All too often African safaris gloss over the nitty-gritty of conservation. That’s not the case with this trip by Wilderness Safaris, though, which is designed to give travelers an in-depth appreciation for the plight of the lion.
Developed in partnership with Panthera, a specialist in big cat conservation, the week-long safari in Zambia allows travelers to get up close and personal with lions while learning about the ways in which humans can better protect the species. As an added sweetener, all proceeds from the trip go directly toward supporting vital lion conservation efforts in the East African country. The one-off trip will take place September 26 to October 2 and is limited to just 12 guests.
Hosted by two renowned threatened species experts, Dr. Kim Young-Overton of Panthera and Dr. Neil Midlane of Wilderness Safaris, the hands-on adventure will take place in the Busanga Plains in Zambia’s Kafue National Park. This breathtaking wildlife mecca is said to offer some of the best lion viewing in Africa and is one of the strongholds of lion conservation. It’s also home to the most diverse antelope species across the whole of the country. You might also see cheetahs, elephants, hippos, buffalos and rare birds. You can expect a good dose of luxury, too, as guests will stay in one of the six tented suites at the beautiful Shumba Camp.
During the stay, you’ll partake in game counting and camera trapping and delve into the world of carnivore tracking. You’ll also meet with wildlife police officers dedicated to conversation and spend time with the research team to learn about the current initiatives designed to protect the lions. Other highlights include a bush brunch, sunrise game drive and fireside discussions about the local ecosystem. There is also ample time set aside for you to just sit by the pool at the camp and soak in the incredible views.
“The entire itinerary has been carefully crafted to offer guests a unique insight into our impact initiatives in action,” Dean Morton, the managing director at Wilderness Safaris Zambezi, told Robb Report. “We have no doubt that conservation-minded guests will receive a unique and extraordinary behind-the-scenes journey to what is undoubtedly one of Africa’s best wilderness areas.”
Of course, the best part about the trip is the positive impact that it will have. Since its founding in Botswana in 1983, Wilderness Safaris has established 58 diverse camps and subsequently helped to protect 2.3 million hectares of Africa’s wilderness. Furthermore, Dr. Midlane says that recent surveys suggest the local lion population is responding well to the team’s interventions. The safari will take place from September 26 to October 2 and costs $15,100 per person (sharing a double suite). There are 12 spots available on the trip.