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AfriCat Travels to the United Kingdom and the Netheralands to Raise Funds for Conservation!

Report of Visit by Tammy Hoth-Hanssen, Director of AfriCat Namibia, to The UK October 2014.

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Downe House Careers Presentation
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Moulsford Boys
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Moulsford Boys showing-off their School Emblem (Lion)
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Downe House Presentation

It was wonderful that Tammy was able to visit the UK in October 2014 and AfriCat UK arranged a varied programme of activities talks, meetings and events, keeping her very busy!

The Conservation Through Education theme was brought to the UK as Tammy met with and talked to pupils from four different schools.

  • Tammy was welcomed back to Hampton School for a 'follow up' talk to pupils. A group from the school had visited AfriCat North in July 2014. They had raised funds for a lion collar and while there built a kraal. The school was keen to learn about the progress with the lion research project in AfriCat North and plans have been made for the school to get regular updates on the lion wearing 'their' collar’s activities. Hampton School Adventure Society expedition visits AfriCat in Namibia.
  • A meeting was held at Dr Challoner’s Grammar School who will be visiting AfriCat HQ and AfriCat North in 2015. The boys and staff visiting were able to hear about the project first hand, discuss what they would like to do and have their questions answered. Organized through Nick Joynes plans are being made for a talk to a wider local audience and other fundraising activity to take place before the school leave for their trip.
  • A talk with the lower school at Downe House was arranged, the girls here were interested to hear about the work AfriCat does and enjoyed the pictures. The girls found the fact that AfriCat needed to balance the needs of the farmer and the wildlife interesting. An informal discussion with some older pupils looked at longer term work and career options in this field and how useful all kinds of related voluntary or paid experience can be.
  • The boys at Moulsford Prep School enjoyed talking with Tammy about lions and the work involved in trying to put collars on them. They had plenty of questions not just about carnivores but also in relation to poaching. One pupil recalled the impact of his visit to AfriCat HQ made with Mouslford prep in 2009 when he was very young.


As well as spreading the word on conservation Tammy met up with a range of organizations, sharing experiences and building links that will support the work of AfriCat and more generally conservation in Africa. This included

  • Catching up with Tusk Trust who have provided a range of funds for different projects over the years and are currently helping with the Environmental Education Officer based at AfriCat HQ. AfriCat is one of the projects that Tusk Trust fund, the support provided it highly valued by AfriCat.
  • A meeting with Lion Aid to share and explore ideas/options for ways of helping to stem the tide in the decline in the number of lions worldwide.
  • A discussion with Will Travers from theBorn Free Foundation sharing experiences and issues with kraal building and working with local communities. There was considerable common ground but differing solutions accommodating cultural differences and environmental conditions. For example the problems with termites are less acute in Namibia and the kraals are just for animals not whole villages, which is the case in East Africa. Key to success in both areas was working with the community’s chief and getting their and their people’s buy in to the project.

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Meeting up with AfriCat’s patrons Lorraine Kelly and Chris Packham provided an opportunity to share ideas and thoughts for the future and thank them for their ongoing support for the work of AfriCat and the help they provide AfriCat UK with the current list of projects which include:

  • The lion study linked to Human Wildlife mitigation
  • The lion guardians
  • The projects with the painted or cape hunting dogs and wildlife mitigation
  • The predator and prey density study at AfriCat HQ
  • Reducing the incidence of cheetah fly with the ambassador cheetah and those awaiting rehabilitation in the park
  • Helping to build a new school for a community that is working with AfriCat
  • Environmental Education
  • The work to restore the more 'natural' habitat and reduce the bush encroachment at Okonjima Read more: AfriCat Projects


Funds and fund raising are an important part of any overseas trip. Tammy was able to meet up with some individuals and organizations that may be able to help with funding in both the short and longer term. The Big Cats: keeping them wild talk by Chris Packham on the 17th October at the RGS in London provided the main focus of fundraising activity organized by Africat UK as a part of Tammy’s visit. Feedback confirms that those attending found it informative and enjoyable and thanks goes to the main sponsors of the event (Chris Packham, Expert Africa, Namibian Tourist Board, Naturally Namibia and Air Namibia) and the other stand holders Hamish Mackie with his sculpture and a fascinating display of confiscated wildlife items brought into this country illegally – very much enjoyed by many of the pupils who attended from the schools Tammy had talked too.

