South Africa 2004

Emdoneni Lodge - Serval and Cheetah Project

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Emdoneni Lodge is a luxury tourist lodge and game farm, located 10 Minutes south of Hluhluwe. The lodge features abundant wildlife, but it is best known for its Serval and Cheetah Project.

The aim of the project is to care for wild Cheetahs and Serval Cats, which have been orphaned or injured in the wild and are in need of care and rehabilitation.
We also intend to breed where possible and release the offspring back into their natural habitat.

The Servals

The servals are large, wild cats that live in the African grasslands. They are up to 22 inches tall. Julia and Jacob were very excited to get a chance to pet the servals. Most of the servals at Emdoneni are slated to be released into the wild again.

The Cheetahs

When the guide opened the enclosure where the cheetahs are, the children got a bit nervous. The cheetahs are much larger than I ever imagined. They are about the size of a great dane; on average 85 cm (34 inches) at the shoulder. They are kept in a large enclosure and they are not tame!

While the female was around the guide kept us at a safe distance from them. When the female left, we were allowed to get closer to the male, who is much less nervous. When the male was done with dinner, he turned around and walked right through the group of onlookers. At one point, he was about five feet away from me! That is an experience that makes anyone's heart pound! To these guys, we're food!

The female


The male

More Information:

The Cat Survival Trust has more information about cheetahs and servals.

Emdoneni Serval and Cheetah Project

Copyright ©2004 Jürgen Henn