Celebrate World Lion Day with Ker & Downey. Find out how you can get involved with conservation efforts on World Lion Day to support the big cats.
August 10th is World Lion Day. It’s a day to celebrate Africa’s biggest cat, but also a day to bring awareness to their declining numbers. Recent estimates state as few as 20,000 lions remain in the wild. It’s a staggering number when you realize their numbers were closer to 450,000 just 50 years ago.
The biggest threats facing lions are habitat loss and degradation, and conflicts with humans. In 2009 National Geographic explorers and filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert partnered with National Geographic to establish the Big Cats Initiative. It’s an emergency action fund bringing the world’s attention to the plight of the big cats worldwide, aiming to develop and implement solutions for conservation and education. It works with leading big cat experts to fund research and innovative conservation projects. So far, it has lent its support to 64 projects around the world.
Tourism is an excellent way to get involved and support conservation groups. When you travel, your conservation fees go towards projects working to reverse the decline of precious wildlife populations. In addition to their accolades as award-winning filmmakers, the Jouberts have started the Great Plains Conservation, which is making huge strides in putting tourism dollars to use.
They even coined a new term for what they do: “Conservation Tourism.”
“We define it as the use of quality led tourism experiences that are environmentally sound, with the benefits going specifically into making the conservation of an area viable and sustainable.”
The idea behind it is simple. They identify areas under threat and acquire the rights to convert the land to a protected area, securing the protection of resident and seasonal wildlife and their migration routes. Currently they operate safaris on approximately 1,000,000 acres, and hope to expand to 5,000,000 within the next ten years.
“Arguably, the most pressing issue for African wildlife is poaching. It goes to follow that if we are strategically acquiring large pieces of land to conserve then we also need to secure that land and its wildlife against poaching. The greatest need now, is what I call “The Battle for Africa,” and it will ultimately involve three species: lions, rhinos, and elephants. If we save those we have a hope. And if we don’t, everything else will go. We’re not going to let that happen on our watch.” – Dereck Joubert
How You Can Get Involved on World Lion Day
To support the “Battle for Africa”, consider our 10-day luxury safari to Kenya. It includes stays at two of Great Plains Conservation’s camps – Ol Donyo Lodge and Mara Plains Camp. Or head south to Botswana where Great Plains opened their first camp. Our 10-day luxury safari includes a stay at Selinda Camp, one of their Botswana camps.
Put your tourism dollars to use on World Lion Day. Contact your Luxury Travel Consultant to start planning your safari today. To stay up to date on all our online content, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.