Cheetah Conservation Challenges

Cheetah Conservation Challenges

Why are cheetahs threatened?

Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animals, capable of reaching speeds up to 70 miles per hour (113 kilometres per hour). However, their speed is not enough to save them from the threats they face.

Cheetahs are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This means that they are at a high risk of extinction in the wild. It is estimated that there were around 100,000 cheetahs globally in 1900, but they have since been driven out of 89% of their historic range. While there were perhaps 40,000 wild cheetahs in 1960, there were reportedly fewer than 20,000 by 1975. Today there are only about 7,100 cheetahs left in the world.

The main causes of this decline are:

  • Loss and fragmentation of habitat due to agriculture and urbanization
  • Segregation of the cheetah population into 29 sub-populations which compromised their genetic integrity
  • The escalation of conflict between cheetahs and humans, particularly in livestock farming regions, leading to further persecution of the species
  • Inadequate protection measures. Many conservationists believe the conservation status for cheetahs is insufficient and are calling for cheetahs to be uplisted to ‘endangered’ which will afford them better protection measures
  • The illegal breeding of cheetahs for the exotic pet trade has further compromised their genetic integrity

Of the 7,100 cheetahs remaining in the world, it is estimated that between 1,166 and 1,742 cheetahs live in South Africa, with about 600 of these in captivity. Some of these captive cheetahs are managed for release into protected areas where they can integrate with free-roaming populations and help diversify the gene pool of the cheetah metapopulation. Cheetah reintroductions and relocations are coordinated by the Metapopulation Initiative to increase the cheetahs’ resident range and improve their genetic and demographic status. Our Cheetah Rewilding Project contributes to the success of the cheetah metapopulation, serving as an intermediate phase for captive cats to learn how to become self-sufficient and ‘bush-savvy’ for life in the wild.

Additional information:

How to support our Cheetah Rewilding Project

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CCFA Youth Development – Changing one person’s life at a time

CCFA Youth Development – Changing one person’s life at a time

2023 Youth Development Initiative


Changing one person’s life at a time – support us in helping make vulnerable youths ‘future-ready’

4-week educational youth development and empowerment programme equipping young adults with vital employability and life skills to improve their chances of finding employment



The CCFA supports Wilderness Foundation Africa (WFA) and its Siyazenzela (we are doing it for ourselves) training course. The WFA drives holistic skills development and conservation based education interventions for previously disadvantaged youths. Their Siyazenzela training course focuses on emotional & social wellness, occupational & financial wellness, and physical & environmental wellness.

The Siyazenzela Project models a process to allow the target group (18 to 28 year olds, from vulnerable communities, unemployed and lacking immediate access to the marketplace) over a period of three to four weeks (flexibility to include funder / client bespoke modules) to identify and evolve the inner capacity to meet the universe on equal terms. This is achieved through high energy facilitation breaking into the nature and intent of their relationships with themselves, their families and their communities.

The Resilience component of the project aims at provide students with the following innovative elements: (1) access to wellness, group and individual counselling and psychological support; (2) Job shadowing opportunities; (3) Peer support and mentoring amongst youth through a) absorption of outstanding graduates to become facilitators of the project — thus ensuring that the course is implemented by youth/graduates who have demonstrated extraordinary insight and capacity, and who relate entirely to the experience of the candidates as well as b) establishing Peer support groups through the Whatsapp medium; (4) work readiness and livelihood skills and (5) structured and extended resilience support and monitoring, through quarterly graduate group engagement sessions.

Central to the Siyazenzela project approach is our objective of enhancing the resilience potential of the young people that go through it by also exposing them to mother nature’s resilient spirit which they are encouraged to adopt and adapt to their own life circumstances.
Of significance is the unique attachment, based on the many years of engagement with wilderness and nature, of the modules to the healing power of nature, through immersion in the space. This takes place by means of a three- day Imbewu trail, during which the candidates are guided in a “light touch” process to connect with the peace and resilience found in the wild.


The Umzi Wethu (our home) youth development training course provides training for previously disadvantaged youth. The course incorporates the following innovative elements: (1) a mentorship support programme; (2) access to wellness, group and individual counselling and psychological support; (3) assists the students in finding paid internship placements and supports them in securing jobs, post training.

The CCFA, together with the WFA, intend to continue to monitor graduates from the Siyazenzela and Umzi Wethu courses as they move onto their various career paths.

Past records have proven that 75% of these graduates maintain their jobs in the first two years following course completion. Local businesses, including Mantis properties have gained reliable staff through these programs.

