After more than two months of being confined at home, many are yearning for nature, and local wildlife organisations and businesses now rely on residents to help them survive the Covid-19 lockdown.
According to the level 3 regulations, game farms and parks are now allowed to open for self-drive excursions or hiking. People are only allowed to visit parks or games farms in their own province.
The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in De Wildt, which solely relies on tourism to look after the big cats in their care, has been hit hard by the lockdown, even to the extent that their Telkom lines had to be disconnected.
“Without tours, we had no income and to feed our animals was a challenge,” says Petro van Eeden. “We are so thankful to the public that donated funds through our Backabuddy project. With this we were able to provide food and care for our 150 animals for April and May. The dedication and hard work of our team of essential workers made all the difference. We are not sure how we will get though the next few months, but we will not give up. Our animals rely on us…”
The non-profit centre will now open its gates to visitors who want to take a nature hike in the cheetah centre and experience the beautiful scenery and the cheetah at the foothills of the Magaliesberg Mountain.
“Because we cannot allow self-drive tours, we are now offering hikes which actually offers a more personal experience among the cheetah.” Visitors will be able to choose between a short and a long hiking trail. Visitors will only be allowed by appointment and masks are mandatory. Visitors must also strictly adhere to social distancing and groups of people will not be allowed. The walking tours cost R150 per adult and R100 per child (8-12). Children under 8 enter for free.
For more information and to book your outing, contact 063 693 7403.
The Lion & Safari Park offers self-drive excursion from Thursday, 4 June, from 08:00 to 17:00.
All Covid-19 safety regulations will be adhered to and public spaces are santised regularly. People can bring their own refreshments, but snacks and beverages will be available from the takeaway kiosk. Entrance fees are R195 for adults, R100 for pensioners and children under 12 get in for free.
Contact the park on 087 150 0100 for more information.
Ukutula Game Reserve also offers bush walks and hiking trails for visitors on an appointment basis. Visitors will be able to purchase takeaway meals and snacks from the restaurant to enjoy in the lovely bushveld environment.
Booking is essential. Contact 082 067 8052/071 831 9257.