Joanna Lumley's Purr-fect Namibia
Issue 5 (November 2009) Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley visited Namibia for a new TV programme. She is now a huge fan of the country.


After filming for the ITV series Cat Woman in Namibia, Joanna Lumley said, “It’s the absolute business. I fell in love with it.”

For the series, Joanna travelled around the world to uncover the history of the cat. She visited Egypt, Japan, North America, Belize, Mexico and Belgium, as well as Namibia. Namibia was her favourite.

“I was blown away. I knew where Namibia was and I knew it would be dry and like a desert. What I didn’t know is that it’s two and a half times the size of France with only four million people in it, so it’s empty.  I didn’t know that it would have such a scrubby and violent landscape.  A great assortment of savannah and prairies and deserts.  And all over it are warthogs and wildebeest.”

During her visit, Joanna spoke with conservationist Dave Houghton, from the charity AfriCat. He persuades farmers to contact him when they need a cheetah removing from their land, rather than just shoot them.  Dave then traps the threatened cheetah and brings it to AfriCat’s 10,000 acres of protected bush.  While she was at AfriCat, Joanna groomed the coat of a sedated cheetah before it was released again into the wild.  

She said: “They gave me a big wire brush and said, “Comb the cheetah”.  And I was combing out burrs and fleas from this unconscious, but beautiful and fabulous animal.  And then it looked so clean and shiny, with its great black tail.”

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