Wildlife Wildcat Tour

Join us on a 1 hour guided tour to learn about the indigenous wild cats of South Africa and a tour of our wildlife centre at Plettenberg Bay.  See African Wild Cats Servals Caracals, Cheetahs, Lions and our Leopard, as well as other wildlife such as meerkats marabou storks and much, much more!

This is a unique opportunity to get close to some amazing creatures, and learn about their struggle to survive in the wild.

You will be taken into the habitats of the various cats, and where, for safety reasons, this is not possible, a walkway will give you opportunity to see and photograph the cats whilst your guide explains interesting information about the species and their role in promoting bio-diversity.

The program includes a visit to our Penguin Splash Pool where you have the opportunity to learn more about the marine conservation work that Tenikwa is involved with and a window into the Wildlife Rehabilitation work that we do.


Daily from 09h00. Tours depart every half an hour. Last tour departs 16h30.


This is a 1 Hour guided tour in a group format.


R230 per adult. R120 per child 6 to 12 years of age.
Toddlers 5 yrs and under are no charge.


Children Policy

This program is suitable for all ages. For safety reasons, In certain enclosures, parents may be requested to pick their young children up, or if the guide feels that the situation is unsafe, small children will need to remain outside a particular enclosure with one parent.

There is pram access to each enclosure, but prams will have to be left outside the enclosure.

Dress Code

For the Wild Cat Experience Tour, there is no specific dress code, so please dress comfortably and bring a hat or cap with during sunny weather. Shoes are required to be worn on tour (including children).

Bags and backpacks will not be allowed to be carried on tour, so please lock them in your vehicle beforehand or leave them in the lockable cabinet provided.

You will be asked to remove sunglasses in the cheetah enclosure. (Prescription sunglasses are allowed)

Group Size

This is a group tour.  The average group size for The Wild Cat Experience tour is 10 people. There is no minimum or maximum group size requirement.

Fitness Policy

This program is wheelchair friendly and benches are placed along the way to rest if necessary.

Difficulty - Easy 30%

Weather Policy

The Wild Cat Experience Tour is an all weather program. Rain jackets are provided in inclement weather.

No Touch Policy

Animal Contact Policy

Although the Wild Cat Experience allows guests to be in close proximity to the cats, a No Touching Policy is enforced on this tour.

Photography Policy

Guests are welcome to take photographs of the cats during the tour. Flash photography is prohibited and cameras must be set to No Flash throughout the tour for the comfort of the cats.  Posing with the cats is not allowed. “Selfies” with the cats in the background is not allowed.  As part of our safety protocols, the guides may not take photographs on your behalf whilst in the enclosures.

Wild Cat Experience

1 Hour Guided Tour
R230.00 Per Adult

Children 6-12 yrs – R120.00 Per child

Children under 6 yrs – No charge

  • “Close Encounter with Wild Animals ”

    We enjoyed our visit to Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre where we were made aware of how some of the sick or injured wild animals were rescued, rehabilitated and then released back to the wild.

    It was an enriching tour as well as a thrilling one as we came up close to see African storks, blue cranes, Caracals, servals, meerkats, leopards, lions and even went with the guide into an enclosure where 2 cheetahs were. What an awesome experience! I highly recommend this tour!

    TripAdvisor June 2017
  • “Amazing place! Definitely worth a visit”

    On family holiday down the garden route our guide suggested we visit here to see the big cats up close and personal. It was a brilliant suggestion the staff that showed us round were very well informed and capable of answering any questions. they also clearly enjoyed there job and the work they do with the animal.
    I thoroughly suggest you visit here you wont regret it!

  • “Experience of a lifetime!!!”

    I have loved big cats since I was little so I had high expectations of this place. My expectations were well surpassed. If you want to learn about animal conservation and support the amazing work they do here, you MUST go.
    Our guide was Ash. He was so passionate about all the animals in the Sanctuary. Not just the cats. This is clearly not just a job for him.
    We did the wild cat experience with the cheetah walk. It was unbelievable to be so close to these truly beautiful animals.
    Was also had the privilege of chatting to Karen who provides direct support to the animals. We wish Thandi all the best in her recovery.
    The restaurant also does great food!

