A very belated celebratory blog for World Lion Day which happened on the 10thAugust. Especially as not long ago I wrote about the release of the new Lion King movie (which I have since seen twice and I can one hundred and ten percent recommend that everyone should go and see) – not only should you see this for the magnificent word by word remake from the original movie, but if you are lovers of everything Africa, the landscape of the African plains is something we all can relate to as well as the extremely realistic sounds from the bush in the back ground.
I digress! World Lion Day is a time within the year to bring to light to everybody around the world the fantastic foundations and charities that are working tirelessly to help the ever-dwindling population of lions throughout Africa and the world. There are other wonderful charities to help other species such as elephants and cheetah to name but a few and each have their own day to promote these causes as well as a celebration of such fantastic species we need to protect so that the next generation can actually see these fantastic animals in their natural habitat.
Kafue National park in Zambia is one of the country’s largest national parks, at 2.25 million hectares it is pretty large – similar size to Wales in England or Massachusetts! However, despite its large size, the population of some species, lion in particular, are now under threat from wildlife human conflict as well as poaching. Wilderness Safaris operate in Busanga Plains which is a 75,000-hectare mosaic of grasslands, wetlands and tree islands. In 2006 Shumba & Busanga Bush Camp opened with ecotourism being at the forefront of their idea and design. Shumba in actual fact means ‘Lion’. Shumba is a very elegant camp raised high on wooden decking looking out onto wonderfully scenic floodplains. The camp is names Shumba, or lion for the sole reason that the stories of past and present lions surrounding this area take centre stage.
Busanga Bush Camp embodies the spirit of adventure. This small and intimate camp is located perfectly to watch breath-taking sunrises and sunsets. The plains surrounding Busanga is teaming with spectacular wildlife opportunities, from unusual antelope, herds of elephant and buffalo and most definitely lion.
In 2010, Neil Midlane who is now Wilderness’s Group Sustainability Manager and he began his PhD work on the lions in Kafue. From his studies, it was clear there were high levels of illegal bushmeat poaching which was limiting the population of herbivore numbers which in turn was having a knock-on effect on the parks population of lion reaching its full potential.
If you would like to visit these two wonderful camps and embrace the way of the lion and even help support some of the charities and causes who dedicate their life to studying and protecting lions as well as many other remarkable charities. Zambia is also one country that should be on everyone’s bucket list, it is simply superb – please give us a call or send us an email with as much information as you can so we can plan your perfect trip.