Must we book the Cheetah Walk

Yes, because we only allow a limited number of guests to join the Cheetahs on their daily walk, you need to book beforehand in order not to be disappointed.  If you arrive on the day without making a booking we may unfortunately not be able to accommodate you on the walk. Cheetah Walk programs must be also be prepaid and no refunds for no-shows will be entertained.

 

Is the Wild Cat Experience suitable for children?

 

Is the Wild Cat Experience suitable for children?

Yes. The Wild Cat Experience is suitable for children of all ages provided they are well behaved and kept under control by their parents. The content though is geared towards an adult/young adult audience. We do enter the enclosures of most of the animals on the Wild Cat Experience.  If the child is small, the guide may ask you to carry the child whilst it is in the enclosure for safety purposes.  No prams are allowed in the enclosures and no toys are allowed to be carried by children into the enclosures. There is a height restriction on children entering the cheetah enclosures, and your guide may ask one parent to remain in the safety walkway with young children during this part of the program.

If you are a family with children, you may want to choose the EcoKidz Family Challenge which is also offered daily at several times during the day.  This program is geared towards children with a specific focus on challenging the child’s mind to developing an awareness of several conservation themes.

 

Is the Cheetah Walk suitable for children?

There is a recommended minimum age of 16 years and height restriction of over 1.5 metres for the Cheetah Walk primarily because we are walking alongside the cheetahs through natural vegetation and small children may become a target for the cheetah. Children must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardian on any program. Children that do not meet the 1.5 metre height requirement are not allowed on the Cheetah Walk.

 

Can I touch the animals?

The animals at Tenikwa are unrestrained and whilst we do going into most  of the enclosures and view them up close them to instill a sense of empathy, using all our senses, it is not appropriate or fair on the cats to allow physical contact with every single guest on the group tours.  Please respect this and enjoy the whole experience of visiting Tenikwa. The animals will sometimes come up and initiate contact of their own accord which we try to discourage.  Beforehand, the guide will explain how you are to behave in this regard. There is a No Touch Policy applied on The Wild Cat Experience, The EcoKidz Family Challenge and the Photographic Tour programs. No animals will be posed or restrained for a photograph. At times of the day, the cats are more active (morning, late afternoon).  If the cats are sleeping it is natural behaviour and it would be invasive to disrupt a midday snooze.  The guide will determine whether it is safe to approach the animals based on an assessment of the people and the animal’s behaviour, please respect his/her judgement – they work with the animals every day, and know each animal intimately.    The Cheetah Walk program affords a level of interaction because of the fact that a small number of guests accompany the cheetahs and also because you are walking right next to them for 1 ½ hours, so you get to spend some really close, quality time with them. Tenikwa continually reviews the level of interaction on each program and this may change from time to time.

 

When is the best time to visit Tenikwa?

Since most of the cats are nocturnal or crepuscular, they are more active in the early morning and late afternoon, preferring to take their quiet time during the heat of the day.  So for a really interactive tour, come for the first tour at 09h00.  We are normally quieter in the morning than the afternoon, so if you want to avoid the busy time, come for a morning tour. The animals are normally fed just after 16h00, so if you want to see their feeding, come in the late afternoon, although they do tend to be quite distracted in preparation for the food, which means that you will not get nice, quiet relaxed photographs of them in the natural vegetation.

 

How fit do you have to be to do the Wild Cat Experience?

Although this is a walking guided tour, the pace is slow and there are frequent stops and places where you can sit down. If you have a problem being on your feet for any length of time we are quite happy for you to split the tour in two and spend a bit of time inbetween relaxing at Chesters Tea Garden. The Wild Cat Experience is wheelchair friendly.

 

How fit do you have to be to do the Cheetah Walk?

A reasonable degree of fitness is required, because we are walking at the pace of the Cheetahs and sometimes they do want to run short distances.  The terrain is uneven and the whole walk is between 2-3km in total with plenty of rests inbetween.  If you are concerned about not keeping up, speak to us beforehand and we will walk the pair of cheetahs who like to take it easy! Guests with impaired mobility who require a wheelchair or walking stick, will unfortunately not be able to join in on the Cheetah Walk, and we recommend as an alternative, The Photographic Tour.

 

Can I take photographs whilst on tour?

Yes, you are most welcome to take photographs whilst you are at Tenikwa, but please respect and adhere to our Photographic Etiquette :

  1. No flash photography is allowed.
  2. The animals will not be posed, restrained in any way, or forced to behave in an unnatural way for photographs.
  3. Cameras are not to be shoved in the face of the animal if it approaches you.
  4. No disrespectful poses or hand-signs will be tolerated in a photograph.
  5. If someone is taking a picture of you in close proximity to the animal, you may not restrain the animal to get the photo and you may not separate from the group and crouch alongside the animal during the Wild Cat Experience.
  6. The guide is there to provide knowledge and ensure your safety.  He/She is not there to take photographs, and is not allowed to move back out of the picture frame as he will not be in a position to intervene if an unsafe situation presents itself.
  7. Camera straps must be held and not left dangling, as this may encourage the cat to play with the strap.
  8. Camera bags and backpacks may not be put on the ground in the enclosure and it is preferred that they remain outside the enclosure.
  9. Do not approach the animals directly, crouching down with your camera.  This may be seen as confrontational behaviour.
  10. Do not stray from the group whilst taking photographs in the enclosure.
  11. It is not safe for very small infants to be in close proximity to the animals, so parents, please do not place your child in a risk position just to get a photograph.

