The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, formerly known as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, is a breeding sanctuary for cheetahs and other endangered animals.
It was founded in 1971 by conservationist Ann van Dyk and is situated in Hartbeespoort, in the foothills of the Magaliesberg, about one hour’s drive from Johannesburg. If you appreciate game reserves in Gauteng then a day trip to the centre is well worth the drive, especially if you’re interested in getting to know more about this important cause.
The centre has played a crucial role in the protection of cheetahs in South Africa, and has managed to breed roughly 600 – an astounding achievement considering the cheetah population in South Africa was estimated at 700 when the De Wildt breeding programme first started.
In 1986, the centre celebrated its first major success and received international recognition when the cheetah was removed from the South African endangered species list.
A number of other creatures are also housed here including African wild dogs, brown hyenas, servals, suni antelopes, riverine rabbits and a population of vultures.
About the centre
The centre is a non-profit institute and relies mainly on donations from sponsors, support from the public and income from tourism. It operates an outreach programme, visiting schools and institutions in an effort to raise awareness about cheetahs and nature conversation. An “ambassador cheetah” is present at these demonstrations, allowing people a chance to get a closer look.
The country's diverse and rich wildlife, especially its predators are the major tourist attractions in South Africa. Visitors to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre are rewarded two-fold, firstly by gaining an education in the wonderful work done at the sanctuary and then by being able to book tours around the facilities and visit the cheetah enclosures, getting a rare close look at these amazing animals.
Be sure to inquire about the cheetah run when, three times a week, visitors are invited to witness the ambassador cheetahs’ exercise as they chase after a high-speed lure. There are a variety of educational tour packages to choose from, and bookings should be made in advance. Tours include a game drive through the sanctuary and a chance to learn more the centre and its wildlife. Special private group tours and exclusive tours for two people can also be arranged.
If you’re interested in spending the night in this tranquil part of Gauteng, accommodation at the centre’s lodge is available – also an ideal place for lunch parties and special occasions.
- Enquire about how you can help the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre continue its good work.
Opening hours and admission
The centre is open from 8am to 5pm daily.
Activities offered are:
- Cheetah Run, 3 Hour Guided Tour and Touch Experience: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8am. Booking is essential at a cost of R400 (adult) and R200 (child).
- 3 Hour Guided Tour and Touch Experience: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8.30am to 11.30am and daily from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Cost is R300 (adult) and R150 (child).
- Private 3 Hour Guided Tour and Touch Experience:
This three hour guided tour is a private tour and available on request Cost is R4200 per group (Groups of one to 10 guests). For larger groups please contact reservations.
- Please visit the website for more tours on offer.