Take a walk on the wild side and acquaint yourself with Africa's mighty lion.
A stone’s throw from the Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi River, you’ll find an active conservation project known as ‘Lion Encounter’. Dedicated to the plight of the African lion - a captivating member of the Big Five which has seen a steep decline in its wild population - Lion Encounter works to ethically re-introduce the offspring of captive-bred African lions back into the wild.
The first step is taking the young cubs into the bush to build their confidence and familiarize themselves with their wilder surroundings. This is where you come in. Walking with the maturing cubs assists in their pre-release training as well as providing crucial funding for the continuation of the program. Participating in this activity is therefore considerably rewarding – you are contributing to securing a future for lions in the African safari areas.
Note that the lions are taken for walks in the bush with or without guests; i.e. you are guest observing their daily routine rather than a commercial driving force in their existence. The program is truly the most ethical and honest of its kind. The lions are only ‘trained’ to the point that it is safe for a handful of outsiders to come stroll alongside them, always in the company of a handler and guide. They are not pets or performers. Contact is therefore not guaranteed.
The most exciting part of the walking experience is being able to observe the cubs practice their stalking and hunting skills. Guests on lion walks have occasionally been fortunate enough to observe bigger cubs successfully take down their quarry – a testament to the success of the program. Regardless of what you might see and experience during your walk, you will nevertheless find the experience to be as close to natural as it gets, and indelibly unforgettable.
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