencumbered, also less of those tempting straps waving around in the wind for cats to play with.

Well worth the visit, we walked Cheetahs in a previous visit to Oudtshoorn which is why we didn't do it this time but for people who have not done this I would recommend it as an experience of a lifetime - makes you appreciate jhe power and grace of these animals.

Thank wolfsbgk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

A group of three couples walked two different cheetahs (they were brother and sister cheetahs) for at least 1 hour through a dirt trail in the forest. The guides were very knowledgeable about the cheetahs' habits. We felt safe the entire time when interacting with these animals. The guides were not at all rushed and we felt that they really tried to give each person ample time with the cheetahs, both walking them and taking photographs with them. The guides were very accommodating in taking good pictures of us with the cheetahs using our cameras. When touring the facilities to see the rest of the cats, we were allowed inside of the wild cat enclosures (for all except the leopard). We were given the chance to see the cheetahs eat a raw steak lunch. We were allowed to interact with some of the cats, depending on how well the guide knew the cat's temperament. For the breakfast snack, a hot-cross-bun, a wedge of wrapped cheese, and a cup of yogurt were offered along with a bottled beverage and tea or coffee. Overall, the experience exceeded our expectations. The combo lasted nearly 4 hours instead of the 3 that were promised. I attribute that to the staff being diligent to ensure that everyone had an equal opportunity to experience interaction with each animal. My only caution is to be sure that you wear pants if you are intending to do the "walk with the cheetahs" tour. My husband wore shorts and was made to wear a pair of borrowed (not freshly washed) pants from the Tenikwa guides.

1  Thank Kacey F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 15, 2014

Astonishing opportunity to get to walk with cheetahs don't think there is enough superlatives to describe this. We were treated to face off between cheetah and bondebok ? Who whilst separated by a high fence were "encouraging" each other to a challenge - quite something to witness. Whilst it's true these animals are raised in captivity and therefore used to human interaction it is truly amazing to get so close to be able to walk with them , pet them and watch their actions. If you can also complete the big cat experience - agin very close to the animals and the leopard (you are not in same enclosure as this cat!) is so beautiful to see . This place has lots to offer and experience - you should not miss it

Thank McArthur3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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