THE GOOD, BAD AND UGLY LISTS FOR VOLUNTEERING PLACES IN AFRICA (part 2, the BAD and the UGLY)
Updated: Feb 19, 2020
THE LISTS OF BAD AND UGLY PLACES TO AVOID IF YOU VOLUNTEER IN AFRICA, according to our research:
We don't believe these places are directly connected to canned hunting but they are engaging in practices that we don't agree with (such as breeding and using the cubs to attract volunteers, animal interaction for entertainment or profit, offering elephant rides, etc.). Some seem to be willing to change the bad practices they have been connected to for a long time, those projects may be removed from the Bad list in the future.
• Marakele Predator Centre - www.marakelepredatorcentre.co.za They changed their name to Marakele Animal Sanctuary https://www.marakeleanimalsanctuary.co.za/| Breeding, allowing petting and occasionally selling lions. This is NOT a sanctuary | (S.AFRICA)
• Sondela Nature Reserve - www.sondela.com | Using cubs to attract volunteers, offering petting. | (S.AFRICA)
• Zanchieta Wild Cat Farm - www.wildcatfarm.co.za | Raising lion cubs for Free State breeders in the past, using cubs to attract volunteers. One of the breeders they've done business with is the well known canned hunter called Shorty Durand. Questionable sanitary conditions according to some vols | (S.AFRICA)
• Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre - www.tenikwa.com | Killing of monkeys rather than providing adequate care (https://darwinprimategroup.wordpress.com/…/vervet-monkeys-…/), safety related concerns, allegations of animal neglect, offering
interactions (https://greengirlsinafrica.com/…/tourist-initiated-wildlif…/) | (S.AFRICA)
• Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary - www.lorypark.co.za a lot of bad feedback regarding the interactions with animals, also reports that a leopard called Sasha was captured in the wild and used for breeding and some of the cubs have been sold off, that they have purchased a lion.leopard and jaguar from Nasir Cajee, etc | (S.AFRICA)
• Glen Afric - www.glenafric.co.za | Offering cub petting (when the cubs are small) and walks with lions . In the past they "rented" two white lion cubs, returned them to the breeder and the whereabouts of those two lions is unknown. One of the older males lions also "disappeared" from Glen Afric and the owners refuse to disclose his present location. Evidence of tiger cubs abuse at the beginning of 2016. Training and using animals for many movies and commercials| (S.AFRICA) Known as Living With Big Cats as volunteer project.
• Kwa Madwala - www.biggamebackpackers.co.za | Offering elephant rides. l (S. AFRICA)
• Cheetah Experience Bloemfontein - www.cheetahexperience.com | Raised lion and tiger cubs for canned hunters in the past (Olivia Game Lodge, Mooifentein, Letsatsi, Shorty Durand, Grootpan Game Breeders/ Hunting Safaris), is breeding cheetahs, servals, and other cats, removing all the cubs from their mothers and using them for interactions with the volunteers and then with visitors, selling animals to places with a bad reputation regarding the treatment of their animals. There are accusations of irresponsible breeding like: allowing the matting of brother/sister leopards (twice), using a three legged serval for breeding over and over, using a cheetah male for breeding while on medication this possibly explaining the high number of stillborn cubs and some with deformities. They offer cheetah cubs for “rent” to Cheetah Outreach where they are being used for abusive interactions with visitors (trained to lie down by chocking them with the leash around their necks). they also sell cheetahs. All these activities disqualify CE as a true sanctuary and also as a conservation facility, more a business breeding and buying cubs with the purpose of attracting volunteers and tourists to their facilities. On the positive side: exempt for the past breeding practices that we consider immoral, Cheetah Experience treats the animals well, the staff is nice and they offer the volunteers a pleasant stay | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: NO CONNECTION TO CANNED HUNTERS AT PRESENT. They no longer removed the cubs from ONE of their cheetahs used for breeding and they say they do so with the purpose of releasing those cubs into the wild. One cheetah called Jasmin apparently purchased from a well known canned hunter (Shorty Durand) was released into a reserve (Kuzuko Lodge) and described as "captive bred" . This project is no longer connected to Ashia Cheetah Conservation http://www.ashia.co.za/
• Feracare Wildlife Centre - www.feracare.co.za (?) |Breeding cheetahs, interaction with cheetahs allowed, reports of animal neglect, allegations that hunting takes place on the reserve and that they have connections to a known canned hunter called Christo Gomes (Mabula Safaris)| (S.AFRICA)
• Kwantu Game Reserve - www.kwantu.co.za | They are breeding lions and tigers, offering interactions with cubs, rumors of connection to hunting. Some of their tigers were shipped to China, alleged elephant abuse, evidence of bullhook use by handlers. l (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: NO MORE ELEPHANT RIDES.
