grumeti-lion-cub-in-tree

© Nick Dale

A lion Recovery Project

Experience lion conservation with KopeLion

Protecting the Pride

July 2019 marks the much-anticipated release of Disney’s new ‘Lion King’. Running parallel with this launch is Disney’s #ProtectThePride fundraising campaign in support of the Lion Recovery Fund (LRF), an organisation committed to the future of Africa’s wild lions, and an Impact partner of &Beyond.

The LRF has a selection of lion conservation initiatives that it supports, one of which is the KopeLion project, which works on the periphery of &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
We have decided to celebrate the new ‘Lion King’ and all it represents, with our “Meet the powerful Kings of the Jungle” safari. Not only does this family adventure showcase the real-life world of this animated epic, but each booking generates a donation to the Lion Recovery Fund and also includes signature lion conservation experiences offered by KopeLion.

Add to your Ngorongoro adventure with a KopeLion experience

Guests of &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge have the opportunity to interact with the KopeLion conservation team to get a deeper understanding of their day to day operations and what it is really like for the Maasai to live side by side with wildlife. These experiences have to be booked in advance, and all generate a donation to KopeLion.

Interact with the KopeLion conservation team

Enjoy half a day with the KOPELion team and discover how these dedicated conservationists are fostering lion-people coexistence within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). Working closely with local communities, they are creating a sustainable ‘corridor of tolerance’ that will re-connect the divided Crater and Serengeti lion sub-populations, ensuring their long-term survival. This insightful experience will give you the opportunity to understand the challenges and complexities of wildlife and human coexistence.

Accompanied by a KOPELion researcher, you’ll start with a short walk to check on one of the Panthera camera traps. Then you’ll be driven through Maasai villages, and a diversity of habitats, from the lush Crater rim, through sparse grasslands, and into a beautiful secluded forest spot. Here you’ll meet one of the KOPELion ‘Ilchokuti’ (lion guardians) who will talk about his work that entails both working with the local communities, and protecting lions.

A Crater-floor banquet with KopeLion

Dine in style on the magnificent Crater floor with the KOPELion conservation team, and learn all about this fascinating, essential initiative. In this interactive forum, a lion researcher will regale you with stories of these mighty predators, and explain the committed efforts of the KOPELion team to eliminate human-lion conflict along a ‘corridor of tolerance’ linking the Crater to the Serengeti. All your questions are welcomed.

Pre-dinner drinks with KopeLion

Unwind after a thrilling day of game viewing with a bottle of fine wine, or some French champagne, and share some time with the KOPELion conservationists. This intimate setting lends itself perfectly to an interactive presentation by the KOPELion researchers, followed by an exchange of questions and answers about the invaluable work they are doing to eliminate human-lion conflict along a ‘corridor of tolerance’ linking the Crater to the Serengeti. This is a perfect opportunity to get a full understanding of the work they are doing, and their commitment to a sustainable solution.

More about KopeLion

The terrain of the mighty lion is ever shrinking, resulting in the devastating effects of human-wildlife conflict. KopeLion, the Korongoro People’s Lion initiative, is dedicated to finding solutions to this complex issue within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) and Serengeti regions.

Corridors of tolerance

The first objective of KopeLion is to establish ‘corridors of tolerance’: areas that allow free movement of lion populations between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, ensuring both their genetic diversity and long-term survival. For generations, lions and the Maasai have lived alongside each other in uneasy proximity. This is a new chapter in this relationship – a time when communities become active partners in these conservation goals.

Community lion guardians

Local warriors, Ilchokuti, are lion guardians whose primary mandate is to prevent the hunting of lions through a range of proactive measures. These include patrolling and safeguarding their allocated areas of responsibility within the greater Serengeti. They alert communities to the presence of lions, search for lost livestock, fortify livestock enclosures, and assist with wounded livestock. These much-revered ambassadors, are in essence lion warriors, committed to the sustainability of these magnificent animals.

Add this to your tour

Only available as part of a planned itinerary