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.
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
Trip to a predator care centre
You’ll also get to spend some time at a local animal care centre in Hoedspruit that specialises in predator care.
- Go on a safari to view and learn about cheetah including the beautiful King Cheetah
- View the endangered African wild dog, rhinos and many other species
- Learn about husbandry of predators and other wildlife from the centre’s specialist care team
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
- How to care for lions, both in captivity and after they’ve been released into the wild
- The cultural connection between local tribal communities and the sacred white lion
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.
30 October – 13 November 2018
9 – 23 July 2019
13 – 18 August 2019
Costs are subject to change but will be confirmed in writing at the time of booking.