In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe there is a Lion conservation effort underway that is an amazing experience. First and foremost, it is for a good cause. There is no more noble cause than the conservation of mother earth and her inhabitants, in my modest opinion. This one is maybe the best experience of my life. You see there is an effort underway that can be joined by teens to adults. It will teach you valuable life long lessons regardless of your age and even better it will do a world of good for the natives and wildlife in the area.
There are layers to this experience and I want to try the best I can to peal a few away for you. Let’s start with the obvious, the effort of lion conservation in sub-Saharan Africa is very complex. Conservationists need to educate local communities on why lion conservation is so important in addition to preserving their national habitats and rehabilitating lion cubs for life in the wild. This is a much more important job than most westerners think.
It is mind blowing to see the lion cubs grow. They are very small in some instances. You can handle them until a certain age then it is left to professionals. They are being trained to re-enter the wild one day. This is a delicate process that is time consuming but it is increasing the local lion population unlike almost any other of its kind. I also helped with repairs to the park while I was there and we helped to educate the local population of humans why lion conservation is so important.
I think the time I spent there really made a difference but it wasn’t all hard work. Don’t let me misguide you. The area offers some of the most expansive views anywhere. It has crystal clear water and most importantly it has the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen. At just the right time of year there is even a natural pool that forms with minimum current a few feet from where water plunges over the edge. This affords the adventurous type an opportunity to swim the devils pool as it is known to enjoy a very special thrill that only a very few will ever share.
All in all I would say that it was an experience that no-one should ever be denied. If you have the ability I would highly recommend that you try it. The conservation efforts in all of Africa are note worthy. They are very important to the environment and community structures. Many are free because you shouldn’t have to pay to volunteer. You may feel more fulfilled than you ever have or will again while you are there so be careful.