Did you know?
The evolution of cheetahs can be traced back 4 million years.
Cheetahs are an endangered species, with less than 1 000 in South Africa and less than 7 500 in the world. The Cheetah Outreach project was established at Spier Wine Estate in 1997, but has since moved to Somerset West. Its aim is to address the conflict between cheetahs and South African farmers.
Cheetahs need to eat and often their meal of choice is livestock like sheep. This has resulted in farmers killing them to protect their commercial interests.
The Cheetah Outreach breeds and trains Anatolian shepherd dogs, who have for centuries guarded flocks of sheep from predators such as cheetahs. Once trained, these dogs are given to farmers, ensuring that cheetahs find other sources of food and farmers can retain their livelihood.
The funding for the breeding and training of these dogs, comes from the people who visit the Cheetah Outreach. You can get up close to these magnificent cats and learn all sorts of interesting facts about them. At a small extra charge, you can even get photographs of yourself touching a cheetah or handling a fluffy cub.
The tour guides at the facility are very passionate and knowledgeable - happy to answer any questions that visitors may have about cheetahs or Anatolian shepherds.
While only the trainers are permitted to handle the temperamental dogs, visitors can see them to get an idea of their size and shape.
The Cheetah Outreach not only provides employment opportunities for locals, but also excellent opportunities for South African and international volunteers. So come and meet these speedy predators and help contribute to the survival of the species.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 6850
How to get here
From Cape Town, take the N2 towards Somerset West. Take the R44 (Broadway Boulevard/Stellenbosch) offramp towards Paardevlei. Turn right onto De Beers Avenue.
Best time to visit
The Cheetah Outreach operates 365 days a year from 9.30am to 5pm.
Around the area
Somerset Mall is a favourite shopping destination. It's just a few kilometres further along the N2. Then head to nearby Gordon's Bay for a coastal sunset.
Tours to do
Explore the wines of region. Vergelegen Estate is nearby.
What will it cost
Entrance to the Cheetah Outreach is approx R10. A cheetah encounter, where visitors can stroke the animals and have their pictures taken, costs R110 (adults) or R60 (children under 14 years).