If we are to ensure that our future generations can have the same fortunate experiences and interactions, then the future of conservation and the preservation of our natural habitat lies in our hands.
The Big Cat Experiences story started in 1966 in Beitbridge, Southern Rhodesia. Political instability in the region had led to fighting, and in one particular case, a nearby firefight had set fire to the bush. A game ranger named, Don Stot, rescued a casualty of the war – a week-old lion cub that had been caught in the fire and lost its mother.
Don took the Lion cub to Ossie and Joyce Bristow (my Great Grandparents) at Bishopstone Estate, who hand-reared the cub to adulthood, unwittingly setting their lives on a path of playing foster parents to an array of other orphaned animals from that day forward, resulting in Joyce and Ossie founding the Lion and Cheetah Park in Zimbabwe, which is now regarded as a national heritage site.
Amid the land claims in the early 2000’s, we were able to relocate some of our animals from Zimbabwe to South Africa, where we pride ourselves in offering our unique experiences.
We are proud to be the fourth generation to be working with and safeguarding our majestic animals.
The core of everything we do at Big Cat Experiences comes from a love of, and deep respect for, all animals and our natural world. We are here to share our love of animals and passion for conservation. All our activities and attractions are aimed at educating people through interaction with our wildlife and its natural habitat. Our goal is for every visitor to:
1. Learn at least one new thing about our animals and;
2. To take at least one breathtaking moment away with them and to then;
3. Share their moment with at least one other person.
Big Cat Experiences, its owners, and employees do not condone or support in any way, the unethical and unsustainable use of any animal. All of our lions have been spayed and cannot breed. We don’t just stop there, we also have a policy whereby we do not conduct “cub petting” of any kind, instead we pride ourselves as one of the very few organizations in Southern Africa where you only interact with fully grown, adult Lions and Cheetah.
Big Cat Experiences is a fully licensed and accredited organization who strive to ensure that the welfare of our animals comes before anything else. As an ethical business, we have a zero-tolerance policy for the inhumane treatment of any animal, whether within the conservancy or beyond.
None of our animals are drugged, de-clawed or have had their teeth removed.
Big Cat Experiences is dedicated to the sustainable use and conservation of our wildlife and its natural habitat. A key factor to wildlife conservation is responsible and informed education. We have partnered with a number of charities, resulting in the launch of our “Big Cat Awareness Project”, where we host awareness days for some of the less fortunate children in Limpopo.