    Visited April 2017
  • “Fantastic place to visit – a must see”

    Even with a 2 year old in a stroller – this was an amazing place to visit. The premises are very well organised and our guide – Msizi – was extremely friendly and well-informed. Since we had a toddler with us we only did the minimum tour which was a guided walk around the premises for over an hour. It started with a short video and then we went onto see caracal, serval, wild cat, cheetah, 2 lion cubs and leopard as well as some other animals (penguins, an injured buck, meerkats). All but the caracals and leopard are in walk-in enclosures. And the walk through the cheetah enclosure was particularly exciting. The setup really does seem like a great rehab centre. The cats to be released are kept away from visitors and instead those in the enclosures stay on-site for education purposes and to fund rehabilitation of the others. The enclosures were all large and well setup and the animals looked very happy and in amazing condition. I would definitely recommend this visit and if you have time and the money consider the other tours and experiences that they offer.

  • “One of the highlights of our Trip”

    Great fun. We took our 9 month old daughter in a backpack on the one hour tour and she was fine – still able to take her into most of the wild cat enclosures but couldn’t take her into the cheetah enclosure ( understandably!) but I walked along the edge with her and still got great views. The guides were excellent. Very informative, educational and awe inspiring to be so close to the big cats. There are different packages available including sunset walks with the cheetahs which sounded amazing but over 16’s only! Highly recommend.

  • “Amazing place! Definitely worth a visit”

    On family holiday down the garden route our guide suggested we visit here to see the big cats up close and personal. It was a brilliant suggestion the staff that showed us round were very well informed and capable of answering any questions. they also clearly enjoyed there job and the work they do with the animal.
    I thoroughly suggest you visit here you wont regret it!

  • “Well worth a visit!”

    We planned to visit Birds of Eden, but stopped by Tenikwa first to see if we could book the sunset walk – no space, so we stayed for a tour of the facility. Our guide was Mthobisi and he was very informative. Only the two of us on the tour, and our arrival mid-afternoon meant we were there for feeding time. Loved seeing all of the cats (the lion cubs are adorable!) but especially the leopard. We stood directly underneath him in the little wire tunnel – amazing! We also loved seeing the cheetahs even if we didn’t get to walk with them. Don’t miss the maribou storks and the meerkats!

  • “LOVED our visit! Highly recommended!”

    We got SO much more from this visit than we originally expected! It is very well managed. My 7 year old aspiring zoologist was absolutely thrilled to meet REAL animal rescuers, and Mandy Freeman, the proprietor, spent considerable time with her. She will never forget the experience! The older kids loved visiting inside the cheetah pens, etc. Tenikwa rescues over 300 animals per year, and returns most of them to the wild after providing needed care. Their revenue is covered by visitors. The gift shop is also very nice with higher end items. We bought a nice bronze elephant statue for our coffee table; it is comforting to know that all profits from our purchases go towards running the nonprofit wildlife rescue operations. Such a special deserving place!

  • “A wonderful experience”

    I recently took my two grandchildren (aged 7 and 5) to Tenikwa for the second time. They loved it so much the first time and have been begging me to take them again. I must say that they loved the experience and took in so much of what our guide was saying. Our guide was Jacob and he was excellent. His explanations suited not only the adults but could easily be understood by the children. What a wonderful experience this was for myself and my grandchildren and I am thrilled to say, they still remember a lot of what they were told. I’ve already been told that when they next visit Plettenberg Bay they want to go again.

  • “Great experience!!”

    Great experience to visit this place, truly an awareness centre – not a zoo!
    Animals are treated very well, some wounded animals have found a home here and are well taken care of. You can truly feel the respect the staff has for all the animals here!

  • “Inspiring place”

    This a place where care, deep knowledge of conservation stand out: an unusually genuine place where you can be fully engaged with an ethically-centred experience of African cats and other animals.

  • “The best Big Wild Cats Sanctuary in South Africa”

    I am an avid wildlife photographer and I have visited Tenikwa many times to join the photographic tour. Tenikwa is in a class of its own. Great care is taken to ensure that the animals there are kept in enclosures which give them privacy, companionship and ample vegetation to create the feeling of “nature surrounding”. The first introduction to your tour is a short but entertaining video to give you some insight and history of the animals there. The photographic tour is wonderful. In some instances you are allowed into the enclosures (excluding the leopard and the lions) to take some more close-up shots. The guides are always good. They can tell you anything and everything about each different “big cat” you meet on your tour, be it about the species or one or two of the animals themselves. These animals are definitely not circus animals and are semi-wild. They are treated with great respect and visitors are expected to do so as well. There are also other tours such as walking with the cheetahs etc. For refreshment there is a coffee shop and for the shopper a curio shop with some wonderful items. The love and respect for the inhabitants of Tenikwa are well reflected in the manner in which they are treated, respected and revered. Many are rescue animals and all are ambassadors for their species. Wildlife awareness is emphasized and taught. Yet when leaving there one has the distinct feeling that you have really seen, and have lived an experience with the Big Cats of South Africa. I personally love Tenikwa!!!!

