An unique volunteer experience

I’ve done many volunteer projects over the years, most of the time in Southern Africa with big cats. But I must say that my experience at Panthera Africa is unforgettable. Although it’s the shortest project I’ve ever done, it left a very strong imprint in my heart, because of the people there, the animals and the passion that you can feel everywhere. Rarely have I felt such a relaxed, content behaviour in the animals. As soon as you set foot in Panthera Africa, you are overwhelmed with a sense of peace and contentment. Both the animals and the people are just happy. This is a true safe haven!

In most volunteering projects, I’ve been lucky to meet fantastic people and felt like I was part of a group with strong bonds. But here, after a week only, I felt I was part of a family. The way Liz and Cat share their passion, their dream and their true pure love for the animal is so generous and unique. They really make you feel like your presence as a person is making a true difference, and not that you’re a number on a long list of volunteers like in some other places. You feel that you will be forever welcome at the sanctuary and that they can read through your heart your love for the animals.

The entire staff contributes to making your time there special: Lynsey, Nina, Stig, Joseph… a group of pure hearted, funny, relaxed, passionate people with a fantastic dedication.

Panthera Africa is one of the most inspiring places I’ve had the chance to volunteer for.

The purpose is absolutely clear, you learn so many things about canned hunting, bone trade and other background hidden practices in Southern Africa. Whenever you look at the animals, it’s no longer a tiger that you see, a lion, it’s the whole industry they are a victim of, and the hard, patient work a few passionate people dedicate their lives to try and change things.

Being offered the chance to be part of it, even only for a few days or weeks, is a blessing and I recommend it warmly to any hesitant volunteer.
You will not regret it!

Géraldine (France)

March 2017

The best time of my life…

Before I came to South Africa I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit scared actually, since I was going to live in a foreign country for 3 months with people I didn’t know. I was worried that I would feel lonely and homesick, but the second I entered the house at Panthera Africa all the thoughts and worries were gone. It immediately felt like home and I knew that I was going to have the best time of my life. Everyone there was so welcoming, warm-hearted and kind.

Since I was at Panthera Africa for 3 months, which is a pretty long time, many volunteers came and left during my stay. But I can say, that all of them had their own impact on my stay and I had so much fun with every single one. I now have friends in Sweden, Norway, England, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and of course South Africa.

Lyns, Cat, Stig, Lizaene, Nina, Joseph, you guys are family for me and I really, really thank you for everything.

I’ve never really been a big animal lover, I never had any pets or wished for some.

But for example sitting with Obi, going for a run with Lala or talking to Lei-ah just made me grew a huge heart for them and all the other animals that still struggle in Breeding and Hunting farms.

When you look them in the eyes you can see pure love and kindness and it is an unbelievable feeling to be able to make sure that these guys are safe and happy.

Of course I had to do some hard and sometimes not really fun work, but I always thought that I’m doing this for such a good reason, so it was okay. But cleaning the enclosures, looking for poop and bones like on an Easter egg-hunt, painting stumps, building platforms and enclosures and preparing the food was a lot of fun. The days were always diversified, so I never got bored at all.

I would sometimes just sit in the garden, watch the beautiful sunset, listen to the lions roar and feel so happy and calm. But there were also moments of so much laughter (LYNS, STIG ;))…

It is awesome to see, how people from all over the world with so different lives, come together at this place and immediately bond, since they’re all there for the same reason: to help animals.

Thank you so much to everyone!

I learned a lot at my time at Panthera Africa. Not only about Canned Hunting and the animals, but also about life and myself. I will never forget you and I promise to come back, because this is one of the best places in the world to see beautiful nature, make awesome friends and the best; really feel that you are doing something good for the animals.

 

Love, Lea (Germany)

January – March 2017

A heartfelt “thank you” and an eye opener ❤

Dear Cat and Liz!

I would like to thank you for four amazing weeks here in South Africa and at Panthera Africa!

I have learned so much from my stay here. I knew nothing about the lion industry with cub petting and canned hunting before I came here. I am so grateful that I was allowed to be a part of this amazing work you are doing, and getting to know these precious animals.

