LEPHALALE — History was made on Wednesday 26 September 2018 when six young lions were relocated from South Africa to Angola, the first lions from Warthog Safaris to be relocated internationally. Once they are old enough, they will be released into a larger conservation area.
This is the third project of its kind launched by Tienie and Ananja Bamberger from Warthog Safaris, with the motto “Warthog Safaris is giving back because we care”.
Tienie explains that hunting and tourism are a large part of the industry in the Bushveld area and in the Lephalale area especially. “We, as hunters, make a huge contribution and are involved in many community projects like job creation on hunting farms and lodges, we supply food and other necessities. This is not only the case during hunting season, it is an ongoing thing,” Tienie says.
Warthog Safaris supplies food, meat, stationery, sweets and other necessities to a local school on a regular basis. They also supply meat to between 60-100 elderlies and community members each month.
“The lions for the Angola project were bred on the Bambergers’ second farm, Warthog Safaris, in the Free State and they were transported to the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.
They flew with TAAG (an Angolan airline) to Luanda from where they took another flight to Lubango. From there the lions were transported with an off-road vehicle to the area that what will be their home. Once the project is well established, the plan is to resettle them in nature.
“Angola has a good conservation initiative and we are proud to be involved in conservation programmes like this. We as hunters conduct conservation initiatives and it this can be proven by the fact that all species that were virtually completely erased are back in nature as a result of hunter initiatives.
“The outcome of two previous similar projects of Warthog Safaris where the lions were relocated to two different areas in South Africa, were very positive. The lions have already bred and the little ones who were born are now young adult lions with their own families. They adjusted very well.
“It is a standing offer – if there is a place in the world where lions appeared prehistorically and became extinct, we can relocate lions to that area as long as there is no human/animal conflict in the area and the area should be suitable for predators.
“Lephalale certainly has a large contribution to hunting in South Africa and our local economy relies on people in the hunting and tourism industry,” Tienie concluded.