• Knysna Elephant Park - www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za | NSPCA reports cruel and abusive training methods employed to control and train baby and young elephants to use in the elephant-based tourist industry. | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: AS OF THE 1st OF MARCH 2018, RIDES ARE NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE. | (S.AFRICA)
• Harnas Wildlife Foundation - http://harnas.org/ | A lot of Bad feedback regarding this project that apparently started as a good sanctuary. rescue and release center. The negative feedback is as follows: lately, the project seems to be more about making a profit rather than rehabilitation/release, a wild cheetah has been shot a few years ago, overcrowded cheetah enclosure, many “accidents” resulting in cubs offered to the volunteers for raising, a lot of interactions taking place. We posted some bad feedback about Harnas in the past, we will include one here for better understanding of the reason we decided to place Harnas on our bad list. https://www.facebook.com/volunteersbeware/posts/2094709170576568?__tn__=K-R | (NAMIBIA)
• Mukuni Big Five Safaris - www.mukunibig5.co.zm | Offering lion and cheetah walks and elephant rides, the lions appear malnourished. | (ZAMBIA)
• ALERT (African Lion & Environmental Research Trust) - www.lionalert.org/page/about-us | Part of a force breeding and lion exploitation business through petting and walks with lions | (ZAMBIA)
• Lion Encounter - www.lionencounter.com | Breeding farm exploiting lions through petting and walks with lions | (ZAMBIA/ZIMBABWE)
• Antelope Park - www.antelopepark.co.zw | Force breeding lions, exploiting lions through petting and walks with lions | (ZIMBABWE)
• Bally Vaughan - www.ballyvaughan.co.zw | This is NOT a sanctuary as it offers elephant rides and all kind of animal interactions, including lion cubs. News also state that an elephant handler was killed by an elephant (most likely for abusing the elephant); the elephant was later killed by the owner who also tried to kill an SPCA employee (Lorna Grant) who was in the company of Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife officials and had come to transfer the elephant female companion to another rehabilitation sanctuary. www.herald.co.zw/sanctuary-owner-arrested-for-attempted-mu…/ l (ZIMBABWE)
THE UGLY LIST
AS A GENERAL RULE, PLEASE AVOID ALL THE BREEDING FARMS WITH A LOT OF CUBS AND A LOT OF OLDER MALE LIONS AS THESE ARE SIGNS OF CONNECTION TO CANNED/TROPHY HUNTING.
• LETSATSI La Africa - www.letsatsi-la-africa.co.za | Breeding intensively, big wildlife trader, known for their involvement in canned hunting, lion and tiger bones trade and connection to wildlife crime syndicates (www.annamiticus.com/…/south-africa-more-tiger-breeding-ques…). | (S.AFRICA)
• BOSKOPPIE Lion and Tiger Reserve - www.boskoppie.com | One of the worst breeding farms, owner Piet Swart Jr was convicted for involvement in rhino poaching, they are selling lions for hunting (Serapa Safaris is one of the buyers) www.facebook.com/volunteersbeware/posts/806292312751600?hc_location=ufi | (S.AFRICA)
• MORESON Ranch - www.moresonranch.co.za | Lion breeding farm connected to canned hunting. | (S.AFRICA)
• AFRICAN DANKBAAR Lion Breeders - www.jansenville.co.za/listing/african_dankbaar_lion_breeders | (S.AFRICA)
• KUDUS RUS predator park - http://www.kudusrus.co.za/…/c…/k2/item/8-volunteer-programme | (S. AFRICA)
• MABULANI GAME RESERVE - www.mabulani.co.za/Xara%20Mabulani/activities.htm | (S.AFRICA)
• JABULA Big Cat Sanctuary - www.jabula.tv/index.html | Owner Craig Busch is accused of animal cruelty, convicted on two charges of assaulting his former partner, unlawfully retaining property etc. | (S.AFRICA)
• Akwaaba Lodge & Predator Park - www.akwaabalodge.co.za | Owner Nazeer Ahmed Cajee, the only non-white predator breeder/canned hunter in SA, purchased lions from Lion Park in the past and admitted that the lions are hunted on his property. www.archive.asianage.com/…/caring-foster-father-his-%E2%80%… | (S.AFRICA)
• Mbidi Resort and Animal Sanctuary (RAMELA RANCH) - www.ramelaranch.co.za | Breeding, hand-raising cubs and using them to attract volunteers, allowing petting, using tigers, lions or cheetahs (cubs and adults) for walks, swimming or shows. Using animals only for profit, but no known connection to hunting. | (S.AFRICA)
• Bagamoya Wildlife Estate - www.bagamoyawildlifeestate.co.za | Breeding, taking young cubs away to hand-raise them, allowing petting and sometimes selling lions | (S.AFRICA) • Otavi Lion Park - www.otaviwildlifesanctuary.co.za | (S.AFRICA) closed
• Caring4Catz Voluntarily Project - www.facebook.com/Caring4Catz?ref=stream | (S.AFRICA)
• LIMPOPO PREDATOR PARK - www.predatorpark.co.za AND www.ingogosafaris.co.za | Breeding lions and keeping them starving, the owner Walter slippers also has a hunting reserve (owned by the same person Walter Slippers). | (S.AFRICA) Project closed after the owner got sick, the future of the lions is unclear • Ingwe Wildlife Centre - www.ingwewildlife.co.za | Breeding and taking cubs away to hand-raise them, using cubs to attract volunteers, allowing petting; ties to Letsatsi and Limpopo Predator Park and the owners are game traders who sell wildlife including lions. | (S.AFRICA) CLOSED
• Zebula - www.zebula.co.za | Breeding and petting of lion and tiger cubs, elephant rides | (S.AFRICA)
• UKUTULA Lion Park & Lodge - www.ukutula.com | Breeding intensively in the past and selling probably to intermediaries. Connected to a canned hunting farm called Kunkuru Safaris (see volunteer feedback https://www.facebook.com/…/ukutula-is-conn…/934453669935463/) The lions start disappearing from Ukutula when they are 2-3 years old and they can no longer be used for "walks" and the owners refuse to disclose the buyers. | (S.AFRICA) IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: less breeding taking place.
• SEAVIEW Predator Park - www.seaviewpredatorpark.com | Exposed for selling lions to canned hunters by the Herald, found to be connected to Cradock hunting reserve Tam Safaris and Letsatsi la Afrika (www.heraldlive.co.za/seaview-lions-bred-hunting-parks). | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: APPARENTLY NO LONGER BREEDING AND SELLING ANIMAL
• Lion and Safari Park (former Lion Park) - www.lionandsafaripark.com/ | Breeding lions; exposed for selling to canned hunters by CBS in 2015; buyers mentioned in the 60 minutes Expose The Lion Whisperer are Nazir Cajee, Kobus Van Der Westhuizen, Kobus Jakobs, Ben Duminy all well known as being involved in can hunting (www.cbsnews.com/news/the-lion-whisperer). | (S.AFRICA) - IMPROVEMENT REPORTED: MOVED TO A BIGGER AND BETTER LOCATION MEANING BETTER CONDITIONS FOR THE ANIMALS, LIMITED BREEDING AND REDUCED NUMBER OF CUBS OFFERED FOR INTERACTIONS.
The lists are based on information/feedback received from volunteers and opinions expressed by conservationists on Facebook, blogs, reviews and also in articles published on this subject.
We do not have any connection to any of the places listed, the reason for our work is to help the volunteers avoid projects involved in immoral practices such as force breeding, petting or canned hunting and to help them choose responsible projects (true sanctuaries, projects involved in rehabilitation and release or conservation oriented).
We don't accept any Fees or Donations from volunteers or any of the projects listed or not listed.
We are not engaging in undercover operations
PLEASE LET US KNOW , PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE LISTS. ANY REASON ANY OF THESE PLACES SHOULD NOT BE ON THE LISTS? ANY PLACE YOU KNOW ABOUT THAT SHOULD BE ADDED? REMEMBER, WE CANNOT INCLUDE ON THE GOOD LIST ANY PLACE INVOLVED IN FORCED BREEDING, PETTING FOR PROFIT, AND MOST OF ALL SUSPECTED OF INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CANNED LION INDUSTRY.
WE CAN'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP. THANK YOU. A work in progress.
The Lists Are The Intellectual Property Of Volunteers In Africa Beware Team.