Umzi Wethu beneficiaries are selected from Siyazenzela Basic Employability and Personal Growth courses.  


This 10 – week course focuses on coaching and developing the beneficiaries with the necessary guiding skills to be competent to enter the guiding industry at an introductory level.
The following subjects are covered during the course:

– Guiding Skills

– Geology

– Astronomy

– Weather and Climate

– Ecology

– Biomes of Southern Africa

– Taxonomy

-Plants and Grasses

– Arthropods

– Amphibians

– Reptiles

– Fish

– Birds

– Mammals

– Animal Behaviour

– Historical Human Habitation

– Conservation Management

In addition to the FGASA Apprentice Field Guide curriculum the following modules have been added to enhance the guiding skills of the beneficiaries and to prepare them thoroughly for the ecotourism industry:
– Vehicle skills and 4X4 Driving skills

– Tracking skills

– Wilderness First Aid Level 2

– Wildflowers

– Hospitality skills

– Presentation and Interpretive skills

– Photographic skills

The beneficiaries will host real guests

Nearly all the countries in the world have promised to improve the planet and the lives of its citizens by 2030.

They’ve committed themselves to 17 life-changing goals, outlined by the UN in 2015. These Global Goals, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), include ending extreme poverty, giving people better healthcare, and achieving equality for women.  The aim is for all countries to work together to ensure no one is left behind.

This project is aligned with the following goals:

Let’s Plant a Better Future …Together

Let’s Plant a Better Future …Together

Let’s Plant a Better Future …Together

‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’

 [Chinese Proverb]

At the heart of our vision and mission is our ‘Green Print’ – which is to find creative, collaborative solutions to inspire and assist communities to be at the helm of conservation in wilderness areas.

Greening the Community is one of these solutions. It’s a long-term empowerment and environmental sustainability initiative. Aimed at local communities, the goal is to drive environmental change at grass roots level. It’s designed to encourage young people, in particular, to play a pivotal part in ensuring a better future for all. And to become passionate conservation advocates.  This is a pilot project launching in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) but which could be rolled out to other communities.

Together with our partners and supporters, the Greening the Community project will:

  • Contribute towards the alleviation of poverty through job creation
  • Assist with personal and social transformation
  • Change and uplift communities
  • Create a sustainable future and help offset carbon emissions by planting trees through our Adopt-a-Tree campaign


Planting Trees for a Better Future

He that plants trees loves others beside himself [Thomas Fuller]

The Adopt-a-Tree campaign is the first in a series of initiatives to support the Greening the Community project. The idea is to bring nature back to the KwaNobhule township in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth, South Africa). It’s about cultivating green landscapes to improve the environment and lives of the 121 800 community members.

The concept was inspired by the Indalo Nursery operating from the local Mantis Collection property at the Hopewell Conservation Estate. The vision: To raise funds to plant 600 trees at schools, churches and safe spaces within KwaNobuhle over the next 12 months. The location was chosen as the Eastern Cape is the heart and home of Mantis properties, where it all began 21 years ago.


Even though Arbor Month is drawing to a close, you can get involved by adopting a tree or a cluster of trees – it’s a win-win for our people and our planet. Click here to adopt



To ensure the sustainability of the project, practical experience and education are its foundation – especially for the young people of KwaNobhule, where unemployment levels are as high as 29% and more than half the community live below the poverty line.

It begins with a 21-day educational Youth Development Empowerment Programme for 20 vulnerable youths covering life skills, employability, indigenous horticulture, plant handling, traditional medicine and general conservation awareness and practices.

There is also an immersive Wilderness and Nature Trail Camping Experience for 20 youths, a paid horticultural internship for two students at Indalo Nurseries as well as post-course assistance (mentoring, guidance with CV writing, help finding a job).

Over the years CCFA has funded several courses and wishes to continue this on an annual basis. Click [here] read more.

Future project phases include:

  • Assisting Indalo Nurseries to open a retail nursery in KwaNobuhle
  • Innovative Carbon Reduction Initiatives for eco-conscious travelers

Greening community initiative

21 day Siyazenzela training


On September 24, South Africans celebrated Heritage Day which is a time to reflect on the past, the history that shaped the nation and contemplate the future  On this special day, well-known local extreme athlete and Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) supporter, Steven Lancaster, embarked on a mammoth challenge. His goal: To complete a grueling 8849m run – his own Mount Everest – within 24 hours.  Why? Besides his dream to ‘summit’ Mount Everest, Steven also wanted to inspire individuals, corporates and the active environment-focused lifestyle community – to plant trees for a better future.