We have daily photographic tours available which is aimed at photography enthusiasts.  If your main purpose for visiting Tenikwa, is to get photographs, please consider joining this tour instead of the normal Wild Cat Experience.

 

Can we pay by Credit Card?

Yep, Visa and MasterCards are accepted.

Can I get something to eat at Tenikwa?

We have a refreshments Kiosk called Chesters which offers refreshments and a small selection of snacks.  There are some great restaurants in the nearby vicinity which we recommend you support for something more substantial.

 

Are the animals we are going to see at Tenikwa going to be released?

No.  The animals we use at Tenikwa for our awareness purposes are mainly captive-bred and not able to be released. Some did come to Tenikwa for rehabilitation but were not able to be released for various reasons but mostly have been born in captivity and are not allowed to be released.  We do have animals at Tenikwa which are undergoing rehabilitation with the intention of releasing them, but these you will not see during your program because they must stay wild for them to survive when they are released.

Do you breed animals at Tenikwa?

No, we have no active breeding programs at Tenikwa.  Our main purpose is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding animals in the wild, and to raise money to fund our rehabilitation program.  The animals that are used in the awareness program are either sterilised, separated or kept in environments which are not conducive to breeding.

How fit do you have to be to do the Wild Cat Experience?

Although this is a walking guided tour, the pace is slow and there are frequent stops and places where you can sit down. If you have a problem being on your feet for any length of time we are quite happy for you to split the tour in two and spend a bit of time inbetween relaxing at Chesters Tea Garden. The Wild Cat Experience is wheelchair friendly.

How fit do you have to be for the Cheetah Walk?

How fit do you have to be to do the Cheetah Walk?

A reasonable degree of fitness is required, because we are walking at the pace of the Cheetahs and sometimes they do want to run short distances.  The terrain is uneven and the whole walk is between 2-3km in total with plenty of rests inbetween.  If you are concerned about not keeping up, speak to us beforehand and we will walk the pair of cheetahs who like to take it easy! Guests with impaired mobility who require a wheelchair or walking stick, will unfortunately not be able to join in on the Cheetah Walk, and we recommend as an alternative, The Photographic Tour.

Can we get something to eat?

We have a refreshments Kiosk called Chesters which offers refreshments and a small selection of snacks.  There are some great restaurants in the nearby vicinity which we recommend you support for something more substantial.

Can I touch the animals?

At Tenikwa we do offer our visitors close encounters that will allow them to have an up close and personal, once in a life time experience with our animals in their natural surroundings. Our visitors have the amazing opportunity to enter some of our animals enclosures with our trained guides, providing them with the opportunity to take exquisite pictures. Tenikwa does not allow guests to touch our Wild Cats during any program.

When is the best time to visit Tenikwa?

Since most of the cats are nocturnal or crepuscular, they are more active in the early morning and late afternoon, preferring to take their quiet time during the heat of the day.  So for a really interactive tour, come for the first tour at 09h00.  We are normally quieter in the morning than the afternoon, so if you want to avoid the busy time, come for a morning tour. The animals are normally fed just after 16h00, so if you want to see their feeding, come in the late afternoon, although they do tend to be quite distracted in preparation for the food, which means that you will not get nice, quiet relaxed photographs of them in the natural vegetation.

 

Are we allowed to take photographs?

Yes, you are most welcome to take photographs whilst you are at Tenikwa, but please respect and adhere to our Photographic Etiquette :

  1. No flash photography is allowed.
  2. The animals will not be posed, restrained in any way, or forced to behave in an unnatural way for photographs.
  3. Cameras are not to be shoved in the face of the animal if it approaches you.
  4. No disrespectful poses or hand-signs will be tolerated in a photograph.
  5. If someone is taking a picture of you in close proximity to the animal, you may not restrain the animal to get the photo and you may not separate from the group and crouch alongside the animal during the Wild Cat Experience.
  6. The guide is there to provide knowledge and ensure your safety.  He/She is not there to take photographs, and is not allowed to move back out of the picture frame as he will not be in a position to intervene if an unsafe situation presents itself.
  7. Camera straps must be held and not left dangling, as this may encourage the cat to play with the strap.
  8. Camera bags and backpacks may not be put on the ground in the enclosure and it is preferred that they remain outside the enclosure.
  9. Do not approach the animals directly, crouching down with your camera.  This may be seen as confrontational behaviour.
  10. Do not stray from the group whilst taking photographs in the enclosure.
  11. It is not safe for very small infants to be in close proximity to the animals, so parents, please do not place your child in a risk position just to get a photograph.
  12. Selfie-sticks and GoPro Sticks are not allowed on the Cheetah Walk

We have daily photographic tours available which is aimed at photography enthusiasts.  If your main purpose for visiting Tenikwa, is to get photographs, please consider joining this tour instead of the normal Wild Cat Experience.

Can we pay by credit card?

Yep, Visa and MasterCards are accepted.

Are the animals we see going to be released?

No.  The animals we use at Tenikwa for our awareness purposes are mainly captive-bred and not able to be released. Some did come to Tenikwa for rehabilitation but were not able to be released for various reasons but mostly have been born in captivity and are not allowed to be released.  We do have animals at Tenikwa which are undergoing rehabilitation with the intention of releasing them, but these you will not see during your program because they must stay wild for them to survive when they are released.

Do you breed animals at Tenikwa?

No, we have no active breeding programs at Tenikwa.  Our main purpose is to raise awareness of the issues surrounding animals in the wild, and to raise money to fund our rehabilitation program.  The animals that are used in the awareness program are either sterilised, separated or kept in environments which are not conducive to breeding.