Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lion Country - Where to Help Lion Conservation in Africa

By Jeff Seams

Does the idea of working in "lion country" appeal to you? Well do you know you can spend anything from two to eight weeks helping with vital lion conservation work in Africa?

The well-known Antelope Park in Zimbabwe, which runs a lion breeding and rehabilitation project of international reputation, is just one of several place that you could help with these magnificent creatures. It's not just throwing a few bits of meat into a cage either, when they say "hands-on" they really mean it. You could be helping with delightful lion cubs just a few weeks old or be out in the African bush walking right alongside young adults as they become acclimatized in advance of their release back into the wild.

Other lion conservation centers can be found set against the stunning backdrop of Victoria Falls and in Livingstone, Zambia, where you could be taking that lion walk along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River.

Each of these very special lion conservation projects is run under the guidance of ALERT, the African Lion and Environmental Research Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the African lion.

They ensure that strict guidelines are adhered to and that the very best is done for these wonderful creatures. The captive breeding program isn't used to provide animals for other captivity, but to help with the re-population in areas which have seen an 80 to 90% decline in lion numbers in the last 30 years.

Of course it's not all hard work - if you can call spending every day in the company of lions hard work! There are also opportunities for you to visit national parks and track other African wildlife, to go bungee jumping near the famous Falls if that's your thing, or white water rafting or taking a safari on the back of an elephant, the possibilities are as vast as the African landscape!

Your time spent volunteering in lion country will be of incredible value to the preservation and protection of these iconic creatures. As an added bonus it will give you memories you will never forget and new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Want to be there? For the latest news on lion conservation opportunities visit Lion Country.

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