There’s never been a better time to discover some of Africa’s most incredible safari adventures and this seven-day, purpose-driven safari is among the best. As part of their shared commitment to protecting Africa’s wildlife, Wilderness Safaris and Panthera, the global wild cat conservation organization, have partnered to create an impactful journey to Zambia, dedicated to lion conservation. Panthera is the only organization in the world devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems. Relying on the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global strategies for the most imperilled large cats.
This seven-day safari will be hosted by Dr Kim Young-Overton, a recognized specialist in threatened species and ecosystem management. The trip will take place in the wildlife-rich Busanga Plains of Zambia’s Kafue National Park from 26 September – 2 October 2022. After the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic for wildlife tourism and conservation, Wilderness and Panthera are confident that their impact trip for which they are partnering, will not only help to fund vital conservation projects, but also offer guests an extremely immersive experience, with insight from various renowned experts.
“This trip is an incredible opportunity to experience the valuable intersection of impact tourism and hands-on conservation efforts. In the Kafue, Wilderness’ history with Panthera dates back to 2010, when Dr Neil Midlane initiated the Kafue Lion Project, the first study into the species in this unique landscape. Wilderness’ continued support for Panthera, as well as recent surveys, suggest that the lion population is responding well to the team’s interventions,” says Dean Morton, Wilderness Zambezi Acting MD.
“The itinerary brings together Wilderness’ award-winning camps and safaris, and Panthera’s scientific and operational expertise, to ensure a future for wild cats and the vast landscapes on which they depend,” added Dr Kim Young-Overton, Panthera’s Director of Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area, Cheetah Program Director and host of the trip. Kim’s in-depth knowledge of the carnivores in these areas will steer guests through the complex details of lion conservation.
The trip will take place from 26 September to 2 October, with guests based in the heart of the Busanga Plains at Wilderness Shumba Camp. Home to the most diverse antelope species across the whole of Africa, the Kafue is also renowned for its dynamic lion populations, and is one of the strongholds of lion conservation in Africa. With behind-the-scenes access to Kafue lion conservation initiatives, guests will spend time with the research team from Panthera and partners, joining their dedicated monitoring units, and delve into the details of carnivore tracking. A game count, camera trapping and a meeting with wildlife police officers dedicated to conservation are just a few of the highlights.
The trip will provide a truly unique experience for conservation-minded travellers. “We are excited to be a part of the Wilderness and Panthera journey, and for the opportunity to make a significant, positive contribution to the development of sustainable wildlife-based economies across the continent,” concluded Dean.
Just to give you an idea of the itinerary, on day one you’ll fly into Shumba Camp, where you will be met by team members, including the Director of Panthera’s KAZA and Cheetah programs, Dr Kim Young-Overton. After an afternoon game drive, enjoy a hearty dinner and an informal discussion about the Kafue. In preparation for the following day’s activities, gather around the fire for a post-dinner chat on the vast Kafue ecosystem.