Emdoneni Cheetah Project

Join us for an up close and personal tour and learn more about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. Come and be mesmerized by the beauty of the Caracal (Lynx), enchanted by the playful Serval, astonished by the speed and agility of the Cheetah and delighted by the African Wildcat.

View and photograph these amazing animals at the Emdoneni Cheetah Project. We offer daily educational tours, with feedings during the afternoon tour and an informative talk about the animals and the project by an experienced guide.

The aim of the Emdoneni Lodge Cheetah Project is to care for Cheetahs, Serval Cats, African Wildcats and Caracal (Lynx), which have been orphaned or injured in the wild and are in need of care and rehabilitation. We also intend to breed successfully (where possible) and release the offspring back into their natural habitat.

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Ida Nel

Our Vision

To create a wildlife awareness and education centre, that also creates job opportunities for the local community.


The provision and maintenance of an environmentally friendly and aesthetic wildlife centre for selected feline species.


The management of a wildlife centre in conformance with generally accepted standards, procedures and guidelines set by the KZN Wildlife Services.


To attract local community, including school groups and tourists to the centre for wildlife awareness and educational purposes.


Health and Hygiene

Regular checks with qualified Veterinary Personnel.  At present this is performed by Dr. T. Viljoen.


Examinations are made weekly for internal parasites.


De-worming is done in accordance with veterinary recommendations.


Animal conditions are monitored daily, this includes skin/coat, appetite and external parasites.


Camps are sprayed as necessary to control flies, fleas and ticks.


Camps vegetation is managed as necessary to prevent excessive long grass and habitat for various parasites.

Cheetah cub


Only suitable food is made available to the animals. This is varied and balanced and approximates to conditions in the wild. Bulk e.g. skin, hair, feathers and abdominal organs are a very necessary part of the diet and with whole carcasses, are given to the animals from time to time.


Where it is necessary to use frozen food (venison, chicken, beef, etc.), this is carefully and slowly thawed out before being given to the animals. All food is managed hygienically and with care (deep freezes and food preparation areas are clean).


Total protein and energy content with good balances of calcium and phosphorus are vital for animal health, for this reason whole carcasses are supplied frequently, and where possible meat is given with bone.


Calcium powder is added as required.


Clean water is always available.

History of the Project

Emdoneni Cheetah Project was started by Ida Nel (our mom) who always had a passion and love for wild animals, especially cheetah. Ida received the first 2 cheetahs from Namibia (Nandi & Jabu) in 1994. They both died of old
age over the last 2 years. Both were between the ages of …


The Cats

Read up about these endangered wild cat species and view photo galleries of each. At Emdoneni Cheetah Project we offer guests the opportunity to view four of the seven cat species found in Africa…


Release Program

The main emphasis of the cat project is to release the progeny of animals back into the wild. We only keep our breeding pairs, those animals that cannot be released back into the wild, in the project and for educational purposes. All
offspring, where possible…


Information for Visitors

Join us for an up close and personal tour and learn more about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. Come and be mesmerised by the beauty of the Caracal (Lynx), enchanted by the playful Serval, astonished by the speed and
agility of the Cheetah and delighted by the African Wildcat…


Time of tours :

Summer 10h30 and 16h00 daily (afternoon tour includes feeding). Winter (May to August) 10h30 daily and 16h00 daily (afternoon tour includes feeding)

Duration of tours :

90 minutes, depending
on the interaction period

 All tours will be limited to the maximum of 75 visitors or limited to the availability of tour guides.  The total number of guests will be split into groups. Groups not to exceed the total of 20 guests per group. Tickets will be based on a first come, first served basis. Should the visitor number exceed 75 guests, visitors will unfortunately be asked to visit the next day or next show.

Cat Coffee Shop

Selected menu for the hungry and beverages for the thirsty, available at our coffee shop
Coffee shop opening times : 08:30 and 14:30

Adopt a Cat

Adoption of animals in care centres by private persons or companies is not a new way of raising funds for the well-being of animals in captivity, but a system that is basically ‘adopted’ worldwide by such organisations. At the Emdoneni Cheetah Project, our only funding to maintain the project at present is through visitor attendance of tours or support from the owners.