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Lion Conservation Experience

Come face to face with Africa’s alpha predator.

Exclusive to African Conservation Experience, this experience places you at the forefront of the fight against canned lion hunting, cub cuddling and the farming of lions for the bone trade.

A collaboration between us and the Global White Lion Protection Trust (GWLPT), this groundbreaking experience was founded by acclaimed conservation author Linda Tucker and is lead by lion ecologist Jason Turner. Together, the GWLPT not only fight to stop inhumane treatment of lions but have also gone a step further, creating viable habitats to release newly formed prides of lion that include white lion members. This is a world first and a major conservation breakthrough.

During your time here, you’ll come face to face with prides of wild lion, often more than once in a day. And you’ll meet local people who are reviving a tribal tradition that views the white lion as sacred.

If you’ve always dreamed of seeing human injustice reversed, of witnessing a lion that was once doomed to a life of captivity walk free, then this is the experience you’ve been waiting for.

Rhino Rating

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2 out of 5 rhino rating
Category

Wildlife Adventure Courses and Experiences

Species

White lions, tawny lions

Impact

Predator conservation
Community outreach
Wildlife rehabilitation

Country

  South Africa

  • Highlights
  • Do
  • Learn
  • News
  • Costs and Dates

Highlights

Exclusive to African Conservation Experience

Course leader Jason Turner created the Lion Conservation Experience Experience especially for our travellers. This conservation project isn’t open to the public and doesn’t take tours.

Support groundbreaking conservation

Canned lion hunting, cub cuddling and the farming of lions for the bone trade are major animal rights issues. Especially as lion parts and even whole carcasses are now legally exported from South Africa to Asia. The GWLPT are leading the fight against this cruelty and have taken important steps towards having these practices banned.

See lions in the bush

As a specialist lion conservation project, you’ll join the team as they research the movement and behaviour of these amazing creatures, giving you lots of sighting opportunities.

Get a unique perspective

This experience gives you the chance to learn about lions from leading ecologists and work with local people who live alongside predators.

See Kruger National Park

The project is located on the fringes of Kruger and during your trip, you’ll get the chance to explore this area which is so famous for its wildlife.

DO

During your 14-day Lion Conservation Experiences Experience, you’ll get involved in the following activities:

Lion tracking and monitoring

  • Twice a day, you’ll participate in tracking and monitoring the white and tawny lions that the project has released in three separate locations
  • Occasionally, you may have the chance to observe the darting of wild lions to fit new tracking collars or change over an old collar or battery
  • Go on organised walks in the bush to find and remove snares, which are a constant problem

Lion behaviour and carnivore care

Project leader and lion ecologist Jason Turner (MSc) is a specialist in lion behaviour and white lions in particular. Accompanied by the project team, you will have the chance to observe the behaviour of the various prides of lions in their natural habitat.

  • Get to know the behavioural patterns and personalities of individual animals
  • Help to spot any unusual wildlife behaviour or potential veterinary issues

Conservation and the community

Linda Tucker, founder of the Global White Lion Protection Trust and acclaimed author, has a strong connection with the local community. Her work reviving a tribal tradition that holds the white lion as sacred has been central to the project’s success.

  • Spend time with local people, learning about their relationship with lions and other wild animals
  • Help the project team with their community outreach programme

Observe wildlife in Kruger National Park

During your stay, you’ll spend a whole day experiencing one of Africa’s most famous National Parks.

  • As well as lions, Kruger gives you the chance to see large herds of elephants, buffalo, plus elusive and rare species such as leopards, hyenas and the endangered African wild dog
  • Kruger also has the largest population of rhino left in Africa and if you’re lucky you may even get to see both the white and black rhino

LEARN

As well as observing lions and helping the project team (which you can read about under the ‘do’ tab), Jason and his team will present informative talks on lion conservation and white lions in particular.

You’ll learn about:

  • The uniqueness of the white lions and the struggle that the project team underwent to have them recognised as more than the result of a recessive gene
  • The history of the Global White Lion Protection Trust
  • The threats to lions’ survival, including canned hunting, the cub cuddling industry, the lion bone trade as well as loss of habitat
  • The global conservation strategy to save the lion and local anti-poaching initiatives
  • The project’s innovative and successful reintroduction of captive-born lions into the wild
  • The cultural connection between local tribal communities and the sacred white lion
COSTS

Please note, the cost calculator shows the cost per person for our fixed-date experiences. If you wish to book this experience as a group of four or more on your choice of dates, please contact us for a bespoke quote.

Our costs include:

Accommodation

Airport Meet & Greet

Transfers

24/7 Support

Personal Guidance

Meals

Cost Calculator

TOTAL COST: £0000

Dates

30 October – 13 November 2018

9 – 23 July 2019

13 – 18 August 2019

Payment

Costs are subject to change but will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.

I had a very enjoyable three weeks in Botswana on an African Conservation Experience volunteer holiday. We were based in a campsite about 2 hours bumpy ride from Maun on the southeast edge of the Okavango Delta area. The facilities were much better than I was expecting - I had my own tent and there was a metal bed frame so I wasn't sleeping on the ground, there was a plumbed-in toilet, sink and bucket shower.

As someone who is well-travelled and particularly well-versed in adventure/adrenaline-fuelled activities I found the whole experience truly rewarding, especially as it gave me a chance to give something useful back. My daughter, Sarah, had spent an equally rewarding 3 weeks at Phinda 9 years ago and it was on her recommendation that I ‘followed in her footsteps’ - I’m extremely glad that I did!

This project showed me how to use telemetry equipment to monitor the collared animals, setting up camera traps, dehorning and notching rhinos, recording GPS coordinates electronically and taking photos for I.D kits. This project is perfect if you wish to go into a research and monitoring career.

Would I say that the experience changed my life? Absolutely. You learn life skills and gain confidence you never thought you could in these experiences, and that is something I, personally, cannot thank the ACE team and the team I worked with in Phinda enough for.

I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to be part of such a great project and contribute to wildlife conservation in Namibia.

It’s actually nature – everywhere. In Botswana, everything is so wild and pure, and you never know when the animals will appear from the thick bush.

For me, it was the ‘team effort’ that really cemented the experience and made it so much more than a just a safari. I felt, I was contributing in some small way, to the work that is being done at Phinda; I had a sense of ‘belonging’, even if it was for only 3 weeks.

I have travelled with ACE 4 times now and each time it just gets better and better. The hands-on experience on the Shimongwe veterinary project is unparalleled and I am already planning my next trip.

Small antelope being fed in Africa

I will never EVER forget the rhinos. The sounds they make, the look in their eyes, the way their skin feels, the way the babies sleep next to each other, the way they walk over to you for their milk. I’ll never forget the people I met there either.

What Makes Us Different?

Southern Africa's original conservation travel company

We are qualified zoologists and conservationists

Personal guidance before you book

Join real wildlife conservation projects

Enjoy total peace of mind, with 24/7 in-country support

Empower vital conservation initiatives

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