Our Dream is now a reality..

New Home for Cheetah Experience


New Land Announcement

To our supporters, friends and family,
When Riana first arrived at what is now Cheetah Experience, there was no money, no food, no furniture,
no fencing and no garden. It was just Riana and her first cheetah, Fiela. Since then, Riana, her
dedicated team of staff and army of volunteers have grown Cheetah Experience into the life changing
project it is today.
As many of you know, Cheetah Experience is currently on rented land. For a long time, we have wanted
to find a place of our own, where we can build bigger enclosures for the animals and further our
ability to release cheetahs into the protected wild. We have found the property of our dreams, and
finally our dreams are becoming a reality!!
Our new home is based in Limpopo, in a town called Bela Bela, 1.5 hours from OR Tambo airport in
Johannesburg. The property is 272Ha, more than 22 times as big as Cheetah Experience now!
This property offers us so many possibilities! We have designed and begun to build bigger more
beautiful natural enclosures for the animals. Our intention with the property will be to continue with
the volunteer project, cheetah breeding project and educational guided tours. On top of this we also
want to offer game drives – day and night, wildlife walking tours, photography safari’s and eventually
open a cultural village.
The farm was being developed into a resort which means that there are 18 completed units with 1,
2 and 3 bedrooms. There is a main house, plus a further 2 houses that will need some maintenance
and work. Additionally there are 14 apartments that are 90% completed, we will turn these into our
volunteer village. Each apartment can fit 2-4 people and we will build a communal lounge/kitchen
area to maintain the social aspects of the volunteer house currently.
The central feature of the farm is the completed entertainment centre/lapa and swimming pool adjacent
to the units. This will provide an additional area for socialisation, and possibly even a café in
the future!

The landscape is beautiful, lots of indigenous trees and bushes that will provide natural shade and
rest areas for our animals. Also the wildlife which roams free including zebra, nyala, kudu and impala,
as well as caracal, jackal and even brown hyena! We have been monitoring the wildlife with a camera
trap as well as identifying spoors.

You guys have all been here and seen the struggle we have had to maintain a good meat supply.
Many times throughout the year our freezers have been scarily low on meat. Trying to secure suitable
game meat for the cheetahs is a huge challenge. This farm is surrounded by game farms, and the antelope
already living on the farm will provide us with an element of self-sustainability. We have always
wanted to be able to feed the cheetahs a more natural diet, that doesn’t include any meat that they
would not naturally eat in the wild such as chicken and cow.
As we drove to visit the property, there were numerous caravan and camp sites that were packed
with visitors only a short drive away.
Our belief is that the development of the farm will create a lot of jobs for the local community, not
just during the initial building stage, but also in the long-term. We will continue to access local schools
and educational facilities in order to educate the future generations and we know that we will bring
in more visitors to the area.
The game farm is situated only 90 minutes from Pretoria and the university vet hospital, on the outskirts
of Bela Bela. The university hospital has already helped many of our animals including surgery
on Liberty the cheetah’s cleft palette, Lia the bat eared fox’s broken leg, and surgery and check-ups
on Legacy’s legs.

The farm is situated only 12 minutes away from the tourist town of Bela Bela. In Bela Bela there is a
shopping mall, restaurants and bars, take outs and supermarkets inc Nando’s and Romans pizza to
name a few. There are many different things in the surrounding area that not only attract tourists but
would also be available for the volunteers to check out including ziplines, paintball, big 5 game reserves,
animal parks and sanctuaries. We are also based only 4.5 hours from Kruger park and 4 hours
from Botswana making it possible to organise trips for groups.

For the last 6 months we have been busy with all the paperwork required for this exciting new step.
From the paperwork involved in the purchase, to writing up a business plan and submitting permit
applications, everything took some time. We managed to submit the permit applications (there was a
lot!!) on Riana’s birthday, and finally we got the approval to go ahead 3 months later on Poofy’s birthday!!!
The planning stages took a lot of time and work, we had to survey the land, decided where to
position enclosures, design the camps and finally work out how much everything is going to cost!

We are super excited for the future!!

Enclosure building is already underway, thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and supporters all of the enclsoures have now been sponsored!

It is incredible!! We are truly overwhelmed!!


Find out how you can support Cheetah Experience and make a difference in our animals lives

At Cheetah Experience we strive to:

  • Ethically conserve the cheetah species and protect it from further endangerment or extinction. To educate and raise awareness amongst students and the general public of the dangers that the cheetah faces, along with the efforts that can be made to reduce these threats.

  • Advance knowledge about cheetah’s health, fertility and genetics through the ethical research conducted in our facilities.

  • Provide a safe sanctuary for rescued and retired animals or those that need special care.

  • Raise awareness of the vulnerability of endangered and threatened species through educational experiences we offer to visitors

  • Offer university internships and research opportunities to students, and work together with universities and other conservation projects to better understand the plight that the cheetah faces, and work towards the long term survival of the cheetah.

  • Provide local and international volunteers an unforgettable opportunity to work closely with cheetahs and other endangered and threatened species, contribute to the conservation of this precious species, and promote the conservation of the cheetah in their own communities.

  • Support future genetic diversity of the cheetah through DNA Testing and breeding in scientifically based ethical programs. 

Responsible Wildlife Conservation


Cheetah Experience unreservedly condemns the practices of the canned lion/hunting industry. Canned hunting is the act of breeding wild animals for the purposes of being killed by trophy hunters. Hunters slaughter these innocent animals within an enclosed space where the animal has no chance of escape. The three male lions we have at Cheetah Experience, Max, Acinonyx and Napoleon are all non-breeding males, and we have no lionesses at our project.


We believe that it is our duty to educate the public on the canned hunting industry in South Africa, and discuss this awful practice in the educational experiences we offer to visitors, and the training and induction program all of our volunteers go through.


At Cheetah Experience we do not condone cub petting/cub cuddling. When we do have juvenile animals at our projects, they are cared for by our experienced staff, with volunteers assisting in their care when required, and only after going through a training and induction program.

Learn more about Education & Responsible Conservation at Cheetah Experience.

Support Conservation in South Africa


Cheetah Experience is a non-profit organisation that does not receive government funding. We rely on the generosity of our Global Volunteer & Intern Family, current volunteers and interns, sponsors and visitors to our project, so we can continue to provide our animals with the best possible care.

How You Can Support Cheetah Experience

There are a number of ways you can support Cheetah Experience and our animals:

Donating Online or Sponsoring one of our animals, either for yourself or as a gift for a loved one 

Joining us in one of our Volunteer or Internship Programs, where you'll get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get hands-on experience taking care of our amazing animals!



Address: ZA Cheetah Conservation, Farm 20, R101, Bela Bela, Limpopo

Phone: +27 72 905 3457

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