We have 6 servals here at Cheetah Experience, quite often the smaller cats are overlooked compared to the much larger, and some would say more impressive cats… Visitors come to Cheetah Experience expecting to see, well Cheetahs of course… When they drive in they may cast a glance towards the serval enclosures as they pass, and they may question wether they just saw a small cheetah, or something else…. When we explain that what they saw was in fact a Serval.. or in Africaans the tierboskat (tiger bush cat) they show little interest.. Its not until we have entered the enclosure of either Bailey, or Mikey, Angie and Alegra that they quickly become enchanted by these smaller cats… As Alegra weaves in an out of the guest legs, Angie chases shadows in her pool, or Mikey stretches in the most unimaginable positions that their interest grows… Many people ask exclaim that they are almost like house cats, and inevitabley we are asked wether Servals can make good house pets…. The volunteers laugh and explain that while servals are cute and fluffy at times, they are very inquisative, love to jump and that they are still very much wild animals… Anyone who has every had a serval in their house will tell you that nothing is safe from the twitching nose of a serval, things WILL be knocked over, curtains CAN be climbed, Toys WILL not last so long…. then there comes the challange of keeping them contained… Did you know that Servals can jump 3.5 metres straight up!!?? In the wild a Servals diet consists mainly of birds! They jump up and catch the bird in a clapping motionServals will also hunt small mammals, frogs and even fish! Servals have great big ears, a bit like the wolf in Red Riding Hood… ”ÄLL THE BETTER TO HEAR YOU WITH” They can detect even the slightest of movements and catch their prey with a clapping motion! They have a sucess rate of 50% ! Another Unique thing about the Servals is the coat markings, Servals have spots AND stripes…. The stripes extend along the back, their tails have stripe patterns and then on their legs, while the spots fill in the rest of the body… Unfortubnately these striking markings have attracted the attention of poachers, Servals quite often find themselves victim to the fur trade…. It can take 25 Serval pelts to make one fur coat… Shocking hey!! I said before that servals sometimes catch fish and frogs, they have a liking of water that is not unknown in the cat world, but definately not a common thing… most cats as im sure you knoe HATE water…. Leopards and Tigers are a couple of other exceptions…. Our Servals will waste away a whole afternoon puddling about in their pond, or around the trees where we have watered… If Angie gets a hold of the hose however then we HAVE a problem!!! A tug of war contest begins!! Its a battle of wills that the volunteers struggle to win… so now we have to be a bit smarter and make sure Angie is put into the other camp with the door firmly closed! Once you know all these Serval facts im sure you will fall a little bit more in love with these Wonderous cats! Claire
The British Engineer who moved to South Africa after falling in love with the country, left a legacy behind for Cheetah Experience after being brutally murdered on his farm in Ficksburg.
Chris Preece was passionate about wildlife and when he visited Cheetah Experience a few years ago he found a project filled with like minded people, Cheetah Experience was a place that he always wanted to do something for…
After his death his wife Felicity, and his children, decided to honour his love for Cheetah Experience, and made a huge donation to our project.
This is the biggest ever donation we have received and we will be forever greatful.
The family contacted Riana and invited her to fetch the items, Riana was flabergasted by the generosity… The list was extensive.. We thank the family and Chris for the following:
Wooden Chest, Saagtafel, Tractor, Bussiekapper, Weed eater, Fire Fighter, Gardening Tools, Isuzu IDV, Trailor, Drill, Solar Cooker, Bunk beds and matresses, High pressure washer, Spotlight, Paint, Vacuum Cleaner, Welder and Helmet, Leaf Blower and a breakfast nook with bench.
These items will be very useful on and around the farm and we can never express our gratitute fully..
Thank you Chris and Family for thinking about and helping us, May Chris’s memory forveer live on in our hearts..
Every day I think the same thing: how is it possible that I have been in this wonderful and magical place for 3 months already? It feels like I arrived yesterday, not knowing what was coming or if I would even like being here.
Along the way I’ve gotten to know so many gorgeous animals and even more amazing people! Cheetah Experience is a place that brings like-minded people together. We are all here for 3 reasons: faith, hope and love. Faith that every day will be a good one and the pieces of each of our personal puzzles will fall in the right spot. Hope for not only the animals here, but all animals on this beautiful planet. Hope that they will continue to survive and one day thrive again in the wild. And love, so much love! Love for the animals we get to develop such a strong bond with and love for all the wonderful people we get to know in the process!
I’ve spent most of my time here on the cheetah side and got the privilege to work closely with both the cheetahs and the staff members. I can honestly say that Cheetah Experience crawled its way into my heart and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere. I was supposed to fly home tomorrow after an amazing 3 months in South Africa. Just the thought of leaving made me cringe, so I decided to prolong my stay and I’m ecstatic to be able to stay an additional 2,5 months.
I know I will have to go home at some point, but that will not be tomorrow! And even now I can already say: beware Cheetah Experience, I WILL be back!!!
Stephanie De Clercq