I had never thought that I would feel so close to these cats without touching them and being with them physically. Just to sit with them and feel their presence is really something special. I also love to see how the tourists react to the stories you tell them, because this really shows that you spread awareness and help these animals.

I have not only learned about the animals, but also so much about life. Just to see what you guys have managed to accomplish with this place, following your dreams. And to meet so many different people from all around the world and with completely different views of life. I am used to my small group of friends that all kind of share the same view on life and what is “normal”. Then to come here and meet people that have lives completely different than what is “normal” for me. This just shows that you can do whatever you want to do with your life and that you don’t have to live it in one specific way.

I am really going to miss the peace, tranquillity and freedom I have felt here in South Africa. But I will try to keep it with me when I go to everyday life back in Norway. And I’m of course going to miss all the amazing and fantastic animals, and all the new friends I have made here at Panthera Africa. You are all lovely human beings that have made my stay here unforgettable!

I will never forget my four weeks here at Panthera Africa, and I know that the moments I had with the animals will stay with me forever.

I will miss you all until next time!

 

Lise – Norway

Michael VotterDear Lizaene and Cat,

staff members and other volunteers, all the animals,

whole Panthera Africa!

Months ago I was totally nervous and had no idea what to expect at my short stay at Panthera Africa.

It was a dream since my childhood to work with this beautiful animals and do something good for them. As I was planning my trip to South Africa I read a lot of things in the web and heard for the first time something about the canned hunting industry. First I was shocked about myself. I felt ignorant and very naiv. I changed my plan and cancelled my first destination which was already booked for a week too and booked only a stay for one week at Panthera Africa. And yeah, at this time there were a lot of mails with Catherine – and they helped me to do the right thing.

Now, I stayed only one week at you but I can´t express in words the way you have changed my soul and I would say a piece of my life. After a hard time in the past this one week gives me so much peace and strength back to me that I can´t believe whats happens to me. It was such a great time and I enjoyed every single moment of this week – but I can´t express in words what I want to tell you.

In the middle of nowhere you created such a beautiful home for you and your big cats. A place of quiet and peace. The view, the unique evening mood at the fences, the clear starry sky – amazing!

Michael Votter cubsI remember the first night. After a long day I was laying in my bed and heared the lions roar for the first time. What a feeling! And the lions roar every single night – great!

Only one week! I was pleasantly surprised how fast I felt like home and comfortable. All of you were so approachable and friendly that i had no other chance. 😉 Ok, my English is not very good (u can still read in this text^^) and that was my biggest problem. I couldn´t act in my usually way where I really am. But I really enjoyed the cool and funny conversations in the evening on the terrace.

Surrounded by all the marvelous cats and far away from the daily business in Germany I had a chance to come down for myself and at the same time I could work for these cats and doing some good things for them. I could see every single day that all of you do their work with so much passion and love for these beautiful animals. Ok, I think this week was a bit chaotic because of the happenings with Bella but I´m still happy about my decision on this day to stay at home. 😉 So I had the chance to see everything and could help you a little bit. This day was definitely a highlight for me. I hope Bella is feeling well and is enjoying her new life!

Liz and Cat, I wish you to keep on your passion, remain true to your principals, find further supporters for your beautiful place and make them bigger! You have enough place and I like your future planning. 😉 I could see it in every single moment that everything you do – you do this with all your heart. The daily planning, the caring for your animals (for example the fresh green gras for Bella 😉 ) and when you go to your animals by your own.

I just wanna say thanks!

And sorry for the other guys but my special thanks is for Cat. She had so much patience with me and my mails and helps me a lot in my planning for my trip to South Africa. And Cat: your words to me when I was leaving means a lot to me!

Thanks to the whole Panthera Africa family.

I´m sure I will come back – and not for only one week…

Michi

Reflection

Sitting beside Neptune as the sun goes down, it feels a privilege to be in his presence. A true king! His calming aura and wise eyes give me the perfect opportunity to reflect on my time here.