    TripAdvisor January 2017
  • “Outstanding visit”

    We loved this place so much we visited twice. First time we did the general tour which included some real up close experiences with the big cats including one of the cheetahs. It is a real pleasure to visit and see these beautiful creatures up close and personal! The staff were great, all seemed genuinely interested in animal welfare. It didn’t feel like a rip off like some places you visit. It is an extremely informative visit and still worth going to even if you are going to a game park as you are extremely unlikely to get as close as this to big cats.
    We came back early next day for the “dawn” cheetah walk, a truly special experience you are unlikely to experience in many other places, you walk with one of the guide and a cheetah on a long harness/lead, it’s an extensive walk around the site not afive minute wander. At the end we went back to fed the cheetahs their breakfast. An awesome place to visit well worth a visit, in fact don’t miss it!

  • “Extraordinary Experience with Passionate Professionals”

    First of all, Tenikwa and our tour deserves 10 points. The work being done here and what you learn is unbelievable and all the people are committed to its mission. We felt honored to be part a day at Tenikwa.

    Now regarding our tour, the walk with the the cheetah, it was over the top! Our guide Ash was so knowledgeable and caring he thought ahead of everyone’s needs, ours and the cheetah. He started by first showing us a short film explaining a few safety precautions and information about the cheetah.

    Our walk began along with his assistant Peter who worked with Ash in bringing the cheetah out in the specially enclosed area which was several acres in size. The pair worked in tandem, Peter typically ahead of the cheetah and Ash and ourselves just a few feet behind him. We walked for over an hour, sometimes we had to jog to keep up For short periods. Periodically the cheetah would just lay down and roll in the dirt to. mark his territory, or take a drink of water from a pond.

    Peter was fabulous taking our cameras from us and getting incredible photos for us in addition to the ones we took ourselves.

    There are barely any words to describe being so close to this magnificent cat.

    Later in the morning, After complimentary tea/coffee and a muffin, we toured the other big cats of Africa with Ash’s other assistant Patrick,and saw two incredible white lions, a leopard that was above our heads resting, and more beauties!

    We were very grateful to all the extpertise these gentleman shared with us during our visit. Our only regret was not having more time to have more experiences. They offer an array of great tours, all very educational. It was also good to hear the fee for the tours supports Tenikwa.

    Visited May 2017
    TripAdvisor May 2017
  • “Made a dream come teue”

    We came to this park whilst heading from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. We ear marked this place and thank God we did. Arrival was easy enough and registering was hassle free. We made the last tour so there was only the two of us which made it very personal. Our guide was Sizwe and he was extremely informative and genuine. Taking us around the park he would tell us about the centre and would take pictures of us in front of the animals. When we tried to pose for a selfie, he politely but firmly told us this was not allowed and it was not a circus! At first I took slight offence as I couldn’t see the logic, but when he explained to us about the nature of the centre and the offering it gives, I actually agreed with him and my initial insult was turned into agreement. My partner has had a life time obsession with Cheetahs. We saw a party taking one for a walk, and when we asked if it was possible, we were told it would have to be booked a few days in advance for security reasons. My partner was extremely disappointed, and Sizwe could see that. As we walked past the last cheetah cage, Sizwe saw that one of his colleagues was in the cage and he said we could go in the cage as there is sufficient security. We were literally 1 metre away from the stunning animals! My partner was so overjoyed she couldn’t fight her tears of emotions- it literally made her dream come true. Sizwe is an absolute credit to the centre and the centre itself was very clean, tidy and organised. Would recommend to anyone.

    Visited February 2017
    TripAdvisor February 2017
  • “Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre”

    What a humbling experience to have the opportunity to see the big cats up close. My husband and I were lucky enough to be accompanied by Mfundo, our tour guide. It was magical to witness such passion and love for the animals radiating from him. We left with changed perceptions and renewed motivation to conserve our planet and wildlife for future generations.

    We would highly recommend this experience for all tourists. Truly amazing!

    TripAdvisor May 2017
  • “The Tenikwa Cat Awareness Centre is brilliant”

    The chance to get up close with caracels, lions, servals, African wild cats, cheetahs and leopards is not to be missed. Our guides, Peter and Patrick gave us lots of really useful and interesting information. Thee Tenikwa Centre is a must-see location. Don’t miss it!

    Visited May 2017
  • “Amazing.”

    This was a highlight of our 3 weeks in southern Africa. Had a chance to walk with Cheetahs that are wild!! Mfundo Ash-Sizwe was a wonderful guide that made a terrifying experience a highlight. We were one if ,6 people that walk with Cheetahs 2 times per day to enhance their lives. The roam free we followed their lead. Amazing. Bravo to this center that rescues these animals.

