Cheetah, cheese, conservation & dancing goats

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Wheels of Feta cheese from CCF’s Dancing Goat Creamery ready to eat.

Last week, the Cheetah Conservation fund of Namibia announced the grand opening of their new creamery in Namibia. Delicious Fresh Cheeses, Saving Cheetahs, Protecting Livestock – all in a day’s work at CCF at Otjiwarongo, Namibia

Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) recently opened the Dancing Goat Creamery at their International Research and Education Centre outside Otjiwarongo.

The Creamery is open daily, producing high quality artisanal fresh goat cheeses as well as a variety of goat milk ice creams, and fudge, all of which are for sale at the Creamery and at various locations in Namibia. With the opening of the new Creamery, CCF has also launched a new label for their cheeses. These products are not only fresh, creamy and tasty, but contribute to the protection of wild cheetahs in Namibia.

Under the direction of CCF’s Creamery Manager Hanlie Visser, she and head cheesemaker Sherien Garoes, make several types of cheeses daily. Sherien, having worked at CCF for over 10 years, has been making CCF’s Feta, Chevre and Ricotta cheeses for three years. Hanlie has a degree in Hospitality and Catering from Boland collage in Stellenbosch.

All of Dancing Goat Creamery’s products use milk from CCF’s Saanen and French Alpine dairy goats. CCF’s original few dairy goats came from the award-winning dairy, Fairview in South Africa. CCF currently milks over 15 goats daily.

ccf cheese ccf cheetah

Dr. Laurie Marker, Founder and Executive Director of Cheetah Conservation Fund; Hanlie VIsser, Dancing Goat Creamery Manager; and Sherien Garoes, Head Cheesemaker.

CCF’s Feta is a firm, salted, fresh cheese, cured in brine, and ideal for crumbling over salads or in your favourite pasta dish. Feta is available as cut blocks in light salt brine, or as a small cheese wheel. CCF’s Chevre is a soft, light-textured, goat cheese with mild flavour. It is spreadable on bread and easily substituted for cream cheese in any recipe. Chevre is sold as a log in vacuum packs or in bulk containers for larger quantities. The fresh ice cream is incredibly delicious and only sold at CCF.

Dancing Goat Creamery is part of CCF’s mission to conserve wild cheetah populations in Namibia. By creating a model farm alongside its celebrated Livestock Guarding Dog Programme, CCF is able to demonstrate how cheetahs and livestock can live together and how local farmers can be successful using non-lethal predator management strategies to protect their livestock and thus their livelihoods. The model farm is open to the public daily, and local farmers are encouraged to visit.

CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, has a strong background in farming and not only had a dairy goat farm but also was a goat judge in the United States.

“Our goats are kept in excellent condition by our dedicated, full-time veterinary staff and goat management team. We saw the opportunity to pursue a small-scale cheese dairy which not only can help fund our organisation’s work, but also allows us to educate farmers and interested parties to produce their own goat cheese,” she explains.

With Dr. Marker’s guidance, CCF’s Small Stock Manager Tyapa Toivo and Goat Herdsman Armas Shaanika, manage CCF’s goat and sheep herds. “Farming with dairy goats provides a value-added product for the farmers, and can assist with an additional source of nutrition through the milk and by making cheese.

“However, good livestock management is critical to farming with smallstock and using Livestock Guarding Dogs is an important part of our success. Livestock loss due to predation is the main reason farmers remove or kill cheetahs and other predators. CCF works closely with farmers by promoting the use of the Livestock Guarding Dogs, and asks farmers that are having predator problems to call CCF for help. Since I have been at CCF, we have had 100% success with our Livestock Guarding Dogs and have not once lost any livestock to predators,” says Tyapa Toivo.

ccf cheese ccf cheetah

Tyapa Toivo and Armas Shaanika, who manage the CCF goat herds that supply the milk for Dancing Goat Creamery

Dancing Goat Creamery is part of a worldwide trend of artisan cheesemaking, and is helping to bring this movement to Namibia. CCF’s cheesemaking efforts contribute to local food production and the economy, while supporting local farmers in producing food here in Namibia.

This locally-produced goat cheese is also a wonderful option for people intolerant to cow’s milk – it contains less lactose and has smaller fat globules, which makes it easier to digest. Goat cheese is also a great source of calcium and protein, and is shown to improve metabolism.

Dancing Goat Creamery cheeses, ice creams, and fudge are available for purchase every day at the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Centre near Otjiwarongo. The creamery’s large viewing windows allow visitors to watch the cheesemaking process. Cheese platters are available at the Centre’s Cheetah Café’s with homemade bread, and can be followed by a delicious dessert of CCF’s homemade ice cream or fudge.

Creamery products are also available for purchase at several Namibian businesses including Maerua Superspar, Fruit & Veg City, Geocarta Namibia, and Pure & Simple in Windhoek; Desert Hill in Swakopmund; Spar in Omaruru; and Theo’s Spar in Otjiwarongo.

For more information or to place an order, contact Creamery Manager Hanlie Visser, (067) 306225, or tourism@ccfnamibia.org.

Founded in Namibia (Africa) in 1990, Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) is the global leader in research and conservation of cheetahs. CCF is dedicated to saving the cheetah in the wild. CCF’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Laurie Marker, is considered the world’s foremost expert on cheetah biology, ecology and conservation and has developed CCF’s conservation strategy, which has contributed to stabilising the wild cheetah population in Namibia. CCF’s long-term studies analyse and monitor the factors affecting the cheetah's survival in the wild, and results are used to develop conservation policies and education programmes that have reached over 300,000 Namibians. CCF is an international foundation registered as a non profit Trust in Namibia. People can learn more about CCF or make a donation to the organisation by visiting www.cheetah.org.
PO Box 1755 Otjiwarongo, Namibia Phone: 866-909-3399 Fax: 206-338-2161 www.cheetah.org
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.

4 Comments

  1. Rina Genis says:

    We live near Grunau and are making our own cheese. We only moved recently to Namibia from South Africa. Can you please inform us as to where we can obtain the cultures for cheesemaking.

    Regards

    Rina Genis

    • Travel News Namibia says:

      Hi Rina, we would suggest you contact the Cheetah Conservation fund directly for the info. Good luck!

  2. Paulus I Ipumbu says:

    Hi There,

    I’m farmer in the communal grazing areas border the Etosha National Park, just to the west of the Otjovasandu Game warders’ camp. We are farming with both large and small stock. Our main problem predator animals are jackals and hyenas. I believe your tactics of adopting herder dogs (the Anatilian Shepherd dogs) could be very effective against these too? That way we will be be able to co-exist with major losses are we are experiencing now.

    I’m very keen on maintaining a good balance of existence between human’ and wildlife. Is there anyway you can assist me with more information on what i need to do to participate in this now famous co-existence strategy?

    I’m also interested in acquiring a few milk goats, mainly to help feed my breed a goat-kids who born mainly in doubles (twins) and triplets that their mothers can’t successfully raise both without assistance. Could you kindly inform me where I can buy a few milk goats?

    Your assistance is highly appreciated.

    Yours in conservation,

    PI Ipumbu

    PS: Kindly forward my request to the Cheetah Foundation whose email address I do not have.

    • Hi Paulus!

      Please send your information to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). Their email address is: info@cheetah.org.

      They will be able to tell you what you need to know about the Sheperd Dogs and some farming practices you can adopt in order to save your stock from predators.

      Regards,
      TNN

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