The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, formerly known as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, is a breeding sanctuary for cheetahs and other endangered animals. It was founded in 1971 by conservationist Ann van Dyk and is situated in Hartbeespoort, in the foothills of the Magaliesberg, about one hour’s drive from Johannesburg. A day trip to the centre is well worth the drive if you’re interested in getting to know more about this important cause.

The centre has played a crucial role in the protection of cheetahs in South Africa, and has managed to breed roughly 600 – an astounding achievement considering the cheetah population in South Africa was estimated at 700 when the De Wildt breeding programme first started. In 1986, the centre celebrated its first major success and received international recognition when the cheetah was removed from the South African endangered species list.

A number of other creatures are also housed here including African wild dogs, brown hyenas, servals, suni antelopes, riverine rabbits and a population of vultures.

About the centre:

The centre is a non-profit institute and relies mainly on donations from sponsors, support from the public and income from tourism. It operates an outreach programme, visiting schools and institutions in an effort to raise awareness about cheetahs and nature conversation. An “ambassador cheetah” is present at these demonstrations, allowing people a chance to get a closer look. Visitors to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre are able to book tours around the facilities and visit the cheetah enclosures.

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