conservation

Cheetah Experience

New ownership of Inverdoorn Private Game Reserve welcomed a new model for cheetah conservation and wildlife rehabilitation. Just days after taking ownership of the reserve, Searl Derman, founder and owner of the Aquila Collection, made a bold industry announcement that a strict “no touch” policy and ethics committee was to be immediately implemented. 

Today, the cheetah conservation programme – with its responsible and ethical format – offers an engaging guest experience, providing valuable community involvement within Inverdoorn’s rehabilitation initiatives while also providing vital cheetah educational opportunities for guests on safari. Staying true to the reserve’s core wildlife conservation focus, the cheetah programme is designed to rehabilitate and release captive-bred or injured cheetahs back into their natural habitat.

Inverdoorn’s cheetah conservation activities and optional safari add-ons include:

  • Viewing of the Cheetah Run from an elevated, zero impact position.
  • Immersive Cheetah Educational tour, led by an experienced reserve ranger.
  • All activities have a strict NO touching and NO interaction policy.

Educational Experience

Feedback

The initial committee inspection of the Inverdoorn Cheetah Conservation project confirmed 15 animals in captivity – cared for by experienced and dedicated handlers. The animals have excellent quality of life which ensure they remain in good condition.

Previously, guests were allowed to touch the animals during various times on their safari stay but, since the implementation of the policy update, all animals interactions have been stopped. As part of the new rehabilitation process, a number of cheetah still have to run for their supper by chasing a lure down a runway—reaching speeds of up to 120kmph. At the end point, they are rewarded with food. Overnight Safari Guests are invited to observe this incredible scene from an elevated vantage point.

Spot the Big Cat

Cheetah are easily identified by their golden coats and solid black spots. Their facial markings, identified by two black tear-marks, are also distinct.

The Need for Speed

Cheetahs are natural-born runners. Famous for being the world’s fastest land animal, they can reach speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour / 75 miles per hour.

A Natural Gymnast

Cheetahs are remarkably agile, with a flexible skeleton that helps them manoeuvre and long, muscular tail that helps them ‘steer’ while running at high speeds.

cheetah programme

Inverdoorn's cheetah rehabilitation camps are designed to promote natural interactions between the cheetahs, which has led to the successful birth of three litters, a rare achievement in captivity.

In the final stages of rehabilitation, it is important to expose animals to stimuli that they will encounter in the wild, such as prey, opportunities to run and mate, and other animals of their species. This helps to prepare them for release and increase their chances of survival.

Three months before release, animals are typically given only whole-body diets, fast days are increased, and human contact is restricted. This helps to wean the animals off human dependence and encourage them to hunt and forage for food on their own.

The programme includes one fast day per week, which mimics the natural hunting behaviour of the cheetah. The areas are also positioned for optimal natural enrichment, including high vantage points, trees for shade and exercise, water holes, and other items such as skins, bones, and hooves.

Cheetah diet and exercise are extremely important to their well-being, and we greatly prioritize this at our reserve.

We provide our cheetahs with a varied diet, including full-feathered birds, red meat, game meat, and rabbit. This diet is designed to meet their nutritional needs and to help them maintain a healthy weight.

Inverdoorn is continuously working to achieve the goal of a Global Conservation Project, bringing together wildlife enthusiasts and much-needed support from all around the world. Following the success of our cheetah rescue initiative, Inverdoorn’s conservation project is seeking to evolve the current rehabilitation project and we are calling on corporate sponsors to help fund a 5000-hectare release area.

Sponsorship requests are made in various forms, from monetary donations to the supply of much-needed products and resources. The call for aid comes at a crucial time during the success of our cheetah breeding and rehabilitation programme, as the reserve embarks on a massive project—building a 5000 hectare, fenced area for the cheetahs to co-exist with other large wildlife (rhino, buffalo, giraffe) as well as other suitable prey (springbok, blesbok, ostrich).