There are very few occasions where one can participate in a safari, enjoy great exercise, have the experience of a lifetime and do it all for the right reason! For me, that right reason is saving iconic wildlife.

When I first thought of this event, it was to run a Great Plains Conservation safari styled cycling adventure, raising money to support an area’s predator compensation activities and habitat expansion. Since then, I have revised our entire conservation policy. Unless we are securing larger wildlife corridors, and having a major discussion around the massive livestock explosion in Africa today, we can save as many lions as we like but will forever only nibble at the edges of conservation.

We have identified an important wildlife corridor between Kenya’s Amboseli and Tsavo Ecosystems through which lions, elephants and other wildlife that rely on connectivity migrate. Today it has in places been reduced down to just 160 meters wide! Large herds of Amboseli elephants need to migrate to the giant bulls of the Chyulus and Tsavo regions to breed.

Ride For Lions’ 2018 objective is to raise money for Land for Lions – a fund securing key strategic pieces of land on either side of this narrow ‘walkway’ and thus widening each of its lateral borders by a kilometer and increasing its total length by an extra 5 kilometers.

The result is an expansion from a narrow 160-meter wide corridor to one that is over 10 square kilometers!

The 2018 Ride For Lions route will go right through here. You will have the opportunity to engage with the local tribal elders and conservationists along the way. Be prepared to be welcomed like returning heroes.

I am convinced that by securing this land for conservation, our efforts will ensure the futures of the lion and elephant of this region.

“This is a life changing experience!” was the mantra of the 2017 riders: I know there are hundreds of ‘life changing’ experiences out there but many of this year’s riders were drawing on their feeling part of something bigger to express themselves through tears.

I would like to invite you to join me in May 2018 and become a part of this major conservation effort.

Dereck Joubert,
National Geographic Explorer in Residence,
CEO Great Plains Conservation and the Great Plains Foundation

Author GPRideForLions

More posts by GPRideForLions