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About Us

Giving Captive Animals a Second Chance


Our Story

Situated in the picturesque Van der Stel Pass Valley (90km from Cape Town; 5km from Botriver), Cornellskop is a 118-hectare farm that provides a home to numerous species of African wildlife, from Apex predators to meerkats. 

Cornellskop is owned and run by Luke Cornell who has worked and lived with animals for 35 years. As his menagerie of animals continued to grow, Luke decided to start Cornellskop in 2005. Luke's passion for his animals is clear in the intimate relationship he has with each and every one of them. 

Luke is assisted by two committed guides, Shané and Aaron, as he is better with animals than people! Shané and Aaron are extremely passionate about their work and also live on the farm; aside from ensuring our tour guests are kept safe, they go above and beyond to educate the public on each animal's personality, needs, and behaviours.

For Luke, Shané and Aaron, Cornellskop is a lifestyle where they live for and with the animals. We aim to provide our animals with a life as close to the wild as possible, ensuring their physiological and emotional needs are met. Cornellskop farm is inspected annually by Cape Nature and the State Vet to ensure our animals are well cared for, our facilities are aligned with all guidelines, and all animals are on permits. We utilise the services of the Caledon vet to ensure that our animals are in the best health possible. Cornellskop is NOT a breeding facility, with animals such as our lions having undergone vasectomies or being spayed.

Cornellskop has grown immensely over the years: from offering our animals a second chance at life, to giving the public an extraordinary opportunity to see and learn about the animals, their homes, and the importance of wildlife conservation. The farm offers you the unique opportunity to experience the animals on a guided tour with skilled guides or stay in one of our recently upgraded accommodation offerings. The Homestead (5-bedroom Farm House & an outside bedroom), Swallows Rest (single cottage) and Nguni House (2-bedroom cottage) provide a tranquil escape to nature and an opportunity to fully recharge.

If you would like to find out more about our accommodation offerings or animal encounters, please click the button below:


We hope to have you visit us and our animals soon! 

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