Alice blog       Alice blog2

Before coming to Panthera Africa I wasn’t too sure what to expect but from reviews I read online and the conversation with Cat and Liz prior to arriving, I knew it would be a unique experience. Looking back on it now at the end of my time here, not only has it been unique but also rewarding, eye-opening and incredibly inspiring.

Hearing about where the animals have come from can be heart breaking, but in equal measure it so so important to understand their stories and in turn the importance of protecting these beautiful creatures. Seeing the animals at Panthera Africa now totally at peace is a truly wonderful thing.

What Cat and Lizaene have created here is nothing short of incredible. It is an experience I will never forget and I am already so excited to return again one day. In the mean time I will follow their progress avidly as they continue to look after the beautiful creatures in their care and introduce new members to their ever growing pride.

 

Alice – December 2016

Dreams do come true!

A couple of months ago I had no idea that I would be in SA as a Volonteer at a Sanctuary for Big Cats. It has been a childhood dream, one I never thought i would live, especially not at the age of 52. But, when one door closes another one opens – and here I am.

My first week out of 3 has been filled with so many fun and new things. Learnt so much!

raise-walkingelsa-and-lei-ah-with-enrichmentjackpardus-on-pole

Surrounded by all these marvellous souls of Lions, Tigers, Panther, Caracals, Jackals and dogs and cats. So many impressions and new things to learn, every day. Cleaning the enclosures and taking part of the feeding of all animals, watching all animals being so happy and content feels so good. Being here when  the little newcomer, lioness Elsa – 6 month old, was introduced to her sister for the first time felt very special. Also celebrating Lion Obi’s 5 year birthday was something special. All Volonteers had been working on a big “birthday cake” for him, just great. So much creativity! Being in this beautiful and peaceful environment really changes something within your heart and soul…makes you more humble.

mountain-view  obi-smiling  bella-enrichment

And, the people here…amazing, all doing a fantastic unselfish work. I really felt like coming home as soon as I met Cat and Lizaene. Lovely, warm energy with so much passion and will to do good in this world and especially for these animals rescued – wow. Wish the world had so much more people like Cat and Lizaene.

This week some of us also  had the opportunity to visit a pre-school for children 4-8 years. Children living in one of the shanty towns near by. They were adorable, filled with lots of joy despite living under tough circumstances. The people working there doing such an impressing work. We brought with us penns and paper, balls and all kinds of toys for the children and their teachers. To see their  happiness went right into the heart.

What a first week! I feel so greatful

 

Charlotte, Sweden – October 2016

A heartfelt thank you <3

A heartfelt thank you to Lizaene and Cat<3

When I came to Panthera I did not expect I would leave an entirely different soul. Being in the midst of yourselves has changed everything about me. I’m not certain I can express in words the way in which you have changed my heart and soul. Never in my life have I met two more extraordinary women, with so much passion, love and ambition to change the world. Your intentions are so bright and open and beautiful. What you have created is a blessing to the world, and I’m sure you’re aware you live in a paradise on earth. But the way you express your thanks is set apart from anyone I have ever met. You both show your thanks by bringing happiness and and light to the hearts every person that crosses you’re paths.

My time with both of you as well as the lions have made me so certain of who I am to the core. My outlook on life, what I’m going to do for the world and my spirit has been captured and entirely changed for the better.

Yourself, Jade and Zakara and the rest of the lions have pulled my hopes and dreams out of my heart and made them visible. And Cat, the time you spent with me made me proud and certain of who I was and what I was going to do, so I could shout it to everyone I meet. The time spent at Panthera Africa has created such an imprint on my heart, and forever a piece of it will be left with the lions there. I have never been so inspired and in awe of any two people in my life, and not only did I get to spend time soaking in your love and light, but I was also welcomed into the family to make a real impact, with open arms. I cannot begin to imagine a larger heart out there. I am certain that no one else in this world is more gracious, giving and kind than the two of you. You have changed me in all the ways that needed to be brought out of me and shown to the world.

