Here is a list of frequently asked questions that we think may help you decide on which tour is best for you

Do you still offer Cheetah Walks?

In March 2019, we replaced all programs that incorporated walking with our cheetahs with a newly introduced program called “Wild Ways“.  Our cheetahs still enjoy their time out on a daily basis as this contributes to their health and well-being in captivity, however guests may no longer accompany them.  The first section of the Wild Ways program is a nature walk where you will be guided through Cape Floral Fynbos, learning about the fascinating fauna and flora that makes up this biodiverse biome. Once safely inside a boma, the guides will prepare you to see the cheetahs on their daily walk as your paths cross in the fynbos.   This is a great time to observe and photograph the cheetahs from the safety of walkways as they actively move through the fynbos. A bush picnic whilst you observe the cheetah relaxing at their favourite spot at the dam, completes this section of the program.  The Wild Ways ends with a guided tour to see the rest of the cats at Tenikwa.

How fit do you have to be for the Wild Ways Program?

How fit do you have to be to do the Wild Ways program?

A mild degree of fitness is required, because there is some walking to be done on this program during the nature walk part of the program.  The terrain is uneven and you will be walking approximately 2.5 kilometres maximum in total with plenty of rests inbetween.  If you are concerned about not keeping up, speak to us beforehand.  Guests with impaired mobility who require a wheelchair, will unfortunately not be able to join in on this program because of the rough nature of the terrain, and we recommend as an alternative, The Private Tour.  Guests with walking sticks, who still have mobility, can still enjoy the program if we are notified beforehand.  Guests in wheelchairs, can also still enjoy some aspects of the program, if we are notified beforehand.

Read More about the Wild Ways program

Why is there an age and height requirement on some of the Programs?

Why is there a height and age requirement on some of the programs?

Tenikwa continually reviews its safety policies in terms of the life-stage of the animals that are used for awareness programs.  This is done to ensure that you have a safe experience and the animals are able to enjoy as much natural behaviour as possible in a captive environment. We also take into account, the natural instincts of the wild cats, and proactively seek to eliminate triggers which could lead to an unsafe situation.

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 some of the animals on the Wild Cat Experience and a minimum height requirement may be enforced for safety reasons during this part of the program.  If the child is small, the guide may ask you to carry the child or remain outside the enclosure. Please respect the decision of the guide, it is for your family’s safety.  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 walkway within the cheetah enclosures, and your guide may ask one parent to remain in the fully enclosed 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.

What is the difference between The Wild Cat Experience and The EcoKidz Family Challenge

What is the difference between The Wild Cat Experience and The EcoKidz Family Challenge

The Wild Cat Experience is a group tour with conservation-based information provided on an adult level, whilst The EcoKidz Family Challenge is a private tour and the information is remodelled to specifically target the age-group 7-12 years. (The interactive nature of guiding by the Tenikwa guides during this program, makes it enjoyable for parents and grannies, too).  Educational material is also included on The EcoKidz Family Challenge for each participating child (including the ones younger than 7years)

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.

Can we get something to eat?

We have a coffee shop called Chesters which offers refreshments and a selection of snacks and light meals.  Our menu consists of the standard easy-foods with a South African flare.

Do you cater for Vegetarians?

Our standard menu at Chesters has vegetarian options. However, if you require a Vegan, Jain or other specific dietary requirement like glutose intolerance, please let us know and we will do every effort to accommodate your requirements.  For overnight guests, please let us know special dietary requirements beforehand.

Can I touch?

Tenikwa does not allow guests to touch our Wild Cats during any program. At Tenikwa we offer our visitors the opportunity to see our South African indigenous wild cats in large natural enclosures. 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 of the cats.

Read more about Ethical Wildlife in Tourism

Can I have a picture with one of the cats?

Tenikwa does not allow selfies with the animals during any of the programs.  We do have a fantastic Instagram board on the grass outside Chesters, where you can take pictures of your visit to Tenikwa and post it on Social Media.

Read more about Ethical Wildlife in Tourism

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 particularly want to see their feeding, come in the late afternoon where you may get the opportunity, 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. Take photos of the cats not with the cats
  2. No flash photography is allowed.
  3. The animals will not be posed, restrained in any way, or forced to behave in an unnatural way for photographs.
  4. Cameras are not to be shoved in the face of the animal if it approaches you.
  5. No disrespectful poses or hand-signs will be tolerated in a photograph.
  6. We ask that you do not take selfies during the program. You may not separate from the group for photos during the programs.
  7. 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.
  8. Camera straps must be held and not left dangling, as this may encourage the cat to play with the strap.
  9. Camera bags and backpacks may not be put on the ground in the enclosure and it is preferred that they remain outside the enclosure.
  10. Do not approach the animals directly, crouching down with your camera.  This may be seen as confrontational behaviour.
  11. Do not stray from the group whilst taking photographs in the enclosure.
  12. 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 The Private Tour or The Photographic Combo instead of the normal Wild Cat Experience.

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.

Read more about our Rehabilitation work

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.

Read more about Ethical Wildlife Tourism

Can we pay by credit card?

Yep, Visa and MasterCards are accepted.

Can I stay at Tenikwa?

Yes!  We have wonderful down-to-nature accommodation at Tenikwa! Newly launched, and we would love to host you. We offer elegant accommodation in the original  Tenikwa Country House which is the original Tenikwa homestead of the founders and country-styled relaxed accommodation in the adjoining Family Suites . We have also put together some awesome packages called Overnight Experiences which include meals, accommodation and activities