CapeTownMagazine.com

Panthera Africa Big Cat and Lion Sanctuary in Cape Town ...

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.
 
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

Panthera Africa Big Cat and Lion Sanctuary in Cape Town (Stanford)

The Western Cape gears up to welcome a new safe haven for rescued feline friends

Safeguarding the wellbeing of big cats isn’t just a profession for Lizaene Cornwall and Cathrine Nyquist, the two ladies behind Stanford’s new Panthera Africa sanctuary; it’s a calling. Both founders were bumbling along in business roles when they met the first feline loves of their lives through volunteer programmes, and the connection was so powerful and the urge to help so strong that they could do nothing but begin the journey that’s led them to the launch of this wildlife safe haven.

“They say that the animals pick you,” explains Cathrine, who hails from Norway and, for obvious reasons, likes to be called ‘Cat’, “and for both of us, there were particular lions that chose us, captured our hearts and shifted our whole direction.”

Because the centre, which is set to open officially on Friday, 3 April 2015, was born from the flutterings of the heart, its intentions are pure and the health and happiness of the rescued creatures is held as the number one priority. For this reason, Panthera Africa (the name refers to a particular genus of big cat species) is not a commercial tourist destination; it’s a true sanctuary that aims to provide captive-born lions, Bengal tigers, leopards, caracals, black-backed jackals and more with the most fulfilling life possible, and thus no breeding or trading or petting will ever happen here.

Tiger at Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary Cape Town

To make sure that the predators are content in their new “retirement home”, Lizaene and Cathrine chose a quiet, picturesque piece of land just outside the Overberg town of Stanford (just under two hours from Cape Town) as the site for the sanctuary – it’s dotted with fynbos and trees, blessed with beautiful mountain views and washed with plenty of sun and fresh air. Not to mention, the owners have put a lot of emphasis on continuously stimulating and challenging the cats through an enrichment programme that encourages them to play with obstacles, climb raised structures, explore odd smells and even hunt for hidden food.

Aside from caring for the felines though, the retreat is also heavily focussed on raising awareness about the horrific conditions that captive cats often face in places like zoos and circuses in order to prevent other wild leos from ending up in similar situations. In line with this, the centre runs three guided educational tours a day, and during each trip, visitors walk around the sanctuary with a staff member, who’ll regale them with fun facts about every resident, from Pardus the black leopard to Neptune the white lion, and enlighten them about how these majestic creatures found themselves behind fences. Anyone looking to layer their big cat experience with another dimension can also pre-arrange a special enrichment or feeding visit, which follows a similar format to the educational tours but also includes the chance to view the animals playing, hunting, running and dining.

Leopard at Panthera Africa Lion Sanctuary Cape Town

Though, the education extends beyond merely receiving facts. Visitors will also benefit from hearing the touching personal story behind each Panthera Africa inhabitant and seeing the softer side of these often-misunderstood mammals.

As Cathrine says, “When you come close to animals that are usually considered dangerous and wild, you start to see that they are also beings who have feelings and a personality, just like humans.”

And once you’ve had that sort of personal connection with a big cat at this admirable new retreat, you’ll likely have a slightly clearer understanding of why people like Lizaene and Cathrine don’t think of their role in feline conservation as a job but rather as an honour.

White Lion at Panthera Africa Lion Sanctuary Stanford

NOTE: PANTHERA AFRICA ONLY OPENS ON FRIDAY, 3 APRIL 2015 AND FOR THE FIRST FEW MONTHS AFTER LAUNCH, PRE-BOOKING A VISIT WILL BE ESSENTIAL (THAT IS, NO WALK-INS WILL BE ALLOWED).

Tip: You can support Panthera Africa in a number of different ways:, you could make a donation via the sanctuary’s website (pantheraafrica.co.za); you could volunteer at the refuge for one day or longer; or you could even consider hosting your next corporate team-building event at the shelter (company events are not being run yet, but contact the sanctuary founders to find out when you can organise yours).

The Bill: To embark on an educational tour at Panthera Africa, adults are required to pay R190p/p and children younger than 13 years of age have to pay R120p/p. On the other hand, the entrance fee for an enrichment or feeding visit is R290p/p (no kids under 16 years of age are allowed on this tour).

Opening Hours: Educational Visits: Wednesday – Monday: 10am – 12pm; 12pm – 2pm; 2pm – 4pm; Enrichment/Feeding Visits: By special arrangement only.

Stanford | Western Cape | +27 (0)76 974 3088/ +27 (0)84 866 2665 (visit Panthera Africa’s website for directions)

---

Help some cute kitties out just by visiting them (and enjoying a cup of coffee) at South Africa's first rescue cat cafe, Cat Heaven Cat Cafe

If this article appealed, you might also like: our guide to the best Cape Town safari adventures and game drives.