AfriCat UK look forward to welcoming AfriCat Namibia back for future visits.
For further information of activities and events please check out the AfriCat UK website. 
Written by: Carey & Janet Widdows – AfriCat UK



Chris Packham for AfriCat at the Royal Geographical Society on Friday 17th October 2014

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AfriCat UK's David Farquharson with Chris Packham.
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Chris Packham chatting to members of the audience before his talk.

AfriCat supporters, old friends and new, met at the RGS in London to listen to Chris Packham, talk about his wildlife encounters and photography. Chris is a passionate wildlife expert, professional photographer, TV presenter and most importantly for us, AfriCat’s patron.

Chris Packham’s talk was as fascinating as it was amusing. He entertained us all with talk of his wildlife encounters ranging from observing at close quarters the snow leopard in Siberia to observation of Tristan’s Boehme’s patience as his assistant at Okonjima. Chris showed photographs of himself lying flat on a moving trailer (towed by Tristan) with only his toes holding him on whilst trying to catch the perfect shot of a cheetah at full tilt.

We heard about the amazing encounter Chris had on his most recent visit to Okonjima with not one but two pangolins; a rarely seen mammal but all the more so because sadly some believe their bones to have medicinal value for heartache among other things and illegal poaching has drastically reduced their numbers.

Chris touched on other wildlife issues that concern him greatly such as the protection of migratory birds in Malta and the illegal shooting of birds in reserves there.

The audience was entranced as Chris detailed the lengths to which he would go to take the perfect photograph. We were shown many shots with one or two blades of grass too many and perfect images created by building an artificial mound from which to attain the best photographic vantage point. Many of us amateur photographers in the audience then realized why we haven’t been able to create eye-catching images!

After all his fascinating stories of wild animals about which he is clearly passionate, Chris Packham declared, rather surprisingly, that his favourite animals are his two poodles "Itchy” and “Scratchy"!
Written by: Fiona Anderson


UK Chairman, David Farquharson added:
"We are so pleased with the magnificent attendance and that the evening was, in all respects, a resounding success. Thanks to the attendees, the sponsors, the great Chris Packham and our army of volunteers, AfriCat UK is firmly back on track.

We look forward to keeping everyone in touch with further fundraising events in the coming year. A similar enthusiastic response will mean we can continue to make a real positive difference to conservation, education and community enhancement in Namibia".
David Farquharson Swan Turton LLP

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Some of the audience who attended the evening. The audience ranged from 8 to 83!
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AfriCat Uk's Carey Widdows presenting the tickets to Tara Walker who won the 12 day Safari holiday for two to Namibia.
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AfriCat's director Tammy talking to people who attended the event at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
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Wildlife sculptor Hamish Mackie sold his exquisite range of bronze sculptures.
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AfriCat's own Jackie Downey with the One Direction t-shirt that sold in the silent auction organised in aid of AfriCat funds.
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All the way from Namibia - Tristan Boheme and Tammy Hoth-Hanssen in the audience at Big Cats Keeping them Wild.
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One of the sponsors of the evening, Expert Africa had a team of experts at the event.
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Tammy Hoth-Hanssen answering questions with Chris Packham.
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AfriCat volunteers and stand holders with Chris Packham.


AfriCat visits Stichting SPOTS, October 2014

Stichting SPOTS’ Director, Simone Eckhardt, first visited AfriCat during 2010; shocked at the realisation that yet another 'cat of the spotted kind' (lions also bear spots, albeit fewer than Cheetah and Leopard) needed her support, Simone’s never-ending concern for dwindling lion numbers due to persecution and her empathy for farming communities in Namibia’s wildlife-conflict zones, has raised an enormous amount of funding for AfriCat’s lion research, livestock protection and community support programmes.

After a week of visiting schools and meeting potential donors in the UK, Tammy spent the next leg of the AfriCat Fund-Raising tour in the Netherlands with Simone, her enthusiastic volunteers and devoted supporters.

Whilst a number of new contacts were made, Tammy’s visit primarily involved public presentations and meetings with 2014 donors and sponsors, whose generous support in the form of lion-proof, livestock kraals, a 3-tonne truck, GPS-Satellite collars, night-vision binoculars, hand-held cyber-trackers and trail cameras, has enabled the Communal Carnivore Conservation Programme (CCCP) to make a tangible difference.

Sincere thanks to: DierenPark Amersfoort Wildlife Fund, Foundation 'Friends of Beekse Bergen & Dierenrijk Hilvarenbeek', ING – Goede Doelenfonds voor Medewerkers, GaiaZoo, WWF Netherlands, Quagga Conservation, Ton Putman, LevopLant Orchid Growers, volunteers Lia Spitters and Joop Doorduin, Chris Harmsen and the team of dedicated SPOTS supporters .

