Best Decision of my life!

March 16th, 2014

I came from Germany to South Africa without knowing what it will be like to be so far away from home in a different country for the first time. It was like a jump into cold water.

Now I am here for 1,5 week and I am happy. I feel so alive and every single day is like dreaming. I thought a lot about how it will be, but I wasn’t even close.

Since my arrival, I got accepted by alpha wolf Shakira at the first day, played with Baby leopards and baby cheetahs and saw them growing so fast, I couldn’t believe it. I danced through the warm African rain and walked through a field of grass watching caracal jack moving so easily and elegant forward. I slept next to the lions and wolfs and woke up by them cowling and howling in the morning.

We live together in a House near the farm. We go out for dinner or made a traditional Taco-Night at Friday in the evening. If though you don’t really know each other, you feel like you are part of a big family.

Every single day is different and a wonderful experience. This place is full of love and hope for a better world. All the volunteers and the staff members are helping each other. I never felt so fast so good at a unknown place. From the arrival until now I feel welcome and needed.

The animals give you so much and the people also.

I am just here for three weeks. Time is going by so fast. I wish I could stay here for a half year or longer. I never was happy like this for such a long time.

Before I came here, I struggled with trust in people and often thought there is too much sadness and need in the world. I was often thinking about the sense of life and asked myself: Is this everything? Or is there more?

Now I know there is more. Feeling this love and faith and see how strong the people are in this place, especially Riana, makes me believe in humanity again.

I never thought that I could change my sight of life so much in such a short time.

Thank you to all the animals at CE, all the volunteers and especially Riana & Rene, for making me so happy and filling my heart with trust and hope. I will never forget you for the rest of my life!


Karen – Germany

My time at Cheetah Experience

March 10th, 2014

Cheetah Experience is an amazing place, where I would love to stay forever.  Every day we have some jobs to do, but there is still some time we can spend with animals. Every day I say hello to my lovely caracals, which have stolen my heart on the very first day. They always come to me to cuddle and give kisses. I then go to our amazing wolves. I am so happy that they have accepted me already on my first day of staying at Cheetah Experience, because of my lovely friend Ina, who introduced me to them J. I continue my walk to say hello to the leopards and I go to the severals to cuddle them for a while.  Every time I am at the other side of the farm I play and cuddle my lovely cheetah, Eden who  has also stolen my heart. I love to cuddle Eden and Faith or lie with them for a while. Already twice I have slept with them and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Eden came to me and literally slept in my arms, Faith slept on my back. It was so sweet. I will remember these nights forever.

My favorite are the leopards.  They are so amazing. We don’t interact directly with Misschief, but she gives me kisses through the fence or comes to be cuddled. When we went for a walk with Zorro, he cuddled me and it was such an amazing moment. I love him so much. I have to mention also Orion, our five month old leopard. We babysit him and normally he is very playful, but he can also be a cute one. He always tries to stalk me, but it is enough to tell him “I see you” and he stops.

At Cheetah Experience I met wonderful people, especially the founders of the place Riana and Rene, who have a special place in my heart, Poofy and Keal, who makes it possible to play and go for a walk with Zorro and I am very grateful for every minute I spend with this beautiful and amazing leopard, Alessa, who I work with on cheetah side.  I can’t name every volunteer, but they are very special and wonderful people who make stay here great.


Waking up to a cheetah purring on my pillow…

March 5th, 2014


I realized it is dawn from the first sunlight shines through my eyelids. I slowly opened my eyes finding him laying on my pillow facing towards me. He looked at me with his long and curved eyelash brushed up twice, and his gentle purring sound grew louder.

It is the first time I sleep with a cheetah through the night. His name is Gabriel, a cute naughty cheetah boy of six months of age. He loves to grab you with a “hug”, and he wants to challenge any cheetah that walk pass him. Despite how much of a little bully he is, everyone loves him for he has a face of an angel. 


Life here as a volunteer is not only about beautiful moments like when you wake up with a cheetah lying beside you. There are times that I was holding a dead chicken with guts dangling around; times I saw millions of maggots under the animals’ leftovers when I was cleaning the enclosure; or times I have to scoop a smelly sticky poop with flies buzzing around. 


However, these slightly uncomfortable feelings will soon be covered with joy that the most ordinary volunteer life here would present to you. Whether it is the blue sky filled with hornbills and propeller planes flying by, or the watching the high grass that cheetahs move about in , whether it is the feeling of a furry paw that a baby leopard placed on your hand or the mysterious long black hair on a caracal’s ear brushing past your cheek. All these scenes have filled my heart with happiness that nothing can compare. Everything is just worth it. 

Half past six in the morning, Gabriel gave me a morning kiss while he was grooming his paw. A quarter past seven I grab a poop scoop and started walking in Camp 1. The morning sun sparkled on the dewdrops making the lawn a land of diamond. My feet gradually get soaked but there is a smile upon my face..


Wuyou – China