Lioness, sanctuary, rescue, panthera africa    lioness, sanctuary, rescue,

Thank you for all you have done for me. Thank you for protecting those precious beautiful lions. Thank you for giving everyone around you light and love. Thank you for helping me find who I am and what I will do.

All my big love forever, Celine (Canada, 2016)

Dare to follow your heart’s desire

We are all part of something that is so much greater than ourselves, and when truly realising this, your focus changes and you start to see how amazing this world really is! We are all an important piece of a greater puzzle – the puzzle that we call LIFE.

DSC_0133

When booking my trip to South Africa in 2011, all I was expecting was a two week volunteering experience. In hindsight I see that I was destined to make that exact choice, and that I was guided all along – to be right where I am supposed to be. I truly believe there is no coincident that I chose that particular volunteer project where I came to meet Lizaene and the astonishing white lion Acinonyx, who sprinkled me with stardust and started the change of my journey. That was all that was needed to sweep me off my feet and realise that it was more out there for me to discover, and for me to find my true purpose in this life. So many people have asked me questions about if I was scared to make the choice, how I dared to leave everyone and everything I knew, and how I dared to quit my job, take up a big loan and start Panthera Africa! And the answers were always that I felt it so natural and actually easy choices to make – and for me not really choices but rather following a deep feeling in my heart with the knowing of doing the right thing. Sitting here four years later writing this blog, I deeply feel that Lizaene and I have been guided and protected by the animals in our choices and we are truly meant to do this. I see around me and I understand that I am exceptionally blessed to have found that thing that makes my heart sing, and I am grateful to have had the courage and power within to follow the signs along the way.

At a time during the set up face of Panthera Africa, I found myself in a very difficult place where I didn’t know where and what I should do. The struggles and hurdles seemed too big to overcome, and I was finding myself doubting if this was all worth it. One day I picked up a book called The Purpose Driven Life that Lizaene’s dad lent me, and after a couple of chapters I suddenly stopped after reading some words that made everything fall into place, and where I found strength again. It said something along the line of that we all wonder about and seek the true meaning of our lives, and the questions seems to always focus on what I want and what I need, and so the book turned it around, saying that we are all part of something greater, and that we are all playing a vital part in the grand scheme of things. So along the way YOU might not always be happy and you find yourself in struggles that seem too difficult, but this is all part of a higher purpose and lessons and learning curves we go through in life. We might not always understand why things happen or don’t happen, but that is ok too. So instead of focusing on all the things that was hard and keeping my focus narrow, I found myself suddenly asking; how and where do I fit into the greater picture? How can I make a difference for others and the greater good? I have still not finished the book, but for me this was all I needed to hear in order to shift my focus and hang in there – because I KNEW inside that I was on a right path, and that what Lizaene and I was a part of, was not just for us, but for the greater good of animals and to contribute to raise the level of human consciousness.

Universe works with you!

Looking back now, the puzzles came together when they were meant to, and getting the permits when we did, and meeting the right people when we did, and everyone around us during the last years have all played their part – whether it is physically, personally, emotionally, financially – in any way, people have made this journey possible, and we are where we are today thanks to a lot of people out there. So please feel our gratitude and appreciation, and I hope you feel in your hearts that you have also played a vital role in the journey of Panthera Africa – whether for an hour, a month, a year or four years as the case is for Lizaene and myself  <3  We are all important and can all make a difference  – we all have a greater purpose!