    Visited May 2017
    TripAdvisor May 2017
  • “Special Day”

    This place is really special, not only does it rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned animals but also works with communities to educate them. We didn’t do the cheetah walk but still got up close to the big cats. A wonderful time and definitely worth a visit, you will learn so much.

  • “Great experience!!”

    Great experience to visit this place, truly an awareness centre – not a zoo!
    Animals are treated very well, some wounded animals have found a home here and are well taken care of. You can truly feel the respect the staff has for all the animals here!

  • “Incredible”

    So much more than I expected. Very informative and excellent guide. We’ll worth a visit even if you intend to visit game reserves during your stay in South Africa

  • “Fantastic Wildcat experience”

    We visited the Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre on recommendation from our friends. I don’t really like going to zoo’s or places where animals are kept cages, but this place is different. Here animals have large enclosures where they are able to roam about. All animals were born in captivity which makes it impossible to be released into the wild. This place takes great care of them and does an exceptional job educating people about wild cats (and a few other animals like penguins and birds). Our guide, Msizi was fantastic. He had great respect for the animals and always put them first (not allowing exploitation with photographs). He answered all our questions and took great care of us.
    We will certainly recommend it.

  • “Cats up close”

    We had had the pleasure of doing a few safaris before coming here, but the enclosures did not dampen the experience. The staff were proud as they should be of the education and assistance they’re providing to visitors and the animals. Other cats and wildlife we did not expect to see were also there for eg. African wild cats (which look like a domestic cat). Staff were very attentive to our group. When it started to rain within minutes we were provided with ponchos. Being able to photograph baby lions up close was a real treat also. This centre is very worth a visit.

  • “Inspirational Place!!”

    Our sunset Cheetah Walk was one of the highlights of our visit to South Africa. To be up close to two majestic beautiful animals was a dream come true. The walk is all about the cheetahs as you are joining them on their walk and we felt very honoured to be part of it. There are no leads and you simply follow the cheetahs at their pace. At no time did we feel unsafe and had three wonderful guides with us – Msizi, Mfundo and Patrick, who are very knowledgable and passionate about the animals. There was plenty of photo opportunities on the walk. This is an amazing centre which is doing some much in raising awareness of conservation issues in South Africa and in rehabilitating animals. An amazing experience was had by everyone and fantastic memories were made. We hope to be back one day!!

  • Thank you Mthobisi for the tour of the Awareness Centre.  It certainly was a hilight of our visit to South Africa and I have already spoken to many here in New Zealand of the wonderful work you are all doing.  Thank Mthobisi for your care of us whilst we toured the facility.  It was excellent and greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    Thanks, September 2017
  • “Great experience! ”

    A very special thanks to our guide Wilfried who made our visit at Tenikwa very special. He explained so much about the project and the animals in the park and answered all questions. You are able to get very close to a cheetah and you will learn very much about the animals.

  • “Tenikwa Wildlife Reserve worth a visit”.

    We only ever visit animals that are in danger and need a good home to be looked after. We have visited an elephant nature reserve in Thailand so thought we would do Tenikwa whilst on the Garden Route. It turned out to be well worth it.
    Our guide “Ash” was excellent, very knowledgeable and helpful – thank you.
    Ash took us on our private tour of the animals and explained the job of the reserve. We spent about 90 minutes there and thoroughly enjoyed it. You get really close to the animals to see them in their environment. There is no touching of the animals allowed.
    Keep up the excellent work of informing people about endangered animals.

    Visited February 2017
  • “Tenikwa Wildlife Centre, a very special place”

    Our experience was very special and we thank our guide Msizi for his knowledge and passion for the animals in their care. Many highlights including close up with two Cheetahs and lion cubs including a rare white lion. The variety of smaller African cats at Tenikwa was great and not usually seen in the big parks at Kruger! Thanks again.

  • “Exceptional “wild cat” experience”

    If you are fascinated by “wild cats” including Cheetah, young Lions, a leopard and other members – then this is the place to be. Also very friendly owners and staff and a great overall experience 🙂

  • “Unique Non-Tourism Awareness Centre”

    A unique refuge and rehabilitation sanctuary, we were very impressed with Tenikwa, as fellow South-Africans in the Tourism industry we appreciate this great conservation project. The tour exceeded our expectations, the animals are well-kept in spacious enclosures that represent their natural habitat. Loved the different species of cats & close-up encounters with lion cubs and cheetahs. The tour guide was knowledgeable and made sure we understood that the animals were still wild animals, we did not feel intrusive at all, as these cats only experienced enclosed living, not another Zoo which was so great! Will definitely recommend to all our guests. Worth every penny!
    Would have loved to be shown the rehabilitation facility!