The location for this fundraising ‘Everresting Challenge’ was a 700m long route along Brickmakers Kloof Road, in Baakens Valley (Nelson Mandela Bay), known as the city’s green lungs. To reach the Mount Everest target, he needed to summit this 700m climb (at a 63m elevation) 141 times. Not only did he achieve this but pushed further, summiting an additional 25 times as he climbed up to 10 000m … well ahead of the 24 hour time limit.

We want to give a big shout out to Steven for his perseverance, endurance and passion to make a difference.

We can sit back, do nothing and watch our planet be destroyed.

Or we can take action, become advocates and start making lifestyle choices which are kinder to people and the planet. [Kira Simpson]


Adopt-a-Tree Prize Draw – 2 nights for 2 with Mantis Collection

We invite you to be part of the solution, by planting for a better future today.  Adopt-a-tree at R300 per tree or a cluster of 10 trees for R3000.  Not only will you be changing the lives of the KwaNobuhle community but you will also help offset carbon emissions…

You will also be in line to win some great prizes by the Mantis Collection – 2 nights for 2 at Oceana Beach & Wildlife Resort or at Pearl Valley Hotel by Mantis.

Adopt-a-Tree | Prize Draw for individuals – 1 to 9 trees

2 nights for 2 at Oceana Beach & Wildlife Resorts with game drives

Adopt-a-Cluster | Prize Draw for corporates – 10 or more trees

Employee Luxury Incentive – Couple experience

2 nights for 2 at Pearl Valley Golf Estate Hotel on B&B basis, a round of golf for and a Master Wine-Tasting experience at Fairview Wine Estate.

Thank You to all our Supporters

Our heartfelt thanks to you – our ‘eco-warriors’ – for rising to the challenge and supporting our Greening the Community initiative.  From individuals who made a donation or bought a tree, to corporates sponsoring clusters of trees and our international community.  Without you, none of this would be possible.

Donors – Siyazenzela Youth Development Training

VWSA, Cerebos and special thanks to the Nedbank SA Charity Golf Day who have included CCFA as one of their beneficiaries.

Donors – Everest Event

VWSA, Algoa FM, Bridge Street Brewery, Mantis Collection

Corporate supporters for branding sponsorship, donations and/or purchasing tree clusters

Cerebos, Algoa FM, Borbet SA, MTN, Spar, Tent House Structures, HR123, Standard Bank, Aberdare Cables, Umicore, KPMG, MBDA, NMBM, Online Direct, Continental Tyres 

The indispensable Everesting event team of volunteers, supporters, service providers and sponsors

Steven Lancaster

Bongani Mvulane, Blackie Witbooi, Ayanda Smith of Indalo Nurseries

Bruce & Tracey Campbell of Aspire Live Fit

Ilona Hearne – Bio kineticist

Wayne & Nikki Bolton of One Land Love It

Luvuyo Bangazi of MBDA (marketing/logistics support)

Allister Marran of Charlo Athletic Club (Chief Marshal)

Phrosne Philips of Go See Do (Safety Officer)

Clinton Swartz of HRG Security

Eugene Muller of ECMR Medical Service
Denis Goddard of Under African Skys (Videographer)

Richard Pearce of Richard Pearce Photography

Brad Hiles of Talisman Hire (portable trailer unit – toilet)

Warren Lloyd of Barron (Branded clothing & CCFA Gazebo)

Linda Harwood of Harwood Promotions (Event Management)

Keri Martens-Wright of Algorithm Digital (social media/photography)


Bees and People Together – South Africa

Bees and People Together – South Africa

The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.

[Elizabeth Lawrence]

May 20 is World Bee Day, a day to pay homage to these tiny little miracles of nature that not only pollinate our flowers but are largely responsible for our crops and food. If there were no bees there would be no more pollination, plants, animals or man.

World Bee Day reminds us of that and acknowledges the critical role bees play in our ecosystem.

It is estimated that a third of the food we consume relies predominantly on pollination by bees … but our tiny heroes are under threat.  Across the world there has been a growing concern about the decline in the bee population, mainly due to intensive farming, loss of habitat, improper use of pesticides and climate change.

The theme for World Bee Day 2021 is ‘Bee Engaged’. Let’s take a moment to learn a little bit more about bees and our new ‘Adopt-a-Hive project.


Let it bee

The team at Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) has been hard at work to help prevent the colony collapse of bees and, in 2019, relocated and introduced 120 new bee hives onto three Mantis properties in the Eastern Cape: Hopewell Conservation Estate, Founders Lodge and Intle Boutique Hotel.  With an average of 50 000 to 75 000 bees per hive, this has created a habitat for around 9 million bees.  And, in addition it’s given bees a new base from which to buzz, dance, pollinate and produce honey and save the world. The project has also created much needed employment.

