A legacy left to the AfriCat Foundation by Mr John Wolfe has enabled the Organisation to make a significant contribution to the cost of protecting and securing a 55 000-acre private Nature Reserve - a joint venture with Okonjima and private donors. The benefits to AfriCat are two-fold; a chance to expedite its efforts in the fields of conservation, rehabilitation, education and research, as well as a return on its investment by securing a regular income for the Foundation from the revenue generated by Okonjima’s eco-tourism operation.
The opportunity to expand and accelerate its rehabilitation programme will enable a larger number of cheetahs, leopards, spotted and brown hyaenas and wild dogs to live and hunt in a vast natural wilderness area and, in many cases, return to their natural habitat where they can once again contribute to the growth of the wild populations and the long-term survival of some of these endangered species.
This wilderness area is made up of Okonjima, where AfriCat is based, and the four surrounding farms which have been purchased with the help of foreign investors. The development of the nature reserve will take place in two phases, with the erection of the 98-kilometre perimeter boundary fence (completed in May 2010), the building of water-points to create drinking areas for the game and carnivores and the construction of some roads being completed in the first phase.
To facilitate radio-tracking, monitoring and game viewing, additional roads will be added during the second phase of the development. The numbers of game and predators already existing in the area will be determined and additional game will be purchased and introduced. (2012 -2014 and on-going)
Thanks to the John Wolfe Legacy - AfriCat’s rehabilitation programme that started in 2000 in the smaller 4 500ha Okonjima Reserve, regained strength in 2010 – after the completion the 20 000ha Reserve and with the release of more radio-collared, large carnivores.
Mr Wolfe’s legacy has not only provided AfriCat with the opportunity to make a greater contribution to the long-term survival of large carnivores in Namibia, but also the ability to secure an income to assist the Organisation to continue with its conservation work in the future.
During his lifetime, Mr Wolfe visited many wildlife sanctuaries throughout the world and travelled to Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa on safari. Sadly, he never got to visit the AfriCat Foundation, although he had been planning a trip to Namibia - a trip never made because of his sudden death. His legacy expressed his great empathy with cats and AfriCat will ensure that this passion is reflected in what it is able to achieve with his generous bequest.