Save The Lions Breeding Project
Love Love Love Lions?
Have a passion for helping protect the species for the future?
The totally amazing Save the Lion Breeding Project is nice and close to where you'll have your orientation situated approximately 1.5 hours drive from Johannesburg. The game farm comprises of 260 hectares of unspoilt bushveld and boasts a variety of antelope species, giraffe and zebra. The breeding project is also home to more than 130 different bird species. Known as the “place of quiet” the lodge is nestled in lush bushveld where the roar of the lion can be heard for miles around.
Waking up every morning to lions roaring is something you won't forget in a hurry!
This Project is a fully functioning game farm that has over the years specialised in Lion breeding and research.
In the past year the project was appointed as a facility to host a long term lion research project through South Africa’s largest veterinary institute, - Onderstepoort.
The mission of the project is to preserve the lion for generations to come.
In South Africa the majority of lions in Kruger National Park have Tuberculosis (TB) due to eating TB carrying buffalo (97% of Buffalo in Kruger have TB). All lions at this breeding project are free of TB. The project owners are involved in world renowned research including;
- The Tiger Genome and comparative analysis with lion and snow leopard genomes.
- Research collaboration with the University of Western Cape and Pretoria University
- Department of Zoology & Entomology Pretoria University researching the effect of Bovine TB on the reproduction of lions with TB compared to those without.
- Working in conjunction with Berlin and Hamburg Universities in Germany as well as Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
- Research projects have been undertaken that include research into LIV ( Lion Immunodeficiency Virus ), Tuberculosis, Fertility, Cryopreservation and most importantly the Genetics of White Lions.
- They have also hosted National Geographic on several occasions in their filming of research documentaries.
- Blood tests have revealed that the lions are free of all major lion and feline viruses. The lions have also been used in the creation of a normal lion blood profile.
- Establishing Assisted Reproduction Technologies as a Conservation Tool for Wild Cats
The farm also serves as an environmental education centre.
Thousands of school children visit the farm throughout the year to gain firsthand experience in the conservation and preservation of wildlife. They sometimes even stay over and have LionCamp!
The business is owned and run by a South African family who speak both German and Dutch. They are very involved in the management and operations of the project and also live on the property. They are passionate about the animals they care for and once you meet them you'll feel their passion for the lions especially.
The farm is located in a beautiful part of South Africa. They have a number of different animals who roam around on the farm and many other fun activities like game drives and quad biking trips that participants can take part in.
This is our most booked project by far. So book early to avoid disappointment.
What can you expect to do?
The Save the Lions Project is a very hands-on program. From day one, you will be expected to help with the day-to-day care of the lions and in particular the cubs.
- The farm is divided into 3-segmented scheduled areas where you get the opportunity to work on cub duty, ranger duty and kitchen duty. Each day’s tasks would differ as you would need to assist where help is needed at the time. There is plenty of time for photos - bring a few memory cards or something to download your photos on to each night.
- The farm has also introduced cheetahs on the property and you will also get the chance to work with these animals as well. They also have caracal, hyena, tigers and wild dog.
- Daily tasks range from feeding new born cubs every 3 hours to clearing bones from the larger lion enclosures (with the lions safely behind a fence) and helping maintain fences on the farm.
- You will also assist with educational activities.
What tasks and activities are involved?Caring for lion cubsMaking bottles and feeding cubs every 3 hoursEntertaining the older cubs when they are not sleeping (lions love to sleep)Cutting up meat and feeding adult lionsAssisting with educational activitiesMonitoring of sick or injured lions and cubsHelp with the maintenance of lion enclosures and upkeep of facilitiesParticipate in the daily running of the farmObserve veterinary procedures where possible
What can you expect in terms of accommodation and food during your project placement?
Accommodation on the farm is in either a 2 or 6 bed en-suite chalet that is fully furnished and fully equipped. The chalets are very comfortable and all you need to bring is your clothing & personal items. The project also offers a full laundry service and a snack shop on the farm. All meals are prepared on site and usually the staff will join you for meals. Volunteers are treated as guest not as cheap labour and you will be very well looked after. There is a pool for the volunteers to use as well as a deck for sunbathing, as well as optional activities off site for volunteers.
Many volunteers also choose to add on the Kruger Tour to this project which happens over one of your weekends at the project.
Save the Lions Breeding Project Photos