CCFA is extending its bee project to the Western Cape by installing 70 beehives at two sites: The Honey House on Willowdale Farm in Stanford and on Hazendal – a Mantis property located in Paarl.

Be part of the solution

Most of the world’s food crops – like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds – that form an integral part of our everyday diet, depend on bees and other pollinators to exist​.  The adopt-a-hive project, in collaboration with Honeybee Heroes, offers you a simple, hands-off way to help honeybees and nature’s pollination process.  ​


For an investment of £100 (R2 000) you can adopt a honeybee hive and, in return, besides being a bee hero, you receive:

  • A personalised plaque on your beehive (this can either be for yourself, a partner, business or a gift for someone special)
  • An official adoption certificate
  • Hive progress updates
  • A Beekeeping Experience  (*T&Cs apply)

The honey produced will be stocked and sold at Mantis properties, with the profits reinvested into the development of more hives.

The buzz about bees

Not all bees are the same. There are an astonishing 2 755 bee species in sub-Saharan Africa and about a third of these are in South Africa.  Here are 10 fascinating facts about bees:

  • To produce 1.6kg of honey it takes 556 worker bees and 2 million flowers
  • The average honeybee makes only one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime and visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip
  • A honeybee can fly, up to 9km at an average speed of 25km/hour
  • A colony consists of worker bees, drones and one queen. Worker bees are female, they live for about six weeks and do all the work. The male honey bees (drones) do no work, all they do is mate
  • The queen bee lives for about 2 -3 years, she is at her busiest in summer when she lays 2 500 eggs per day
  • Honey bees communicate with each other by ‘dancing’
  • The bees’ buzz is the sound made by their wings which beat 200 times per second
  • The honey bee is the only insect that produces food eaten by man
  • Honeybees never sleep
  • Honey is incredibly healthy and includes enzymes, vitamins and minerals. It’s the only food that contains “pinocembrin”, an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.

Did you know?

  • Bees can see a colour imperceptible to humans and known as ‘bee’s purple’. It is a combination of yellow and UV light

Looking ahead

Building on the initial bee relocation and bee-keeping project in the Eastern Cape and the setting up of these beehives in the Western Cape, CCFA aims to continue creating small micro-businesses. The goal is to set up 1 000 micro-apiaries all over South Africa, donating hives, bee-suits and basic tools to rural South Africans in need, in order for them to start up their own businesses.

Once installed, the hives and bees belong to the community and the honey produced will be sold back to CCFA to sell through Mantis properties and local businesses. This will provide jobs and income for the local community.

In addition, as part of its immersive environmental activities for guests, CCFA and Mantis will be adding a Beekeeping Experience to its tourist offering. This includes a three-hour edutainment session with a hive tour and lunch at Willowdale Farm (*T&Cs apply).

‘Bee Engaged’, join us in the fight to protect our hard working little bees who contribute to complex, interconnected ecosystems that allow a diverse number of different species to co-exist. After all, bees keep the world sweet.

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.
[Albert Einstein]

To adopt-a-beehive, donate to the project or learn more about environmental projects, contact the CCFA.





(*T&Cs: the Beehive Experience excludes transport to/from Willowdale Farm in Stanford and is for a minimum of four people.)

Honeybee Heroes makes a sweet deal

Honeybee Heroes makes a sweet deal

A STANFORD honeybee sanctuary will soon benefit from an initiative that will encourage guests at a hotel group to adopt a hive.

Honeybee Heroes, founded by Chris Oosthuizen in 2020, has teamed up with the the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) in an effort to save honeybees. The honeybee sanctuary aims to conserve South Africa’s unique Cape honeybee species.

The CCFA is the non-profit subdivision of the eco-lodging Mantis Hotel Group. All guests that are hosted at any of the Mantis Lodges and resorts, will be offered the opportunity to adopt honey bee hives. “They’re very passionate about South African species and they channel that care into their work. More than that, they’re very action based,” Oosthuizen said about the collaboration.

At present, Mantis Hotel group houses hives at all of their lodges in the Eastern Cape. A total of nearly 1.5 million bees have already been relocated.

Through sponsoring a hive for R2 000, guests will have their names added to the hive of their choice. In addition to this, they will receive a personalised certification of adoption, updates on their hive’s bees and the opportunity to visit Willowdale farm in the Overberg area to see their hive.


Mantis Lodge guests who sponsor hives, will have their names added to the hives of their choice.