Wildlife rehabilitation centres worth the visit

In an age where poaching and wildlife crimes are rife, rehabilitation centres across Africa are helping to protect vulnerable animals. For fascinating insights into our most threatened wildlife species, visit one of these sanctuaries on your next overland trip.

Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
South Africa

On a trip to the iconic Kruger National Park, stop off outside Hoedspruit to visit Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Here you can experience first-hand how expert conservationists and passionate volunteer students from all over the world tend to many of South Africa’s abandoned, injured and poisoned wildlife. Although the centre’s main aim is to reintroduce rehabilitated wildlife, it’s not always possible. Animals that cannot return to the wild stay on at the centre and help the staff teach visitors about the threats these animals face. Aside from big and impressive game, Moholoholo is also home to a variety of vulnerable bird species. Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of all is Stoffel, the honey badger that effortlessly escapes its enclosure at every chance. Watch the amusing video below.

More information: +27 (0)15 795 5236, moholorehab@wol.co.za

Khama Rhino Sanctuary
Botswana

This community-based wildlife programme near Serowe, Botswana, was established in 1992 to restore a piece of wilderness previously packed with wildlife. At some 8,585 hectares, the sanctuary provides a safe haven to not only white and black rhino, but also 30 other animal species. The sanctuary runs a rhino breeding programme and has relocated 16 of these magnificent beasts to locations all over Botswana. Visitors to Khama can enjoy game drives, self-drive safaris, nature walks and even rhino tracking. The traditional dishes at the restaurant come recommended, but you can also have a braai at the picnic spot. And if you’re having a hard time getting back on the road, you can spend the night at one of 22 campsites or eight chalets.

More information: +267 463 0713/460 0204, krst@khamarhinosanctuary.org.bw

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage
Zambia

Located in the north of Zambia, this incredible facility takes care of 120 chimpanzees. That makes Chimfunshi one of the world’s largest sanctuaries for the species. Given that every year some 3,000 chimpanzees fall victim to poachers or the illegal trade in wildlife, Chimfunshi’s conservation efforts are invaluable. The orphanage protects and cares for chimps that were rescued from all over the world. Chimfunsi also runs a veterinary clinic and school for the local community. The opportunity to go for a bush walk and see the chimps up close is an experience unique to Chimfunsi. Be sure to make arrangements in advance and remember that your visit helps secure much-needed financial support. Did you know that 98.4% of chimpanzees’ genetic code is identical to ours?

More information: +49 175 616 3392, info@chimfunshi.de

N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary
Namibia

Give back to Namibia’s wildlife conservation and make sure you visit N/a’an ku sê – this ecotourism destination directs all profits to charities supporting the San Bushman community and Namibian wildlife. N/a’an ku sê Lodge even donates leftover food to be recycled into animal food – a nifty way to reduce visitors’ carbon footprint. Many sick, orphaned or conflict animals call the sanctuary home: meerkats, mongooses, rock hyraxes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and many more. And as the sanctuary receives no government funding, donations and the help of volunteers are imperative. Conservationist Marlice van Vuuren, the face of South African wildlife TV programme Groen: Namibië, was one of the sanctuary’s founders.

At N/a’an ku sê you can choose from a range of interesting activities: carnivore feeding tours, walks with caracals and baboons, cheetah and snake experiences, horse rides, game drives and a visit to a traditional San Bushman village.

Fun fact: Academy Award actress Angelina Jolie is a keen supporter and regular visitor to N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary.

More information: +264 (0)61 307 338, activities@naankuse.com

What are some of your favourite wildlife rehabilitation centres in Africa and why? Let us know!

Compiled by Arnold Ras

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