Okonjima Game Reserve, supervised in cooperation with the AfriCat Foundation is well worth a visit. AfriCat is devoted to rehabilitating injured and abandoned cats, as well as problem cats that have killed farmers' cattle and the like. Obviously, not every cat can be released back into the real wild — not enough unspoken-for space, and too much competition from other, established predators — but Okonjima Game Reserve is a worthy stop-gap measure. A handful of leopards are collard with remote-control tracking devices, which makes them easier to find. It may sound upsetting to purists, but the cats are habituated to vehicles and the guides seem to be well-schooled in not harassing the animals for the sake of a good tourist sighting. My own guides in 6 game drives through the reserve — Martin, Previous and Pieter — were both skilled and informative, and passionate about what they do. I visited in December, 2013: Not everyone will be so lucky, but 2 of the collared leopards have/had cubs, one with a single eight-month-old, and the other with a pair of four-month-old cubs. The cubs are a delightful sighting, because they're restless and hyperactive where adult leopards tend to lie around in dense thorn cover during the heat of day. Okonjima isn't a truly wild experience — the cats are collared and habituated to people, after all — but realistically this is as close as a visitor is ever likely to get to a large, charismatic predator that still hunts its own food. Okonjima may not be completely wild, but it is a very, very different experience from seeing captive cats come running for meat at feeding time, which is what most cat-oriented guest farms in Namibia do.
Also, AfriCat's aim to re-release cats they deem to have a chance of surviving on their own is a worthy project in its own right. Animal lovers can't help but be impressed.
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