After spending the morning at Zulu Croc learning about South Africa’s cold blooded residents, we visited a cheetah rehabilitation centre in the afternoon to interact with some big cats.
We initially learned about the African wild cat which was interesting enough, yet watching the Caracal feed, by jumping to the top of the three metre high fence to catch the meat, was far more interesting.
We then got to enter the Cheetah enclosure to interact and stroke the big cat!
Exhilarating I think is the word. It was amazing: easily one of the highlights of the trip. It was noticeable, however, that the girls seemed to have it easier as the male cheetah decided to swipe at nearly every one of us boys that went up. There was a great photo of the newly formed ‘Jamy’ though!
The last opportunity of the day was to stroke Serval. We got some nice pictures with the adults, although the food ran out so they didn’t want to sit still long enough for many of us to stroke them. We then went into the enclosure with the baby Serval and had the chance to stroke and hold them. Despite being told by the guide that it perfectly safe to do, picking up the giant kitten probably wasn’t the best idea. After about ten seconds the oversized kitten decided it had had enough and proceeded to maul me across the face and chest, leaving me heavily ‘scarred’ (scratched).