Global White Lion Protection Trust
White Lions were first sited by Europeans in 1938, although legends of their appearance in the Timbavati Region existed in the African oral traditions for many hundreds of years. This unique region is their endemic range (the only place on earth where they occurred naturally), and the ancient Shangaan word “Tsimba-vaati” means the “Place where the Starlions came down.” African elders regarded these majestic creatures as “Children of the Sun God”, the most sacred animals on the African continent. However, due to forced removals into zoos and canned hunting camps over several decades, these rare animals disappeared from their natural kingdom.
The organization responsible for their protection, the Global White Lion Protection Trust has initiated a world-first scientific reintroduction program to return the White Lions to their endemic range. In order to achieve this goal, the organization has had to reclaim significant tracks of land, regarded as sacred ancestral homelands of the White Lions. In the best interests of the White Lions, the program is not open to the public. However, the Scientific Research Centre may be visited by special invitation, with an opportunity to join the scientific monitoring team tracking the White Lions in their protected natural habitat.
The Trust works in close collaboration with local indigenous communities in eco-educational programs, and it can arrange exciting White Lion Cultural Heritage events for larger groups of visitors.