Canned hunting is where the target animal is unfairly prevented from escaping the hunter, either by physical constraints (fencing) or by mental constraints (tame, habituated to humans) - Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH)
Tiger and lion bone trade:
Tiger and lion bone trade is the illegal poaching and/or legal breeding of these species to be killed for body parts which are used in Asian traditional medicine. The multibillion-dollar business of buying and selling articles such as fur and bones of protected wildlife, is one of the largest sources of criminal earnings, second to arms smuggling and drug trafficking.
One of Panthera Africa's main purposes is to create awareness around the canned hunting industry, and be part of the solution to the thousands of captive lions being exploited at the many cub-petting, breeding and hunting farms all around South Africa. Did you know that the cubs get torn away from the mother so she is left to breed again, whilst the cubs get hand reared for the tourism and hunting industry? The adorable cubs are used as a marketing tool all over the world to attract thousands of tourists and volunteers to interact with them, in order to make them tame to be easily hunted as an adult - either for a trophy or for its body parts. The price to shoot a tame lion and claim its head as a trophy is up to R350.000, which is paid by the many Americans (contributes to over 50% of the lions killed), Europeans and Asians visiting South Africa.
Breeding Farms in South Africa
The 174 South African breeding farms, housing around 8 000 captive born lions, argue that they are conserving the wild lion population by letting hunters shoot a captive-bred lion rather than exploiting the endangered wild populations. But the numbers speak for themselves as the wild lion population has decreased by over 80% over the last 20 years leaving less than 20 000 lions in the wild.
Petitions for protection of wildlife
With petitions being handed in to governments all around the world to establish strict laws and regulations for animal welfare, there will hopefully come an end to these unethical actions in the near future. And when the laws finally change, Panthera Africa will be safe havens for these lions and tigers, where they can prosper for the rest of their lives under the African sun.
Panthera Africa will secure a prosperous future for lions and other big cats, and give them the opportunity to live the life they are meant for. "
Have you ever wondered why caracals have tufts (hair) on their ears, why lions roar and why leopards are called elusive and shy?"
Come and visit Panthera Africa, and our knowledgeable and passionate staff/volunteers will educate you on interesting facts about the different species, and enlighten you on our animals' unique personalities. You will be able to see, hear and enjoy everything these animals have to offer.
We strongly believe in the importance of educating you about animal welfare and conservation, and bring to your attention the truth behind the many breeding farms and cub petting facilities. We will also inform you about the wild population of big cats and the threaths they face in the wild with regards to human-animal conflicts.
In addition to our EDUCATIONAL visit, as explained above, you also have the option to join our ENRICHMENT visit. Here you have the opportunity to photograph the animals in action – playing, pouncing, sniffing and exploring…. We can promise you an exciting and unforgettable experience!
*Remember to wear some sturdy and comfortable shoes for your walking experience, and of course bring your camera!*
Educational visit - prebooking essential!
- Time: Everyday except Tuesdays @ 10am and/or 3pm depending on availability (April - September) and 9am and/or 4pm depending on availability (October - March)
- Please arrive 15min prior to your visit
- Price: R150 per child under 13 yrs, R240 per adult and R190 per pensioner. Families of 4+ and memberships get 10% discount.
Enrichment visits - prebooking essential!
- Special arrangements and times - must be booked 1 week in advance. Minimum of 5 people.
- Price: R490 per adult – no children under 16 years allowed
Zoo conditions worldwide
The whole world is increasingly focusing on animal welfare and the protecting of Wildlife and nature as a whole. People are becoming more aware of the conditions wild animals such as lions and tigers, suffer under in zoos and circuses worldwide. They are kept in miniature cages, often abused and starved – all for the purpose of income from public viewing.
The captive animals are deprived of their natural environment without any or little stimuli, enrichment or hiding place from the public gaze. The animals become frustrated, unenriched and bored, and many develop the so called "zoochosis". Have you ever observed a captive animal pace repeatedly, twist and roll its neck unnaturally, rock and sway back and forth, or even inflict self-mutilation? If the answer is yes, then you sadly have experienced this condition first handedly. And even worse; as the public has started to witness and complain about the horrific scenes, some zoos are giving animals mood-altering drugs, such as Prozac, to "handle" the problem and keep the complaints under control.