---

Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!

Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2018
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31

Comedyclub_new11End Hump Day With a Laugh At The ...

Share the experience at Cape Town Comedy Club in the Waterfront’s Pumphouse every ...

camissatownship_newEmbark On A Township Eco-Friendly ...

Enjoy this interactive excursion to the bustling community of Langa

Harbour House 5Enjoy Bubbly With The Chef’s Choice ...

Champagne, mussels and some live music is all you need at this seafood restaurant

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

Santa's Village V&A WaterfrontV&A Waterfront Opens Santa’s Village ...

Flying in from the North Pole, Santa will be in Cape Town to see if kids have been ...

Panasonic_Siya_360% Off On Electronics at NEW Panasonic ...

Do your Christmas shopping at the all-new Panasonic pop-up store at Panasonic House in ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Botane Skin Actives New Images 2Get 20% Off BOTANē Skin Actives ...

Simplified skin health for less in store this holiday season

pinelands_marketGet Festive At Pinelands Craft & Gift ...

Free entry to this market brimming with delicious food and good quality, well-priced ...

High Five SUP 3Stand Up Paddle Surfing Group Lesson ...

Learn to SUP for less thanks to High Five Kitesurf school

Summer Glice Rink Mini Neon Pop-up Summer Ice Skating ...

You read that right, kids can go ice skating in summer

Rotterdam_EventGirlsGin2Ultimate Bachelorette Party: The Girls ...

Three days of gin pairings, massages and pool parties on a private guest farm in ...

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

Galileo_LourenGet Comfy at Kirstenbosch Movie Nights ...

Great films, fabulous scenery, delicious food and cosy seats – look forward to a night ...

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 5Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

HaskellVineyards 6Save On A Meal and Wine For Two At This ...

Haskell Vineyards offers patrons a delicious meal and glass of wine at a discounted price

glam_barBeauty Special: Gelish or Shellac Nails ...

Book via Whatsapp: Workday-perfect nail treatments with free rinse and discounts on all ...

Cape Town Helicopters WinelandsWinelands Wednesdays: Extra-Special ...

Celebrate with a VIP Stellenbosch and Winelands helicopter ride and lunch experience – ...

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

legends_live_in_concertCelebrate The Music Legends All On One ...

A talented 10-piece cast impersonates music legends to perfection

theatre and film costume hire25% Off Hollywood-Calibre Costume ...

Wednesdays only: Gorgeous vintage cocktail dresses to realistic historical costumes for ...

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

Strolla New 1Half-Price Rotisserie Chicken (And Live ...

Here’s your chance to sip Corona on the Sunset Deck in shorts and slops (while the kids ...

house of hLook Who's Serving a R50 Lunch Special ...

Loved by locals, House of H now does delicious new lunch specials – from boerie rolls ...

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Park Inn_RGB_ItalianDinnerSpecial5All-You-Can-Eat Italian Dinner Special ...

Made fresh right in front of you, with your choice of sauces and toppings – this is one ...

Coco Safar 1New Dinner Menu Available at Sea ...

Make your dinner worthwhile with this new set menu from Coco Safar

Jack Black Burger Winter SpecialGet Two Burgers for the Price of One ...

Grab your growler and bring a friend for burgers and beer at the Diep River taproom

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

Leopard's Leap Harvest Table 1Savour the Lekker in What's Local at ...

Discover South Africa through its flavours and traditions at a family-table event ...

Cartel House CoffeeSave on Co-Work Desk on Wednesdays And ...

Secure your desk at this excellent co-working space provider in Cape Town on Wednesdays ...

Arcade Cafe 2Celebrate Hump Day With 2-for-1 Burgers ...

What’s better than one burger? Two burgers. Arcade Cafe in Bree Street has exactly what ...

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

lou lousBottomless Wine With Your Meal on ...

Head to this classy restaurant and tapas bar in the Cape Quarter for a winter wine ...

Le Bonheur 12Get a 20% Discount on Accommodation at ...

Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures offers patrons a 20% discount when they stay at this ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Beluga Images 22-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday special at ...

Cherry Picking Ceres Klondyke Farm 3Cherry On Top: Klondyke Kicks Off ...

Pick your cherries and eat them too at this family-friendly cherry farm in Ceres

Canal Walk Ice Slide World 6Cool For The Summer At Canal Walk’s ...

A world of frozen fun this festive season

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

Sotano Lamb Burger SpecialBest Burger Special at Sotano every ...

Tuck into two lamb burgers and fries for the price of one every Wednesday

cloud 9 rooftop bar table mountain 2Happy Hour Special at Cloud 9 Rooftop ...

Celebrate the midweek mark with discounted cocktails, 2-for-1 local craft beers and ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.