De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Trust, North West Province
A captive breeding facility for cheetahs and other endangered animals, the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre lies in the foothills of the Magaliesberg, close to Brits and Hartbeespoort Dam.
The privately owned and funded non-profit organisation was established in 1971 by Ann van Dyk on her 65 hectare farm in an effort to breed what was once a threatened species, the cheetah - the population of which was estimated at a mere 700 at around this time. Since its inception, some 500 cheetahs have been raised and re-settled in game reserves throughout South Africa and other countries, proof that a cheetah bred in captivity doesn’t lose its hunting instinct and can adapt quickly to its natural environment.
The centre’s efforts have resulted in the birth of close to 600 cheetah cubs, and since then other rare and endangered animal species have been included in their efforts, such as the wild dog, brown hyaena, serval, suni antelope, blue and red duiker, riverine rabbit and vultures.
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Lesedi, which is seSotho for ‘light’, was initiated in 1995 as a tourist attraction and today features five traditional dwellings, each representing a South African culture: Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Ndebele. Each of these families lives here permanently, looking after cows, chickens and tourists ... more information