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Review of Lion Encounter

Lion Encounter
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Attraction details
Owner description: Africa's first genuine programme to ethically re-introduce the offspring of rehabilitated captive-bred African lion back into the wild, helping safeguard the future of the king of the beasts.No leashes, no collars, just a natural African wildlife adventure operating in the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park by Thorntree River Lodge, 10 minutes from Livingstone. Guests will have the unique experience of walking alongside and interacting with the lions as they play, learn to hunt and prepare for release.
Reviewed 24 August 2014

As an animal lover and behaviorist, I went with a critical eye (only went to please my daughter). It was very expensive and in my opinion, just a glorified petting zoo. I am very skeptical of the ALERT program and I can't say that I fully understand how the program will actually be successful. I kept my mouth shut during the presentation as I didn't want to ruin the experience for my daughter or other paying customers.

The lions are trained to "sit and stay" for pictures and roboticly know when they must let the humans walk along side of them. I did not feel that the lions wanted to be doing this or even enjoyed the interaction. They were doing what they had been trained to do. A very artificial experience.

6  Thank CMLM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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48 - 52 of 127 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2014

Had a great time walking with the lions. Note that these lions are about 16 months old not "cubs" or adults yet. Also note to leave any purses or loose items at your hotel. If you bring them you will need to place them in a box at the campsite that is left open. Overall like all the other comments they give you a briefing of their organization and then you walk with the lions. They are great about using your camera to take pictures and make sure you get as much time (equal time among the group members) to interact with the lions. Is it expensive? Yes, but it is worth every penny. Where else can you say that you pet a lion and walked with them? Do I believe in the ALERT organization? I can't say I do. After 15 years, they still have not been able to get to the third stage of their project? It makes me think can they or is this profitable and they don't want to?

3  Thank morganacub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

If you think you'd love to take a walk with the lions, try volunteering at the facility. You learn so much and I believe you can help make a small difference by volunteering with lions. It is a minimum of two weeks to do the volunteering and this is because there is a great deal of training and learning to be done. The lodging at the facility for volunteers is nice, although hot water is not always guaranteed.... small issues really. You are up early feeding cubs and working hard throughout most of the day doing tasks to keep the lion facility running efficiently and the lions in their best health. Jobs include lion/cub walking and feeding, enclosure cleaning, meat prep, making toys for the lions, donkey chop, and doing local projects to help the community. It was a very meaningful experience and I would suggest it only for people who are really willing to work hard.

2  Thank Julie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2014

Yes, if you are a cat lover like me, this is a must do while in Victoria Falls. It is a bit pricey ($140), but totally worth it. It will fulfill your appetite for a hands-on experience with one of the world's greatest wildcats. Sure, you are only able to pet the cat's back area, but understand it's an opportunity to touch the lion; not play with it. The keeper and guide instructions are solely for precaution and for your safety. Please also understand that these are wild cats and not cats that may play with anyone that crosses their path. Though you do sign a waiver, staff still do not want any accidents to occur.

Overall, walking with the lions was one of the top highlights of my two week holiday in Zimbabwe! The guides take pretty good photots, and plenty of them so you're bound to keep a few excellent shots. I would definitely do this again if/when I return!

2  Thank Monica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Imagine being so close to a lion and posing for photos with it. This is an incredible experience. These are tamed lions that will not harm you. You have this only place and opportunity to be with a lion in peace and harmony.

1  Thank Simpemba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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