Cheetah Release Naankuse

Cheetah Release Programmes

N/a'an ku sê • Namibia

Be part of a unique experience in which the N/a'an ku sê Foundation releases a group of cheetahs back into the wild. The operation is part of an ongoing N/a'an ku sê programme to help reduce human-wildlife conflict on commercial farmland in Namibia, through rescuing and releasing threatened cats. During the Programme, you'll witness the complete process to relocate a cheetah coalition, learn about cheetah conservation, and will have hands-on involvement assisting experienced wildlife professionals in their conservation work.

The programme starts in the N/a'an ku sê Wildlife Reserve, for an introduction on the project, and preparations for the relocation. After the immobilization, the cheetahs will be fit with radio collars so that their movements can be monitored. This is helping to gain a better understanding of their ecology for future conservation efforts and management. The animals also go through a screening on their condition, in which they will be checked on diseases, and various measurements will be taken. After transportation to their new homes, you will witness the release of the cheetahs into their new habitat. You'll also join the researcher during the monitoring in the very first phase of their new life, in order to establish if they adapted well.

This unique packages enables you to support to the N/a'an ku sê Foundation, and offers exclusive exposure and participative access on-site. Your contribution will be a crucial step towards a better understanding and the sustainable management of the cheetah population in Namibia.


N/a'an ku sê Carnivore Conservation Research Programme

The Cheetah Release Programme is part of the N/a'an ku sê Carnivore Conservation Research Programme , an ongoing effort to research, rescue and release threatened cats in Namibia, to help reduce human-wildlife conflict. An important element of the conflict are cheetahs on commercial farmland, often being killed by landowners who perceive them to be a treat. N/a'an ku sê has established a solid working relationship with a growing number of landowners across Namibia and are contacted when problem carnivores are identified. To prevent them from being killed, the animals are live-trapped and relocated to conservation areas in other parts of Namibia.

Since the research project began in early 2008, the N/a'an ku sê Foundation has captured and safely re-released over 50 large predators, including cheetah, leopard and brown hyena. They were fitted with radio collars and are monitored on a daily basis. Most have established well defined home ranges and territories and successfully hunt wildlife. With cheetahs listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List for endangered species, and almost one third of the entire cheetah population in central Namibia living outside protected areas on commercial farmland, the programme is important for the long-term survival of the species in Namibia.

N/a'an ku sê and the Team

Marlice van Vuuren, one of Namibia's most well known conservationists, and her husband Dr. Rudie van Vuuren started N/a'an ku sê Foundation in 2006 with two aims - to protect and conserve Namibia's vulnerable wildlife and to improve the lives of the marginalised San Bushman community. The N/a'an ku sê philosophy is "Conservation through Innovation" with the aim to create sustainable and long-term solutions. This has resulted in several projects including:

Supporting African Wildlife

  • The Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe home for orphaned and injured animals who sadly cannot be released back into the wild
  • The Carnivore Conservation Research Project researches and protects threatened wild cheetahs, leopards and brown hyena

Supporting the marginalised San Community

  • The Clever Cubs School provides free education for San Bushman children.
  • The Lifeline Clinic provides free healthcare to the San Bushman community in Epukiro.

The Cheetah Release Programme is led by Florian Wiese, head carnivore researcher at N/a'an ku sê. Florian studied Biology for 3 years in Berlin, Germany and undertook 2 years of ranger training and studies in African Wildlife Management in Tanzania, including numerous expeditions. After completing a MSc in Animal Behaviour (specialising in African elephants) in Manchester, England, he started working for N/a'an ku sê in February 2008.

Read more about N/a'an ku sê here

Conservation Areas

The N/a'an ku sê Wildlife Reserve encompasses 3,200 hectare and hosts an abundant amount of wildlife and roaming game including giraffe, zebra, kudu, hartebeest, springbok, eland, jackal as well as wild cheetahs and leopards. These animals are all protected within this conservation area and guests can enjoy seeing the wildlife on a daily basis driving around the reserve.

Within the reserve, the N/a'an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary provides a safe haven for various orphaned and injured African wildlife. N/a'an ku sê strongly believes the wild belongs in the wild and directs all efforts towards long term rehabilitation. Only those that can't be released back into the wild, mostly for reasons of human impact, remain on the sanctuary.

Cheetah Release sites are carefully chosen, taking into account a range of factors. The focus is on re-establishment of local cheetah population in conservation areas and nature reserves where their numbers are currently low. Released cheetahs will be monitored constantly in order to establish if they adapted well and are settling into their new habitats. At the same time the prey base on the release site will be monitored to establish the carrying capacity continuously.

  • Cheetah GPS collar ©Naankuse
  • NAmibia Map Naankuse
  • Naankuse Lodge ©Ellis Karels


N/a'an ku sê Lodge offers superb accommodation, Namibia's finest cuisine, and breathtaking scenery. It is the only charity lodge in Namibia, and is crafted from ecologically clean material including solid logs and glass to complement N/a'an ku sê's beautiful wilderness setting. Guests will find six luxurious, individual chalets and a tranquil dining area with stunning views, bar and swimming pool.

Accommodation on the release site is depending on the specific nature reserve chosen for the reintroduction. In general though, the lodges will be of comparable quality to the Lodge at N/a'an ku sê, offering tranquillity in dramatic landscapes and top-quality accommodation, catering and overall service.

  • Naankuse View ©Naankuse