Some zoos are experiencing surplus problems, and are euthanizing perfectly healthy lions and tigers. They over breed to ensure constant cubs for the tourist to pet and then run out of space to house them as adults. Their lives consist of a dirty, dark enclosure as small as a bedroom, where many suffer from malnutrition, and never even feel grass under their paws!
Cruel exploitation of animals in circuses
There is no wild animal that on its own will want to jump through burning hoops, or sit on a chair, or give a high-5! This comes from years of harsh punishments and beating. The animals have no voice to say no, and act out of fear – not choice. There is an absolute need to expose the reality of the psychological and physical agony the animals face under training, housing and transportation.
Many international organisations have over the years worked very hard to free wildlife from circuses, and the work is paying off! Many countries have already implemented a ban, and there are many more to come. Together with a wealth of international organisations and wildlife activists, Panthera Africa will be part of the solution and save lions and tigers, and through their unique stories create awareness about the truth behind the scenes.
Wild animals are NOT "pets"
Wild animals are surprisingly often kept captive in private homes as "pets." When in the hands of private individuals, the animals themselves may suffer. These animals do not adjust well to a captive environment, for they require special care, housing, diet, and maintenance that the average person cannot provide. As a result, individuals who possess exotic animals often attempt to change the nature of the animal rather than the nature of the care provided. When many possessors realize they can no longer care for an exotic "pet", they turn to zoos and other institutions such as sanctuaries to take over the responsibility. However, there are not enough zoos and accredited institutions to possibly accommodate the number of unwanted "pets", and as a result, most of these animals are either euthanized, abandoned, or doomed to live in deplorable conditions (source: Born Free USA).
Be the change you want to see
"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity" - George Bernard Shaw
As more and more countries are uniting to free wild animals from zoos, the need for safe havens like Panthera Africa is essential. Partnering up with animal welfare organisations and activists, Panthera Africa will create a safe haven for these beautiful animals, and give them a chance of the best captive life possible. They will learn to live side by side with humans, and see that life can be prosperous and enriching.
As Panthera Africa pursues animal welfare we are proud to offer the following credible services to implement the change we envision and propel:
Corporates, youth groups and schools
Conservation, inspiration, education, business-based or tailor-made packages. Kindly enquire. From children to teenagers and adults we share the magic to empower yourself to live your dreams, ignite your passion and conquer the fears holding you back. The ordinary person appears at times to be an empty vessel occasionally searching for meaning and understanding in life and work. We hold deep within us a purpose to serve the greater good. Respect, love, kindness, compassion and selfless giving are the cornerstones of being successful on your life journey.
Educational packages for schools
We agree with Nelson Mandela saying that “Education is the most powerful tool which you can use to change the world”. As soon as we have funding in place, we will build an Education Centre where various interactive teaching aids, talks and activities will be implemented into the school curriculum. By creating new thought patterns and engaging the youth on a holistic manner we can empower them to think globally about conservation and to become active and responsible citizens. By uniting schools from all over the world, we enable new stories to be told, dreams to be created and human consciousness to rise further. School visits will happily be arranged. Kindly enquire, and let’s unite for a brighter future.
Our Community Project - The Pebbles Project
We are proud to be in cooperation with The Pebbles project, who share our vision around the importance of education and the holistic approach to a brighter tomorrow! The Pebbles Project works with children and families in the Winelands farming communities in the Western Cape and focusses on the entire life of the child and the challenging circumstances in which they live in order to make a significant and lasting difference. The children are regularly coming to join our educational visits, and our volunteers have the opportunity to visit the project and engage with the children for a lasting educational impact. To read more: The Pebbles Project
Big Cat Facilities
We offer practical tips, guidelines and advice in the process of re-engineering all spheres of your facility by incorporating ethical business practices. This could be financial restructuring, rethinking your mission statement and the role you wish to play in developing a global conservation network.
Panthera Africa can arrange an orchestrated visit with a specialised veterinarian who will conduct an overall assessment of the individual animals and implement services which may include contraceptives, sterilising and vasectomising.
