The lion (panthera leo) is still widely regarded as the undisputed King of the African bush and invariably, no safari is complete without having seen one! It is the only cat that lives in a social group and is observed as such. The fascination comes when they hunt on a co-operative basis, the glance between the lionesses that mark the next collaborative move. They are the quintessential African predator – beautiful, regal and intelligent.
The overall numbers have alarmingly declined in Africa – from 100 000 in the early 1990s to around 16000 today. Sadly the conflict between local herders and lions continues, although there are a number of conservation/educational projects in place trying to dissuade the local warriors from killing a lion who historically marked their rite of passage when becoming a warrior with the killing of a lion. However, the good news is that there are a number of properties in Kenya, such as Campi Ya Kanzi in the Chyulu Hills and Shu’Mata in Tanzania who through great effort and donations have made a difference to the lion populations in their regions through education and monitoring and the numbers have stabilised, if not begun to increase.
Many of our clients these days are looking for something deeper from a safari than simply ticking a list or taking a photograph. Their thirst for knowledge about these magnificent beasts, their existence, their behaviour and their future for survival is far more interesting. We have great pleasure in offering our clients a non-touristy experience with a lion scientist, for example in the Laikipia region in Kenya where one can have an exhilarating experience obtaining information that one would never normally have access to on a safari - for a donation. If we are given sufficient notice, we can even try and time it with a collaring exercise. The lions are collared so that the researchers can follow their tracks and determine their movements, collating information which is vital to their survival. Contact us now for an extraordinary lion safari in Africa.
Laikipia is also the best place in Kenya to see wild dog. We have some wonderful friends who have a superb tented camp in the Laikipia region. Here you spend time tracking wild dog and you have the greatest chance of seeing them too - especially when they are denning. Track them with a monitoring device and learn all about the wild dog as a species.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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