British DJ Pete Tong is well known for his propulsion of dance music and heady good times on the party island of Ibiza. After visiting Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge, he will have to make sure he doesn't mix his Izibas with his Ibizas. Tong returned to our shores to party it up on South Africa's beautiful coastline instead of that of the Mediterranean. He encountered a different wildlife all together when he came to Inverdoorn to interact with the reserve's inhabitants, specifically the cheetahs and the rhinos.
He had the opportunity to get up close and personal with Velvet, one of Inverdoorn's resident tame cheetahs. Stroking and petting her elicited much contended purring from Velvet. He moved on from the sleek contours of Velvet to the rough and tumble of Bundu and Livinia, the baby rhinos. The calves eyed him beadily at first, which is their wont, but eventually shuffled forward and bowed their heads for a gentle pat.
The encounters, and a meeting with Inverdoorn owner Damian Vergnaud, introduced Tong to the conservation efforts Western Cape Cheetah Conservation (WCCC)* and RhinoProtect**. These initiatives are at the heart of everything that happens at the reserve and were readily conveyed to Tong, who found himself swept away by the passion inherent in the location, the lodge and all that drives those who work there. He is keen to become involved as well and lend his voice to a noble cause.
*The Western Cape Cheetah Organisation (WCCC) aims to rehabilitate cheetahs through their programmes and by implementing specialised breeding that pairs up unrelated cheetahs in an effort to retain the widest possible range of genes; all while enabling them to live in their natural environment. Guest interactions foster education and awareness about the cheetah's plight.
**RhinoProtect was founded following the poaching of rhinos at neighbouring game reserves and led to the development of a treatment that colours the horn, makes it x-ray detectable and unfit for human consumption. The introduction of two baby rhinos at Inverdoorn underscores RhinoProtect's mission to establish a rhino orphanage at the reserve to further help conserve the species and promote awareness.