Something we never expected to encounter in Stanford was a tiger… nor for that matter 5 white lion, a leopard, a black leopard and a couple of caracal!!
But that is exactly what we got when we visited the newly opened Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary located just outside the village of Stanford among farmlands and paddocks of cows…
Panthera Africa is a non-profit company founded by Lizaene Cornwall and Cathrine S. Nyquist. This is an environmentally friendly sanctuary for any captive bred big cats and a place where they will be protected and be allowed to prosper for the rest of their lives.
Lizaene and Catherine personally took us on a tour of their facility and introduced us to each of their cat children. All with names and back stories that will make you cry… You most likely know someone who is obsessed with their kitty cat…. well, these 2 are obsessed with cats too – only MUCH bigger one!
One of Panthera Africa’s main purposes is to be an educational platform where they create awareness about conditions big cats in captivity live under and how better living conditions and enrichment play a vital role in giving these captive born cats the best life possible as none of them will ever be able to live in the wild.
We were exposed to the hard facts of how lion cub petting often leads to canned lion hunting and how excessive breeding and trading of these amazing creatures is doing so much damage.
The name Panthera Africa is inspired by the passion Lizaene and Cathrine have for the four pantheras; panthera leo – the lion, panthera pardus – the leopard, panthera onca – the jaguar and panthera tigris – the tiger.
My kids loved seeing real tigers, white lion and even a black leopard up close, albeit behind 2 rather strong fences!!
Obviously seeing these animals in the wild is first prize but this was a great place to expose them to the creatures while fostering a love for them and helping them to learn more about what makes for a happy cat – small or large!
Read more about our weekend in Stanford here:
Panthera Africa Contact Details
GPS: -34.458942, 19.532096 | 34° 27′ 32.3″ S 19°31’55.5″ E
Tel: +27 76 9743088 / +27 84 8662665
Stanford Tourism Contact Details
13 Queen Victoria Street
GPS: -34.439292, 19.455573
Winter hours: 1 June – 30 August
Mon – Friday 08:30 – 16:30
Saturday 09:30 – 16:00
Sundays and non religious public holidays 10:00-13:00
Images: Kathryn Rossiter