When talking about purpose, I also want you to think about your purpose and your actions. Do you do things based on your own wants and wishes, or do you managed to look at a situation or an action from another people’s point of view? And being a lion and animal hearted lady I ask every person involved with animals to ask yourselves – do you do what you do for the best interest of the animal or do you do what you do for the best interest of yourself? Many of you know that my heart and soul were captured when I came in contact with the lions and leopards, and I strongly believe that Lizaene and I were chosen to do this and to play a role in the journey of these animals. We have, through many heart aches and experiences, learned many lessons, and I believe that it’s time for all of us to dear to be honest with ourselves and ask the difficult questions. Whether you are a tourist, a volunteer or a breeder– who are you doing it for? Do your actions make your heart truly happy? Are your actions part of something good? Do you believe that it is in the best interest of cubs to be taken away from their mother when she is fully capable to do it herself? Do you believe it is in the best interest for an animal to be petted by hundreds of people every week? Have you thought about what happens to the animal after you have left it or sold it further? Do you as a volunteer think that the animal you fell in love with also fell in love with you, and that it is left heartbroken not understanding why you left? Try and put yourself in the animals’ “shoes” and truly feel how YOU would have felt in their situation when reflecting on these questions.

I know I awaken a lot of emotions by righting this and asking these questions, but I believe we must be able to raise these questions and dear to ask them. We are here for each other right? And by not asking these questions, who are we actually protecting? Should the questions be too difficult to answer or create a lot of strong emotions inside, we have to ask ourselves why, and if it might be time to change our actions so we can answer all these questions with a positive heart <3

With Olly  Sunset-group

Dear to do the right thing, and I promise you – it feels amazing to do so! Dear to stand up for what you believe is right. Speak the truth. If you have done something wrong, dear to admit it. We all make mistakes – and we all can learn and move on from them! We are all part of a great network, and have entered the same web to be part of each other’s journeys. The right people find their way to enter your life at the right time, and if the road is rocky, well then just keep on overcoming the hurdles – the plains and beautiful road awaits you <3

Paradise    Overview of property with house

When a little voice inside draws you towards something or you get an idea in your head that seems a bit crazy at the time – dare to follow that thought or feeling and see where it takes you! One day over three years ago after having spent time with the lions, suddenly a voice inside my head told me a crazy thought, and you know what it was? “One day you and Lizaene are going to open a sanctuary!” I was completely surprised as at the time I was just a visiting volunteer, and Lizaene and I were just friends! The thought kinda stuck with me – and I am smiling here I am sat of that thought now being my reality and purpose in life! Where do your dreams and thoughts take you? All I can say is that dare to follow it and I promise you will end up in places you never even dreamt of <3 I know I have already, and I am so excited about the journey ahead, and I hope you are too!!

DSC_0268      Miracles

 

With love and light, Cathrine – AKA Cat <3

Why Panthera Africa?

I came to South Africa originally to Kitesurf and to see some friends that I had met on recent trips whilst travelling around Europe. Whilst I had some aspirations to volunteer on this trip, I didn’t expect to come here, and truth be known, I had not really heard of canned hunting, captive breeding, and true Sanctuaries – never mind Panthera Africa!

I came here on a recommendation from a friend after speaking about ideas for volunteering, and after doing some research realized this was an organisation with good ethical practices where it is obvious where time and money spent would be put to good use.

I can honestly say it has been one of the best experiences of my time here and cannot recommend it enough if you are interested in big cats, or wanting to understand more about what happens in this industry, or just simply want to come and put your time and energy into something worthwhile.

The set up is good, a big comfortable shared house, friendly staff, and a good mix of volunteers from all over the world from all age groups, and then there is the animals themselves.

They run a no breeding, no petting, not for hunting and minimal human interaction ruling here, and provide a safe home for these animals who have been taken from other sanctuaries, and perhaps would not be able to survive in the wild.

Part of what the owners are trying to do here is spread the awareness of what can be done to help these animals, and how a business can be set up and be successfully run in this way.

The owners Cathrine and Lizaene are very knowledgeable and passionate about their project, and for saying it has only been open 9 months, it is incredible what they have achieved in such a short space of time.

The animals are amazing to see, and whilst you are not able to interact as such, you are able to sit with them through the fences, and just soak in the atmosphere of these amazing animals! To hear the lions roar in the evening as the sunsets, or witness the tigers chuffing as you walk past the enclosures is not easy to describe, other than wow!

Olli, nov 2015   Bella - enjoying a clean

There is a mix of Lions, Tigers, Jackals and Caracals and a Panther, and all have a story to tell. The animals all seem very happy and content, and have x2.5 the minimal required enclosure size.

