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We believe that the challenges facing Africa, such as the decline of the African Lion, can most effectively be met by uniting community and policy makers with conservation managers, researchers and business leaders. This union ensures that both present and future generations will be able to enjoy the benefits of Africa’s environment, by combining the protection of natural habitats with economic and social development.
Lion Encounter not only has a goal of saving and protecting the African Lion as a species, but also places importance in the education, development and empowerment of local communities, as well as the protection of local habitats and environments.
We aim to implement our projects with a holistic approach. Our environment is shaped not just by geography and bio-physical factors, but also by socio-economic, legal and political ones. Therefore we take a holistic approach to conservation recognizing that our actions must address all these factors if our programs are to succeed.
By using the lion as ambassador for Africa’s wildlife and her people, we can use our resources, manpower and time to invest into sustainable solutions to problems affecting local communities, and tackle them with long – term and responsible methods.
We place great emphasis on empowerment via education and job creation and pay great attention to the needs of the community, working with them and the various government departments to create meaningful sustainable projects.
Occasionally our involvement will simply consist of us supporting a community initiative in some way, whether this is lending them transport, manual labour or supplies, but most of our community based projects are run and operated by us and our volunteer teams. For example, at our educational workshops the volunteers plan and develop the “lessons” then head into the various schools, orphanages or clubs to deliver the lesson or seminar. Often our educational workshops follow syllabus’s that have been created and developed over time with careful consideration of local traditions and custom, and environmental awareness.
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We aim to operate our programs responsibly with an acute awareness to our environment impact and thus ensuring efforts to protect the environment are taken wherever possible.
This objective includes making every effort to use our resources and manpower to help other areas of wildlife management and conservation other than just lions as much as we can. We work closely with the Zambian Wildlife Authority and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority in developing our conservation projects.
In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the Zambezi National Park together with Victoria Falls National Park cover an area of 56,000 hectares. The northern border of the Park is formed by the great Zambezi River which also forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia for much of its length. A wide variety of larger mammals may be found within the Zambezi National Park including The Big Five: elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and white rhinoceros. In addition, herds of sable antelope, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and impala as well as many of the smaller species of game.
The Zambezi River is home to a large variety of fish and is famous for its bream and fighting tiger fish. This river acts as a border in between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the Zambezi National Park and Mosi Oa Tunya National Park, in Zambia, where our lion encounter in Livingstone, Zambia is based. Mosi-oa-Tunya is the smallest and the only national park in Zambia located in an urban setting (Livingstone).
About 10km2 of the Park is fenced and set aside as a Zoological Park where animals such as Giraffe, White Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Waterbuck, Impala, Puku and Warthog, etc can be easily seen.
The Park also boasts of varied bird life, particularly the population of birds of prey such as the Falcons, including the rare Taita Falcon, and Peregrines and different types of Eagles that nest in the gorges.
Having these two national parks on our doorstep mean we can really be in the forefront of wildlife conservation and have superb areas in which to conduct vital research.
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