Organisation and involvement in all aspects for animal rescue missions.
Specialised advice linked to the set-up of feeding plans and routines, in addition to implementation of an enrichment program for the various big cats.
Design and layout of enclosures based on animal welfare and behaviour.
Panthera Africa will come to your facility, feel free to enquire.
Animals communicate regularly through telepathy which is the most basic form of communication. It’s an ability we are all born with. As humans we learn to rely on verbal communication only and our telepathic skills are pushed aside. But, when humans are given the proper mindset and training we have the ability to communicate telepathically with all species. It is a form of distant communication that does not require being in each other’s presence. Telepathic animal communication is natural; everyone can talk with animals!
- Animal communication before, during and after animal rescues and relocations
- Beneficial to domestic and wild animals
- Missing and lost animal work
- Animal behaviour queries
- Presentation of certified animal communication workshops
Human versus wildlife conflict
Our team is very willing to assist with relocating animals that are caught in traps and cages. We have some very successful stories with happy endings for both human and wild animal. Cape Nature is involved in the process and at all times we follow their guidance, advice and final approval. A nominal fee is charged and will depend on the situation and action needed to be taken. Assistance and advice is a phone call away!
Currently we are conducting research involving the use of lion faeces for farmers in keeping away animals that threaten their livestock/business. We gather the faeces when cleaning enclosures and package the faeces which can be collected from us. Lion faeces can be placed around greenhouses, property borders or near livestock. This a natural and alternative way in which one can prevent human versus wildlife conflict. Contact us for more information.
Unique Volunteer Project
Panthera Africa's founders, Cathrine & Lizaene, started their journey as volunteers in South Africa, and this journey lead to a dream, now a reality, filled with passion …"
We believe in the equal importance of both humans and animals, and we will do our absolute best to give you the holiday of a lifetime. We know from personal experience that this includes both quality time with animals, as well as with staff and the other volunteers.
Hearing a lion roar up close, getting love and recognition from a leopard, hearing the chuffing of a tiger, or seeing them appreciate and love the toys you make to enrich their lives = BLISS.
In addition to the indescribable bonds you will form with the animals, friendships will be formed and together at the end of the day we all can share stories, hopes and dreams around the bonfire with a cold drink watching the famous African sunset.
The international volunteer project will offer you the unique opportunity to be involved behind the scenes - daily tasks will include:
- Caring for the amazing big cats
- Enrichment program
- Preparation of food and feeding
- Cleaning and maintaining enclosures
- General farm work
- Educating visitors
During your holiday with us you will become a part of our family and enjoy our modern, yet cozy home. The house is situated in the middle of the property, so you will be mesmerized by the spectacular mountain view and feel at peace with nature whilst listening to the lions roar. The house consists of 5 bedrooms with 5 bathrooms, a spacious and fully equipped kitchen, a big living and dining room area, indoor and outdoor braai with a nice swimming pool to cool down during hot summer days. You will be sharing a room with 3 new volunteer friends, or optionally enjoy our couples room. For the nature lovers and brave-hearted people, you also have the choice to spend a night or two in hammocks by our old ruins under the African stars.
We will provide you with breakfast and lunch, while you cater for your own dinner. You have the choice of cooking a nice homemade meal, or enjoy one of the many restaurants close by. You will be taken on a weekly shopping trip, where you can buy groceries and other items from the many shops available. Do not be too surprised if you find Lizaene outside some of the evenings having a good old South African braai, where she will accommodate any food you like to put on the grill!
What you need to bring
From personal experience we know there are millions of questions running through your head when it comes to packing and what to bring. It is so easy to over pack your suitcase with lots of things you will never use, so here is a list of essential items you should bring when you come to us as a volunteer;
CLOTHES AND SHOES - Panthera Africa is situated in what you can call the modern Africa, but even so you can expect to get your hands and cloths dirty. So remember to bring outdoor clothes that you can, in worst case, leave behind if they get too worn out. The summers are hot, both day and night, so bring light clothes and shoes. Even though winter temperatures do not fall below 10 degrees, the wind, periodical rain and coastal humidity is unpredictable, so make sure to bring nice warm clothes, waterproof jacket and trouser. We do have a washing machine so it is sufficient to bring the amount of clothes for one week. There will be the opportunity to go out for meals and some fun in Hermanus and Cape Town, so if you like to dress up a little bit, some nicer clothes will come in handy.