  • “Wonderful experience with wonderful guides”

    Having visited Tenikwa on my first trip to South Africa 2 years ago, I was more than happy at the chance to visit a second time. This centre is perfect for big cat lovers and people who are conscious of the welfare of such animals, rather than only caring about getting that perfect selfie. Tenikwa really looks after their animals and the whole experience is very informative and designed to educate visitors as well as provide an enjoyable experience. We came by late afternoon for the general tour and then back the next morning for a sunrise walk with the cheetahs, which was a real highlight. Being able to walk alongside them, free of reigns or leads, and watch them behave and play as they would do, is a delight. Our guides, Mfundo, Cloud and Joel were excellent, very friendly, and knew everything there was to know about the animals. Mound in particular, as he also took us on the general tour the day before, was a truly wonderful guide.
    I would highly recommend this centre for animal lovers on any visit to the Western Cape!

    Visited March 2017
  • “A Great Experience”

    When staying in Plettenburg Bay in February 2017 we found details at our guest house of this reserve that was situated in the Craggs area just a short drive from Plettenburg Bay. We were interested in the reserve after reading about the efforts they make to rescue and recuperate wild cats and other species.

    We were guided around the reserve by Peter who was both very interesting, knowledgable and passionate about the animals in his reserve. Peter guided us around and talked in depth about the cats (both large and small) and other animals he clearly enjoyed his work and seemed very dedicated to the conservation of African wildlife.

    On the walk we were taken into the pen with the Servals which are not a small cat, whilst one of them hissed at me a fair bit I did not feel in danger as Peter was very cautious in how we approached, they are also used to a certain amount of human interaction. The end of the tour when we were taken in the cheetah enclosure was the highlight for me and something i will never forget, being within touching distance of such a beautiful creature is truly special.

    This is a great experience and a great example of conservation and education, I would recommend a visit to anyone and if i return to the area would go back again. Make sure that you see the Meerkats too, very amusing.

    TripAdvisor February 2017
  • Close Encounter”

    Tenikwa Wildlife Reserve is a charming centre to experience African Big Cats. They also have a rehabilitation centre on site where they rehabilitate injured animals found in the Garden Route. The work the staff does is extraordinary as the amount of care given to these animals is phenominal. Our guide Peter was brilliant in that he was very knowledgeable about the animals and the conservation work going on at Tenikwa. I will definitely recommend this place as my experience getting up close to a cheetah was a once in a lifetime experience and something i will treasure for the rest of my life.

  • “Incredible experience and best guides ever!!”

    Went to the place this morning as it was on our way along the garden route. We are all from the UK and over to SA for a wedding/holiday.
    The reserve is amazing. All the animals are treated to the highest standard and the staff do so much to rescue and care for felines aiming to put them back into the wild if and when appropriate. They are very well kept in very big areas and fed as much as they need. They are clearly comfortable with people which is astonishing to see.
    Our guide was Senzo: an amazing gentleman who explained everything in plain English adapting his vast knowledge to the audience. He answered every single question with precision and professionalism. One can tell Senzo simply knows everything about his big cats, and not only that, he loves his job.
    I definitely recommend this experience. The reserve is well signalled along the route and the shortest walk is only an hour.

  • “Crazy Cat day!!”

    My wife and I are animal lovers and decided to experience the crazy cat day offered at Tenikwa Wildlife center. It was truly a memorable day. You start your morning by helping the staff with any morning duties in the rehab center. We fed some rescued penguins, and spent time prepping food and feeding a 2 month old porcupine.

    After that we enjoyed a delicious hot breakfast and coffee on their terrace, before meeting up with our absolutely wonderful guide Joel who we spend the rest of the day with.

    The afternoon was spent visiting the many cat enclosures on the property. Joel guided us through the center viewing many of the cats (I.e the lions and leopards) from outside their enclosure, but taking us with the confines of the cheetah and Serval enclosures. We never felt unsafe as Joel guided us where to walk, where to sit, and what to do.

    After a delicious afternoon lunch break (I enjoyed chicken curry and some chocolate cake), we had the amazing experience of feeding the cats. With all of these cats being wild, Joel was careful to ensure that we fed the cats from a safe distance and outside of their enclosure.

    We capped the day off with a 2k walk with their beautiful male and female cheetahs. Surrounded by multiple guides, we meandered through a trail that was just off the main cheetah enclosure. This was simply a superb way to close out our day.

    TripAdvisor May 2017