The White Lion Conservation Project - How Did It All Begin?

The White Lion Conservation Project - How Did It All Begin?

Posted by Connor Whelan on 15th Sep 2016

A question we are often asked here at The Great Projects is “how did that project start?” and the answers we give are extremely interesting! That is certainly the case with the White Lion Conservation Project, and today we are going to tell you a little more about how the only White Lion Conservation Project in the world came into existence!

Linda Tucker

2001 – Things began for this project over a decade and a half ago with the publication of Linda Tuckers book: Mystery of the White Lions: Children of the Sungod. This book recalls the incredible experience the ex-television presenter and model had, when one night whilst out on a game drive the groups vehicle became stranded out in the bush. After a short period of waiting and calling for help, they found themselves surrounded by a pride of hungry lions and they thought that their time was up. That was until they were rescued by a local shamanic woman, who walked straight through the pride, a young baby strapped to her back, and waited with the terrified group until rescue came. The way that the Maria Khosa, the shaman named the “Lion Queen of Timbavati” subdued the lions simply with her presence set Linda off on a journey of discovery which eventually led to the founding of the White Lion Conservation Project…

2002 – In 2002 the rescue of the iconic white lioness Marah took place from a canned hunting camp in Bethlehem, South Africa. This lion is believed to have been of particular importance by the indigenous elders of the region, and with Marah’s mother being a white lioness who was removed from the Timbavati region (where the project is based and the lions originate from,) the project began to take further shape.

2002 was also the year in which Linda founded the Global White Lion Protection Trust (GWLPT), a non-profit organisation dedicated to help protect the white lions.

Timbavati Land

2003 – In 2003 a huge step was taken to secure the future of the white lion as the GWLPT acquired a 600 hectare area of land in the Timbavati region.

2004 – This newly acquired land was put to good use very quickly, as Marah the rescued lioness was reintroduced to her endemic habitat along with her three cubs Letaba, Regeus, and Zihra. Here they could explore and roam around their new territory with no fear of being taken back to the canned hunting industry.

2005 – This year played host to another lion rescue, but this time it was of a huge male lion named Mandla. Mandla was saved from a trophy hunting centre after enough money was raised to take him away from this terrible fate. After his rescue, Mandla was then placed into the reintroduction programme at the project site.

White Lions

2006 – 2016 and beyond – Once the project had helped to bring a pride of white lions back in their natural habitat, free to roam and away from the danger of poachers and canned hunting, things began to expand. In 2006 the GWLPT had dialogue with the land owners in the local area about expanding the territory into the neighbouring lands to create a conservancy for the white lion’s protection. The lions at the project flourished against all of the odds, and with the introduction of tawny lionesses, the “White Lion Royal Pride” continued to grow. Today there are three prides of lions at the project site, each under the care of the GWLPT, and with the help of volunteers such as yourself the white lions future is looking a lot more secure than it once did!

Volunteers In South Africa

If you would like to help protect the future of the white lions by volunteering at this unique project then you can book here. The white lion needs our help to survive, so what are you waiting for? Travel to South Africa and help the White Lion Conservation Project create the next chapter in its incredible history!


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