Shoes are always something ladies love to bring with, but you do not need too many! We recommend three different pairs of shoes so you have got a mixture to suit you and the weather conditions. Comfortable, hard wearing shoes/boots/wellingtons will be the main thing, in addition to a suitable pair of sandals and flip flops for those warm days on the farm and when we head off to the beach! So if you are coming in summer, remember that we have a nice swimming pool so bring your bathing suit and a bathing towel.
WEATHER - The weather in the Western Cape various from warm summers (October to March), chilly and rainy autumn and winter (April to July), and fresh spring days (August and September), so make sure to pack for the right months. It is always wise to look at the weather forecasts as the seasons do vary a lot.
TOILETRIES – This is Africa and the sun is very hot, so please bring suncream with a high factor and a soothing aftersun. You can expect a visit or two from the many insects that live together with us on the farm, so make sure to bring the lifesaving insect repellant, and the itch-soothing lotion. We know some of you are crazy about the anti-bacterial face/hand wipes, so bring it with, but not a necessity. We are very down to earth on the farm, but bring some make up if you like to dress up a little bit for a fun night out!
FIRST AID KIT – You will be working with animals, in addition to doing some physical work, so bring plasters and bandages for those 'just in case' situations. The sun is hot and it is easy to get a bit dehydrated at times, so some rehydration packets and Paracetamol are always worth packing.
LIGHTWEIGHT TRAVEL SLEEPING BAG – We do provide duveys with linen and a towel, but if you might want to sleep outside by the old ruins, the travel sleeping bags can come in handy. If you fancy going on an extra trip during your stay, or you would simply like an extra layer in bed when it is cold, the travel sleeping bag might become your best friend!
VACCINATIONS – For all travelers; make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine and polio vaccine. In addition we recommend Hepatitis A, typhoid and rabies.
For some travelers; you can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so this vaccine is recommended if you might get a tattoo or piercing. If you want to travel to the northern South Africa provinces (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo (Northern part where Kruger National Park is situated), and Mpumalanga), then malaria tablets might be recommended. There is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa. The government of South Africa requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.
BANK AND TRAVEL INSURANCE – We advise that you have this with you at all times, and make sure that your insurance covers working with wildlife.
Being situated close to many of South Africa's top tourist attractions - Cape Town with its Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point to mention some, Hermanus with its unbelievable whale watching cove and wine tasting, Gansbaai with its spectacular white shark diving, and some of the world's most amazing beaches on your door step, makes this experience a perfect holiday.
- LOOKING FORWARD TO SHARING OUR DREAM WITH YOU -
Enrichment Program & Team Building
Enrichment Program - Get excited!
Panthera Africa believes in enriching our captive big cats' lives through a variety of activities. Our certified enrichment program will include:
- Feeding enrichment – meat is either hung, hidden or attached to an obstacle
- Sensory enrichment – different smell, tastes, textures are used
- Physical enrichment – animal must jump, climb, chase and catch different obstacles
- Environmental enrichment – move or add objects/structures in enclosure
We also offer the opportunity for visitors to experience the enrichment program – seeing, hearing and capturing these precious active moments.
Team Building - build memories of a life time!
We offer the unique opportunity for both big and small groups of family, friends or Companies to be hands-on involved in our enrichment program. The day will consist out of two parts – First part (morning) will be where creativity and teamwork play a big role with the making of toys, building of natural structures and creating enrichment through different smells, textures and objects. You will then have the pleasure of enjoying a lovely lunch basket in our beautiful surroundings, before heading off to the second part of the day which includes the implementation and observation of the various enrichment activities made earlier. And remember – the more creative you are with the making of the enrichment, the better reward you will get when the animals receive their treats. So let yourself loose, and be ready for some action and lots of fun!
Special arrangements involved – pre-booking is essential
Price will depend on amount of people and equipment required