- Hands-on participation in Africat’s Annual Big Cat Health Examination
- Expert led by AfriCat, giving a fascinating insight into Namibian big cat conservation
- Time in the Hobatere Concession, shadowing the lion research and community work of AfriCat North
- Explore Etosha National Park, home to big game set against vast salt pans
Working exclusively with AfriCat, Steppes offer a unique conservation tour, with hands-on participation at its core. Gain behind the scenes access to AfriCat’s work at two of its locations – the Okonjima Reserve and the Hobatere Concession – focussing on both cheetahs and lions.
At Okonjima, work beside AfriCat's vets during the reserve’s Annual Big Cat Health Check. Gain unparalleled access to cheetahs during the day-long health check, in the company of Donna Hanssen, head of AfriCat’s rehabilitation programme. You will be on hand throughout the day, helping the vets to ensure all cheetahs are vaccinated and given a thorough health examination.
These days at Okonjima are followed by time spent in Etosha National Park, with the chance to spot big game. This salt-pan-dominated landscape is home black and white rhinos, as well as elephants, lions and numerous antelopes.
From here drive west and spend time exploring the Hobatere Concession, accompanied by Tammy Hoth-Hanssen. Director of the AfriCat Foundation and head of AfriCat North, Tammy is an expert in big cat conservation. Join Tammy and her team as they go about their daily activities, monitoring Hobatere’s resurgent lion population.
A number of individual animals have been fitted with tracking collars, allowing the researchers to closely monitor their movements and behaviour. Also meet with local community leaders to gain an insight into what it really means to live side-by-side with lions and other predators.
WHY SHOULD I JOIN THIS GROUP TOUR?
It offers expert insight into the conservation work being done by AfriCat and its founder Donna Hanssen with luxury accommodation at Okonjima. While at Hobatere Lodge, the group will be joined by Tammy Hoth-Hanssen, Donna’s elder sister, to learn more about AfriCat's Lion Research Project.
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE?
Okonjima Plains Camp is one of Namibia’s most outstanding lodges, while retaining its family-run and welcoming atmosphere. Hobatere Lodge is all about the location and its waterhole. The Hobatere Concession is central to AfriCat’s Lion Research study site and the local pride.
DO I NEED TO BE FIT TO JOIN THIS TOUR?
There is no specific fitness level required.
Apart from their obvious work with big cats, AfriCat were one of the first organisations to fully embrace sensitive tourism as an effective means of supporting conservation.
AfriCat was founded in 1991 on Okonjima Farm in Central Namibia (though officially registered as a non-profit organisation in 1993) whose mission is to contribute to the long term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores. AfriCat was created as a result of information gained on Okonjima when it was still a cattle farm losing calves to leopards and the desire and urgent need of sharing this information with fellow farmers. The consequent contact with numerous farmers and AfriCat’s exposure led to the rescue of many trapped large carnivores. Since 1993, 1080 of these predators were rescued. Over 85% were released back into the wild.
WHAT OTHER WILDLIFE WILL I SEE ON THE TRIP?
This trip focusses on the conservation and rehabilitation of cheetahs, leopards and other predators through AfriCat. Therefore, and due to the necessary protective fencing, no other big game is found within the Okonjima Reserve. However, in the Hobatere Concession, the wildlife is more diverse, with plains game as well as elephants.
The greatest concentrations of wildlife are likely to be seen whilst in Etosha National Park, with many of Southern Africa’s iconic species present here. Look out for large numbers of zebras, oryx and elephants, as well as the occasional leopard or rhino (rarely seen during the day).
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.