Visiting Veterinarians Talk About Their Time At CCF
- by CCF Visitor March 14, 2022
Tourism to Namibia has experienced a big decline over the past two years. The economic impact for the country has been devastating to the tourism industry in Namibia. CCF has felt an impact in that the combined visitation for 2020 and 2021 was half of the nearly 15k people we welcomed in 2019 alone – day visitors and overnight guests.
Thankfully, we have begun to experience an increase but we are still not back to our pre-pandemic levels of visitation. We will continue to help promote sustainable and responsible tourism to Namibia as we attract and welcome guests to our Centre.
See reviews and great photos below from veterinarians and their families who visited CCF in 2021.
Dr. Cat Grey
Catherine Grey, a veterinarian from the USA, experienced our fully inclusive program at Cheetah View Lodge. She met Dr. Laurie Marker and Dr. Bruce Brewer for dinner, both nights of her stay.
What I loved about the CCF experience… very hard to narrow it down: Hearing how they treat the Cheetahs and watching and the explanation was wonderful; hearing how Dr. Marker is not only saving the cheetahs directly from injury and abandonment as much as possible, but how she is saving them from the hands of farmers, by scat analysis, training them how and when and what cheetah kills look like vs other predators, teaching them how to have healthier more productive and safer herds which in turn increases their quality of life blew my mind… what a humanitarian! And the Anatolian Shepherd’s — that program is amazing! The fact that there is a waiting list says a lot. (And oh, those pups!) The model goat herd and the “kiddie” playground. Seeing the clinic (more advanced than the one I’m currently at!) was a treat. Loved the museum and didn’t have enuf time to really absorb and read everything in it. And the milky way and stars, Holy Crow… never seen anything like it!! The sundowner… awesome sunset and bat eared foxes — a new species for me! Narrow it down , you ask? Impossible!! LOL!
Dr. Michael Thomsen and Nikki Thomsen
Michael Thomsen, a Diplomat of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners of the Canine and Feline Practice in the USA and his wife Nikki Thomsen visited and stayed at Babson House for two nights. They were both very interested in CCF programs and enjoyed all our daily activities. Nikki watched the Cheetah Run three times.
Nikki and I loved everything about CCF. The Babson house was incredible with fantastic breakfasts and dinners with unmatched care. We loved having young cheetahs in our front yard. Learning about the wide array of efforts to improve the lives of the local farmers and communities to get everyone on board with conservation and preservation of the cheetahs was fantastic. From the bush bloc program to improve cheetah habitat to the livestock guarding dogs for the farms and the goat farm with its concomitant education programs, CCF addresses the issue from so many angles with each facet contributing to the cause.
We loved the sundowner drives getting to see our first Namibian wildlife. But, as I am sure is the case with so many visitors, we were completely enamored watching the cheetahs run even if only at half their potential. We watched them three mornings in a row and were never disappointed. The young cheetahs ran with so much enthusiasm, stopping on a dime in a cloud of dust and changing direction and Bella worked the system to not have to do much but still caught the rag and received her treats in true cat fashion. We will definitely be back!
Dr. Alexis Shipp and Family
Alex Shipp & Dr. Alexis Cox-Shipp and Carol “Candy” Cox visited in August and stayed at the Babson House. Alex and Alexis are big supporters of CCF. Alexis is a veterinarian from the USA who previously volunteered for CCF at our Cheetah Safe House in Somaliland. While they were at the Centre we hung a plaque to honor Candy’s late husband (see photo below).
Alexis – I was interested in cheetah rescue, rehabilitation, release when possible, and long-term care when not. But CCF is so much more. Getting to see the livestock guarding dogs take on their role with absolute enthusiasm, leading the herds out daily to graze, was spectacular. Touring the Bushblok operation, the garden that feeds CCF, the creamery, and the genetics lab… priceless! CCF is an amazing and complex study in conservation!
Candy – I’ve been ultra fortunate to have visited CCF Namibia twice, and it never gets old! Laurie et al have created an amazing organization that continues to expand and evolve in its research and service to the cheetahs, Namibian farmers, the local community, and, ultimately, all of us. Of course I love watching the cheetahs do their spectacular exercise run in the morning. I also love to watch the dogs set off in the mornings with their flock of goats. Never tire of hearing about how Laurie started breeding dogs to protect the farmers’ goats, then had to get goats to train the dogs, and then started a creamery to make yogurt, cheese, and soaps from all of the goat milk. And now they have built a facility that converts prosopis, an invasive mesquite-like shrub, into useful fire logs. It’s a wonderful story and a wonderful adventure to see CCF in action.
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