Volunteers are able to become involved in a variety of work, ranging from the physical (building new shelters for the animals, repairing fences), to helping prepare food and herbs for the animals and feeding, to enrichment activities (for the animals to play with). The pace is good and there is a nice balance of things to do and time to just chill and relax or spend time near the animals. What also works well is a weekly trip out with the team to go do some fun activities away from the farm.

As an experience to help out on a genuine project I would strongly recommend it, and as an opportunity to develop an understanding and awareness of what happens in the world of these animals it is definitely worthwhile. There is so much I am taking away from the past few weeks here, and cannot thank the owners and other volunteers enough for making the experience what it is.

solnedgang over dammen

John – January 2016

A ROLLERCOASTER YEAR FILLED WITH LOVE, GRATITUDE AND UNDERSTANDING

2015 – What a year! The last day of the year is here, and looking back at everything that has happened, I nearly get overwhelmed. From the highest of high’s to the lowest of low’s – this year has taught us many valuable lessons and enriched our lives in so many ways! So let’s take a walk down memory lane.

We started 2015 in near desperation, we received bad news just before Christmas from the local government, who said we needed to put our sanctuary on hold for the next 6-8 months! With a lot of persistency and begging skills we managed to get 10 people from the Environmental Department (ED) and Cape Nature here to inspect the farm. With very thorough preparations and a lot of “UUMMF”, we passed with flying colours! The OK from ED came through within a couple of weeks, and then it was “only” Cape Nature left.

The first cat to arrive at Panthera Africa was our beautiful Neo that we rescued from the local animal welfare clinic. She was only a small kitten at the time, and I will always remember how she expressed her enormous gratitude with constant purring for the first 48 hours <3 She has grown into an incredible loving yet quite selective tomboy, and is a great link between the cats outside and the house. She still captures many hearts, and sometimes if you are lucky, she accepts your invitation to sleep in your bed 🙂

Neo

On the 4th of March THE email arrived, and our dream could finally come true – all approvals and permits were in order and we could FINALLY bring the animals home!! In the early morning of the 16th of March a big trailer drove in to Stanford, and Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary finally became complete! 15 beautiful majestic animals found their way to their new home, and everyone involved could take a deep sigh of relief and contentment – WE MADE IT!!! All the hard work of setting up outside, and getting things in order, finally paid off! I still remember lying in bed that evening and Lizaene and I couldn’t really understand it all – She asked; have the last 48 hours really happened? Are they all really here?!”. A good pinch in the arm and a peak out the window was necessary just to make sure we were not dreaming <3 A big special thank you to everyone that was involved during the relocation – both two and four legged friends – this was truly a day where magic happened!

Our aim was to open to the public on Pardus’s birthday – the 28th of March, but as the days and weeks went by we saw that some of the animals needed more time to settle in. So the opening day was moved to the 3rd of April, which was Good Friday – and what a Good Friday that was J With a small and lovely group, we gave our very first educational visit, and the sanctuary was truly open! Since that day we have been blessed with over 1500 excited tourists, and we thank you all for your kind words, recommendations and most importantly – helping us to spread the word and educate others about animal welfare and how these animals should be respected and treated.

We have had the great pleasure of hosting our two first animal communication courses, which has opened up a new world to us all. We are amazed and deeply grateful for the knowledge and “tools” we have learnt, and how it has and is helping us to better understand and improve the lives of all the animals here. The feeling of being able to truly connect with your soul friends is beyond words to describe, and we are all excited to continue this road together – animals and humans side by side. We will definitely have more courses in 2016, so stay tuned for the new dates!

