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SAVE Lions
Life with lions

SAVE Lions – Life with lions

The project area (NG32/NG35) is located along the Okavango Delta in the northern part of Botswana. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to endangered species such as lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, black rhinos and elephants. At the same time, it is also home to rural communities that barely benefit from this unique natural environment and therefore rely on livestock and vegetable farming for their livelihoods. The project area includes six communities where conflicts between humans and lions occur regularly, as cattle and goats are easy prey for the free-roaming predators.

Against this background, SAVE has started the lion conservation project SAVE Lions in cooperation with Pro Wildlife and together with the community of Quqao.

Together with the villagers we analyze the conflict situation and develop effective solutions for herd protection, which at the same time means lion protection.

„Only by working with people in wildlife areas, providing education, and helping people to help themselves to livelihoods beyond livestock, will we in the long run
peaceful coexistence of people and wildlife.“

Daniela Freyer, Pro Wildlife –

Here we protect the lions

The area is located southeast in the Okavango Delta. The concessions NG32/35 are separated by the Buffalo fence and host 9 communities (NG32: Ditshiping, Xaxaba, NG35: Quqao, Shorobe, Xharaxhao, Boro, Daunara, Morutsha, Matsaudi) in which about 4210 people live. The inhabitants have always worked in campsites, lodges or hotels and offer canoe and boat tours as well as game drives, but the main source of income is livestock. 

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Lion conservation through development work

In order to achieve a peaceful coexistence of people and wildlife in the long term, we want to create alternative livelihoods for the affected communities and teach them the value of an intact ecosystem. In doing so, SAVE follows the approach of environmental education, awareness work, help for self-help and offers practical support on site.

The SAVE Lions project is developing a sustainable model for the six communities in the area in a pilot project with the Quqao village community: Targeted environmental education enables awareness-raising from an early age and shows new ways of dealing with wildlife. At the same time, effective measures such as mobile and predator-proof fences are to be implemented to protect the herds and lions.

These should be constructed sufficiently high and strong to prevent cattle from escaping or lions from jumping in. In order to be able to provide help quickly in emergency situations, a provisional SAVE base has been set up in the village for the Lion Rangers, who support the farmers on site and provide immediate help in an emergency. The rangers advise the affected farmers and monitor the movement patterns of the predatory cats through tracking. In addition, alternative income opportunities are to be created, for example through tourism offers. After successful implementation, the concept is to be transferred to the other five communities in the project area in order to improve lion protection across the board.

And this could be your contribution

Your support is vital to ensure the operation of the SAVE base and the payment of lion rangers to minimize conflict. We plan to build predator-proof enclosures and workshops for farmers to encourage better livestock management. We are also training community members to become teachers and rangers, and providing environmental education for young children and school groups. Please help us implement these important measures and protect the big cats.

Help lion conservation in Botswana