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)

---

Sing the blues to the sound of four top acts at the Blues, Rock & Roots Festival.

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
February 2020
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

design_indaba10 Super Creatives To Watch at Design ...

A Time 100, a New Yorker cover artist, award-winning engineer among the 35 creatives ...

Woolworths_ProductionA Haunting New Show With A Hilariously ...

Anything and everything will be made fun of in Juliet Jenkin’s new satire

mother_city_comedy_festivalPlanting Funny Bones And Growing Local ...

Come out to support comedians you know... and new ones you’ll love

spur_8A Birthday Song, Sparklers, And Pure ...

Chico the Clown, cardboard headdresses, and memories that last a lifetime

the_om_revolution_2019Sunrise To Sunset Yoga On The Beach Or ...

Sociable, mindful, fun and affordable group yoga classes in the park or on the beach

Polkadraai_and_popcorn_popcorn_and_wine1Polkadraai & Popcorn Wine Pairing Back ...

Check out the anti-serious wine pairing in the Western Cape with Polkadraai & Popcorn

african_relish_2019Prince Albert From Morning to Evening

Epic foodie experiences from coffee to dinner Monday to Saturday at the African Relish ...

aroundaboutnew3Season Specials And More With ...

From R200 vouchers and free upgrades, drive away with more value adds

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition At The Norval ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

sotano_lambIt’s (Lamb) Burger Wednesdays at ...

... and while you eat, chill out to reggae by locals The Rivertones

sotano_lambTwo Lamb Burgers For the Price Of One

R110 gets you two fully stacked meals at both Sotanos

Seafood, sunsets and sushi at Blowfish BloubergHalf-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

Cherry_Glamping3Team Building is For Bonding, So Ditch ...

Hiking, biking, canopy tours and luxury glamping just 50 minutes outside of Cape Town

zingara_bombay5 Happy Hours, Every Day of The Week

And Cafe Paradiso has a weekend seafood platter special for two

vredenheim_2019_9Picnic Among The Golden Wildebeest on ...

A family game drive with a difference at Vredenheim

kaskaziBoost Your Week With A Hump Day Kayak ...

The chance to see ocean and bird life at sunrise and get to work on time

cocosafar_steak1From Rib Eye To Vegetarian – Here Are ...

Gourmet burgers and steak, as well as cocktails, are now on the menu at this all-day cafe ...

asamisOverload On Asami’s Sushi And Noodles

Get sushi and noodle specials three days a week

galileo_kirstGet Comfy at Kirstenbosch Movie Nights ...

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

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

beluga_whisylounge2-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

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

Leopards Leap Rotisserie LunchRotisserie Lunch at Leopard’s Leap ...

Snack on succulent skewered meats and seasonal salads at this hip, young Winelands ...

GrubandVine_food4Wine Tasting Every Wednesday at Grub ...

Grub & Vine’s #VineNight hosts a different wine farm every week

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips