AfriCat Foundation (Namibia)
Wild Focus Expeditions supports the work and conservation efforts of AfriCat Namibia (including both Okonjima and AfriCat North). We have seen firsthand that AfriCat Namibia is dedicated to the protection and conservation of wild and free-ranging lion populations as well as other large carnivores in Namibia. Their goal is to ensure the survival of the Panthera leo species, namely the Africa lion (as well as other large predators). Cattle farming in Namibia has had a detrimental effect on Namibia’s lion populations and the threat is growing throughout Africa. AfriCat strives to mitigate this human-wildlife conflict in order to keep lions in their natural habitat while at the same time preventing the exploitation and inhumane treatment of lions and other large predators.
AfriCat’s mission is to make a significant contribution to predator conservation through education. Education is crucial if the human-wildlife conflict issues are to be reduced and so they aim to achieve this by working with commercial farmers, local communities, communal conservancies, and the youth of Namibia.
Africa supports and conducts environmental education programmed for all ages and levels of education, provides rehabilitation programs for the animals and conducts wildlife research.
Why Protect The Namibian Lion?
- In April 1996, the lion in Namibia was declared a protected species.
- The most recent estimates indicate a total population estimated at approximately 300 – 350 adults and sub-adults in Namibia.
- Free-living (wild) lions, together with rhino and elephant, are major tourist attractions and therefore are of great economic importance to Namibia.
- The Kunene Region (formerly Damaraland + Kaokoveld), Etosha National Park, Bushmanland and the Caprivi are the only areas where wild lion populations are still to be found.
- The lion is fast losing its habitat due to human encroachment and increased farming activities.
- The importance of lions in a natural ecosystem should be recognized and conservation efforts prioritized.
AfriCat is working hard to strive towards the long term survival of lions and predators in their natural habitat of Namibia. They believe that it is important to help young children and young adults of Namibia gain a new sense of understanding of the importance of wildlife conservation. They conduct large carnivore research, particularly cheetahs, leopards and Brown hyaenas on farmland and use their findings to create awareness and promote tolerance of large carnivores amongst the farming communities. They advise farmers on effective carnivore compatible, farming techniques. AfriCat also maintains a Care Center for carnivores (cheetahs, leopards, lions and African wild dogs) for rehabilitation.