“I was not the lion, but it fell upon me to give the lion’s roar” Winston Churchill, politician, 1874-1965
Photo by Patti Baker Trottier
Guarding our temples, adorning our flags, decorating our coins and capturing our hearts, the lion is beyond doubt the world’s most iconic species. On almost every continent, and in thousands of cultures, the lion can be found demonstrating man’s fascination with this magnificent beast.
A half -century ago some 100,000 lions ranged across Africa’s savannahs, but lion habitat is only a quarter of what is was then and today lion numbers are fewer than 30,000. Forty per cent of these live in Tanzania and only nine countries can claim to have more than 1,000 wild living lions. Currently classified as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) the wild lion has been ousted from over 75% of its previous habitats on this continent in the last century, making scientists and conservationists alike feel that all species of African lion are well on their way to extinction.
World Lion Day is the first global campaign to celebrate the importance of the lion worldwide and to call attention to the need for conservation efforts in the lions’ behalf. Organizers say, “Since the dawn of man, the lion has played an integral role in our lives: symbolically, religiously, culturally, economically and biologically. To lose the lion from our world would be to lose part of our global heritage.”
Marasa Africa, a member of the Madhvani Group of Companies, one of the largest private-sector groups in East Africa, announces it will join Uganda Conservation Foundation in supporting World Lion Day, August 10, 2013, a day that will be marked around the world to call attention to the endangerment of the King of Beasts. On that date, Marasa properties in Uganda – Chobe Safari Lodge; Paraa Safari Lodge and Mweya Safari Lodge, will donate $1.00 for each room night at these lodges to the non-profit Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF) Conservation through Action programmes provide practical support to revitalise and protect natural habitats, biodiversity and also helps protect lions in the national parks from poachers. This will also benefit the vulnerable tree climbing lions in ishasha Guests of the lodges will also be invited to donate to the UCF.
Guests can see the splendid lion in his natural habitat by going on game drives at Chobe Safari Lodge and Paraa Safari Lodge, both in Murchison Falls National Park, and both scenically situated on the River Nile. And they can view a particular wonderment – tree-climbing lions – while on safari at Mweya Safari Lodge. Mweya is located in Queen Elizabeth National Park on the amazing natural channel, Kazinga, running between salt water Lake Edward and fresh water Lake George. The channel attracts a varied range of animals and birds, with one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos and numerous Nile crocodiles.
Arrangements to see the Ugandan lions can be made through Premier Safaris.
For more information on World Lion Day, visit: www.worldlionday.com