The Cheetah Experience

Along with the fabulous accommodation and entertainment offered by the Emoya Hotel and Spa, the Rovos Hunting Safari tour takes you on a visit to learn about a cause close to the estate’s heart: the Cheetah Experience. Founded in 2006, the Cheetah Experience was started as a breeding program to bolster the species’ endangered population with the intention to release as many as possible back into the wild. The Cheetah Experience employed expert vets and researchers to monitor and protect the cheetahs as well as to learn more about their attributes for further education on these majestic cats. Their mission is to conserve endangered species by captive breeding and awareness and to provide a safe haven for injured or sick cats.

haven for sick cats

Guests are able to take a tour with one of the centre’s experienced resident guides, which lasts 45 minutes. Guests will be able to venture into the animal enclosures where they are given the opportunity to pet the animals. Your heart will melt at the sight of fluffy cheetah cubs; a once in a lifetime experience for anyone who loves and respects nature and Africa’s wildlife. Photos are allowed to be taken allowing you to capture memories and leave with a memento of your surreal encounter with these big cats.

Since the sanctuary was opened, there are a select few cheetahs who have become the resident cats of any tour.

resident cats


This cheetah was the reason for the facility’s establishment to protect the species. Fiela is a smart and clever eight-year-old who can even open the door of owner Riana’s home.


Bibi was born with half a tail, a condition very rare in cheetahs but one that does happen. Because of this, Bibi was rejected at birth by her mother, prompting Riana to take care of her. Bibi weighed only 270 g at birth and also had a deformed front leg, which healed after Riana placed it in a splint. Even though she is healed, Bibi will never be able to hunt successfully, making her a permanent resident of the facility. Bibi is known for her cheerful and friendly personality, which is why you will see her roaming freely as you visit.

Apollo and Abbey:

These twins are the pride and joy of the Cheetah Experience as they were the first successful cubs to be born out of the breeding program.

Cheetah Experience cubs

Along with the cheetah, the facility has many other animals for Rovos Rail passengers  to view. Wildlife to feast your eyes on include leopards, caracals, servals, wolves, meerkats and the rare blue-eyed white lion, Acinonyx. As well as an extensive tour of the sanctuary, guests are also welcome to embark on a game drive through the natural veld, home to 32 different species of antelope and a diverse array of bird species. After game-viewing, have a browse through the curio shop to take home a souvenir or gift for someone back home.

rare blue-eyed white lion

After a fun-filled visit to the Cheetah Experience, you will be blessed with an insight into understanding big cats as well as gaining general knowledge of the species.

Cheetah Experiences