I first heard about Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) from a fantastic post by Wayfaring Views and knew that I had to visit during my trip to Namibia. Founded in 1990, the CCF has created a set of integrated, evidence-based programs focused on saving the cheetah from extinction.
CCF is a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. Laurie Marker to help conserve the dwindling numbers of cheetah in Namibia. In the 1980s, thousands of cheetahs were killed, a large number by farmers who blamed them for killing their livestock. Dr. Marker knew that Namibian farmers themselves would be key to protecting cheetah and ultimately increasing their numbers. To this end, Dr. Marker began talking to local farmers.
1. Educating farmers - CCF educates farmers about cheetah as well as how to identify which predator actually killed their livestock. Cheetahs are shown to be responsible for only 3% of predation of livestock. Farmer collectives have also been formed in effort to further decrease human wildlife conflict.
2. Dog breeding – CCF breeds, raises, and trains Anatolian shepherd and Kangal dogs that will help to protect livestock from predators. They sell these dogs for a small fee to local farmers. Their waiting list is now in the hundreds and hundreds of dogs have been placed so far.
5. Education – CCF visits classrooms around the country as well as hosts student groups at their site to help educate others about cheetah conservation.
6. Environmental conservation – CCF understands the importance of saving the environment to save the cheetah and so they are committed to doing their part. For example, CCF removes overgrown native thornbushes and uses them to manufacture Bushblok, a high-heat, low-emission log to burn for fuel and cooking.
FACT: An ultra-flexible spine, a tail like a rudder, long legs, and semi-retractable claws allow the cheetah to run up to 110 kmh/70mph. It is the fastest land animal in the world.
FACT: The“tear marks” that cheetahs have help reflect the glare of the sun when they are hunting during the day and help them aim and stay focused on their prey when hunting.
- Allow 2-4 hours for a visit, depending on what activities you want to take part in.
- Check out all of the activities available at CCF!
- Be aware that there may be a school or community group may be there when you are. We tried to ensure the children stood in front of us to hear and see best; we felt it was more important for them to take it all in before us.
- There is a restaurant on-site; the food is delicious and very reasonably-priced. Also check out Dancing Goat Creamery!
- There are even accommodations available at CCF if you'd like to stay a night.
- Be sure to visit the gift shop, located in reception.