Latest Lion Aid News


As many of you will know, the LionAid LION HEARTS team (11 of us) are attempting to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in July. None of us have any climbing experience but we are doing this to raise critically needed funds for our human/lion conflict mitigation project in Merrueshi, Kenya.

There is still a long way to go if we are to reach our goal of raising £65,000 by the time we leave for Tanzania on the 18th July, so we really hope everyone will dig deep and contribute to the project if, like us, they want to see a rural community able to co-exist peacefully with the predators that surround their village. This project can make that crucial difference!!!
 Every penny counts and you would be surprised how quickly the total raised can mount up if everyone reading this made even a small donation. Thank you for caring.

DIGGING DEEP is what six of our team did on the weekend of the 11th of June when, as part of our training for Kilimanjaro, we donned our distinctive bright yellow LION HEARTS t shirts and hoodies, and attempted an organised Ultra Challenge in the Lake District – walking 50 kilometres in one day between Kendal and Windemere. Two of our team went even further and continued to walk an additional 50 kilometres the following day from Windemere back to Kendal around the other side of the lake!!!

We arrived the evening before in howling winds, which was a challenge in itself as we needed to erect our  tents in the designated camping field! Not everything went to plan!! And my tent I was sharing with   another person just didn’t make it, despite much effort from our LION HEARTS team to make it stay up!! But an old small tent was found for us, and a bit of gaffer tape secured the ripped bits!!!

Then onto the pub for a quick drink and a bite to eat before we all retired back to our tents to get some sleep before the trek started the following morning!!

And so to the Challenge itself…..


The trek was really hard and took in some daunting mountain passes to cross – penned by at least one walker as the “Monster Mountains”. The way was very stony, had steep gradients and in some places, having to cross streams  via  slippery stepping stones.
And I shudder to mention the dry-stone walls we had to straddle via scary stepping stones up and down! I remember with great affection one of our wonderful taller team members offering to stand beside the wall and act as a “bannister rail” for us ladies to hang on to as we attempted to climb up these scarcely placed stepping stones to get to the top of the wall and then down the other side!!

One of the passes we had to negotiate was the Garburn Pass which is very steep, long and very rocky. It turns out it is also a favourite haunt of




racing mountain bikers. And, you guessed it, there was a mountain bike race taking place at the same time as we were on the trek. The path is pretty narrow and the rain had made it very muddy with water puddles everywhere.
Stewards along the route yelled out to the trekkers to “keep left! And the bikers had been told to “keep right”!! Not everyone had got this crucial message and it all got a bit scary on the downward side as these mountain bikers whizzed past, their bikes leaping high over the rocks as they went, yelling to the tired trekkers to move out of their way!!!!

But we made it through and I have to say, the bonding among the six of us LION HEARTS was worth its weight in gold. And amongst the blood, sweat and tears of that arduous trek (started at 8.30 Saturday morning and got back to our tents after 2am the following morning), we saw some spectacular scenery along the way, views that make the Lake District the wonderful World Heritage Site it justly deserves.

We all feel very proud we achieved what we did and we feel we may well have at least part prepared for the ultimate challenge awaiting us. 

Please support us if you can. You can DONATE to the project here. Thank you so much for helping us deliver an innovative solution to the human/lion conflict that is killing too many lions and other predators across Africa.

Posted by Chris Macsween at 12:00

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