With the SPOTS slogan foremost in our minds, "The Future depends on what you do Today", we thank Simone and her Team for all they have done and continue to do, in order for AfriCat to be in the field and 'to make a difference TODAY'.

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Simone and Chief Ndjiwa.


AfriCat’s Wish List 2014/2015

"In order to make a real difference, your support on any level will be sincerely appreciated"
– the AfriCat Team in the field


1. Essential Salaries:
a. Research Veterinarian: AfriCat’s first Research Veterinarian, Dr David Roberts, joined us in September; he will supervise and ensure scientifically sound Large Carnivore Research Projects, manage & monitor the animals in our Carnivore Care Centre and support farming communities in conflict zones. Dr David Robert’s salary for 2015 and beyond, must be secured.
N$ 324 000.00 per annum.

Employing a vet has enabled AfriCat to better monitor health issues in the AfriCat Care Centre; conduct more effectively the monitoring of the cheetahs in rehabilitation; continue with the valuable lion research project; and wild dog research in the field; as well as initiate more projects - especially pertaining to livestock management, disease control and husbandry in communal farming areas. 

b. Lion & Wild Dog Guardians: these dedicated community members are elected by their Conservancies, essentially carrying the message of Conservation from the highest authorities to the farmer.
Cost approx.: N$ 20 000.00 per month / N$260 000.00 per annum.


2. Livestock Protection Programme:
To effectively reduce livestock loss through better protection and to minimise the destruction of lions & other carnivores, AfriCat builds nocturnal 'kraals' for committed communities, assisted by community leaders and the Lion Guardians. 
Approx. Cost per livestock kraal (depending on size/number of livestock): N$ 40 000.00 – N$60 000.00 per kraal.


3. AfriCat North Research & Community Support Projects:
Field Vehicles, 4x4 pick-ups fitted with extra long-range fuel tanks, water containers, heavy-duty springs and tyres, etc. See: About AfriCat North.
Costs: N$350 000.00 – N$650 000.00


4. 'Conservation Through Education':
a. AfriCat’s Environmental Education programme is popular amongst schools nationwide and requires a second Educator’s Salary and accommodation close to the EE Centre.
Costs approx.: Educator’s Salary N$20 000.00 per month / N$ 260 000.00 per annum;

b. Accommodation for Educator: N$350 000 per unit/house


5. Motion Detection Cameras (Trail Cameras) / GPS Satellite & VHF Collars:
To effectively gather data, both visual (trail cameras) and location, movement, etc. (collars), the various projects require.
Cost approx.: N$10 000.00 per camera. (includes metal protection unit; SD cards etc)
Collars: Lion GPS / Satellite $28 000.00 – N$ 30 000.00 each.
Cheetah | Leopard VHF collars approx. N$3 500.00 each.
Telemetry Set for tracking N$13 500. (incl. Antenna: N$4500; Receiver N$9000)


6. Mobile Field Clinic:
4x4 truck, with long-range fuel tanks, water containers, heavy-duty springs and tyres, extra power-supply, etc. AfriCat’s field projects are expanding to include communal support and will be modified to allow basic surgical procedures in the field.
Cost approx.: Vehicle N$ 1 000 000.00.


7. Community School and Hostel:
The 'Onguta Primary School' in the Ehirovipuka Conservancy, Kuenene Region, north-western Namibia provides a basic education for grades 1-4; the classrooms comprise two, dilapidated Safari-tents, sand floors and too few desks and chairs.
Cost Phase 1 approx.: (2 classrooms, store room + 4 toilets) approx N$ 600 000.00 – NS$ 800 000.00


8. Land Purchase to establish 'Centre for Adult Learning', Kunene Region, north-west Namibia:
AfriCat proposes the development of a Centre of Learning for Adults and Youth in the Kunene Region, supporting communal conservancies. For this, a portion of land must be purchased in close proximity to communal farmland.
Cost: approx. N$ 2 250 000.00.


9. The Carnivore Care Centre:
AfriCat’s non-releasable 'ambassadors' housed in the Care Centre need exercise and the Cheetah Lure encourages Cheetah to run at high speed, emulating 'the chase in the wild'.
Cost: approx. N$ 250 000.00 See: Carnivore Care Program.


10. Satellite phone to communicate with farmers in remote areas:
AfriCat tracks lions and other predators in remote areas and needs to stay in contact with communal farmers and vets.
N$20 000,00 incl. 300 min airtime.


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