Cta and Liz with neptune

October arrived and a beautiful little black girl entered our home – Kira is our latest addition to the Panthera Africa pride, and she has stolen all our hearts and souls <3 A more kind, loving and well-meaning dog is hard to find <3 Not knowing her exact breed, we are watching with excitement how she is growing and turning into an incredibly beautiful and clever lady! Soon it’s time for the second Puppy School with more fun for both us and her 🙂

All the animals have truly prospered over the last nine months, and looking back at pictures it is amazing to see the difference! The most incredible and inspiring change that has happened is with dearest Obi! He has risen and grown far beyond our wildest dreams – both in size, condition and health, and off course with his amazing VERY-fast growing mane! Obi, you are a true inspiration and I often look at you and think – anything and everything is possible J To hear your roars at night time warms our hearts and fills us with such respect and admiration! Well done, our kind-eyed man!!

Obi

We have had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing people over the past year, and I personally want to thank all of you! Especially to Annie, Andreas, Berna and Lynsey that has walked a long path with us – I hope you feel it when we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts! When Lizaene and I got the idea of Panthera Africa two years ago, we were a bit nervous if we were going to get enough volunteers as we are one of very few places that are a true sanctuary and do not breed nor offer cub petting. However, we are so incredibly happy to say that we have had over 70 amazing volunteers over the last year, and that we are fully booked till the middle of February! The consciousness of the tourism and volunteer industry is changing rapidly, and we are so proud to be a part of this change. It makes us truly happy that people are understanding what animal welfare is all about, and that we are opening our eyes and starting to look at the world from the animals’ point of view! This is the way for a prosperous future – mutual respect and love for everyone and everything around us.

So to everyone that has crossed our path the last year – THANK YOU for making Panthera Africa to what it is! THANK YOU for respecting the animals and helping us to take care of them! THANK YOU for sharing love, fun and laughter, and also some tears at times <3 We are all part of this pride, and everyone is playing a vital role, whether being a visitor, volunteer, technician, animal communicator, staff, founder, animal – we all make Panthera Africa the paradise it is!

Vol Fun

So going into 2016 we have many wishes and dreams, and I hope you all want to join us in making them come true! Our first corporate team building will take place in January, and I wish for at least 12 events during 2016 J Our enrichment camp is finally finished so we will open up for enrichment visits, which I know many of you are excited to see J We have made many amazing connections with large and inspiring organisations, so we excitedly picture our first big rescue mission and the building of some new rescue camps J Education is the core of our project, and we are excited for all the children and schools that already have been here. Next year we aim to become partner with many local, national and international schools and make nature and animals part of the curriculum J And may our dream come true on taking the first big steps towards becoming a solar driven sanctuary J

As many of you know, our lives took a real knock this December when our gorgeous leopard boy, Zorro, passed away. I still see and feel him on his platform, and I still hear his lovely talks whenever I visit his enclosure. However difficult and heart-breaking this experience has been and still is, I feel that Zorro has showed me and all of us what true kindness, forgiveness and love is all about. Even though his time here on earth was way too short, he spent his time extremely well and touched many people. We have received a lot of messages from all over the world telling us how Zorro touched them – whether inspiring them to choose a career, or coming through difficult times, or giving them a meaning in life. Zorro gave us the taste of what life is all about – how to be in and value the present moment, and just feel the beauty and love that surrounds us.

Paradise

So on that note I would love for all of you to take a minute, maybe even close your eyes, and think back to one moment when you were truly at peace and happy inside – whether with an animal or with another human or even alone in nature. Take your time and truly feel how your body felt and actually how you can remember and still feel that feeling inside. Take these feelings and carry them forward to every part of your life, and do everything you do with the intention of love inside. Try this every day, and you will see that change will start to happen <3 To all the volunteers, tourists, friends, family – everyone – that have been to Panthera Africa and taken part of this paradise, and to other people who have experienced other incredible moment, you have the power inside to be what you want to be! So let’s spread the love, and be the change we want to see! Let’s be the best version of ourselves and shine our light and love around us!

Lizaene and I feel deeply blessed to be here and be fuelled with magic from these animals every day, and we are excited to share 2016 with both old and new volunteers, tourists, friends and family, and we are very excited to welcome a new year with millions of opportunities and dreams waiting to be fulfilled!

Sunset-group

 

Love and light,

Cat