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Walk With Lions

Walk With The Pride......

Lion walk in Victoria Falls

Walk side by side with the King of the Jungle.  You are invited to take a walk on the wild side and interact with the rowdy adolescents as well as learn about the conservation issues on the walk with lions safari.

No leashes, no collars......

Come walk with the Pride....no leashes, no collars, and the pride roam freely with you through the African bush.

All  clients will be given equipment for  their Walk with lions (stick).  On a walk with lions safari there are three lion handlers plus a Trip leader.  All Trip Leaders carry a .458 rifle, and a communication radio plus a first aid kit.


View this short Video from Shearwater Adventures




Pictures By - Chris De Veer


Read Experiences and Reviews from other travellers - or why not share your own Experience with us. Find out more...


Trips Include

  • Transport to and from your hotel or accommodation

  • Experienced, armed guides will accompany every walk with lions and carry with them a first aid kit and communication radio.

  • A safety talk introductions to the "pride" and how to behave around the King of the Jungle.

What To bring

  • Cameras

  • Sun block

  • Hat

  • Neutral colour clothes

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Booking voucher

What Not to Bring

  • No open sandals

  • No dresses or skirts

  • No white or bright colour clothing

  • No dandling objects or clothing that would attract the lions to you

  • Passports, jewellery and valuables should be left in hotel safes.

Age Restrictions

  • Minimum age 15years for walk with lions

  • Under 18years will need to have indemnity signed by legal guardian

  • Height restriction of 1.5metres(lions make that rule themselves)

Shearwater Adventures operate their Lion Walks in their very own Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve.


Lion walk in Victoria Falls


About the Shearwater Lions

Shearwater started operating walk with lions at Victoria Falls in September 2005. The well being of the lions in our care is a primary concern of the Shearwater team.

In recent times there has been considerable discussion and debate regarding the use of lions in the tourism industry and in particular relating to the canned hunting industry. In view of this Shearwater would like to make their position clear to our valued agents and clients.

The lions that Shearwater use in their Walk with Lions activity at Victoria Falls come from, and belong to, The Lion Park in Harare.

This facility has been owned and operated by the Bristow Family for three generations. The park was started by Mr. Ozzy Bristow in the 1960s when farmers, who had shot lions that were raiding their livestock herds, would bring him cubs that they had found. Ozzy had a passion for wildlife and in particular lions, and rather than let the cubs die he took them in and cared for them. As the number of lions in his care grew it became expensive for him to provide for them so in an attempt to raise funds he opened the park to the paying public. Along the way the park was relocated just outside Harare and later Ozzy was approached by a number of filmmakers who needed trained lions for their films. Subsequently the lions appeared in a large number of movies, documentaries, and television advertisements. This secured the future of the park and the welfare of the animals there. In addition the park focused on receiving school groups from urban and rural areas which gave them the opportunity to educate the children about lions and the importance of preserving their habitats.

In addition to operating the Lion Park the Bristow Family also operate the Pamuzinda Safari Lodge where they have offered lion walks to their guests for the last twenty years.

In early 2005 Shearwater were approached by the Park with regards to setting up an operation at Victoria Falls. After a thorough feasibility study Shearwater and the Lion Park entered into a Joint Venture and the product was launched in September 2005.

The facts pertaining to the utilisation of the lions are as follows;

1. All of the lions are owned by the Lion Park.

2. A portion of revenue generated at Victoria Falls is paid to the Lion Park which helps them sustain their facilities. This has been a great help as the Park has generally fallen on hard times due to the lack of demand from the movie industry and as a result of the general economical downturn in Zimbabwe.

3. All the lions are bred in captivity and hand reared.

4. Generally the lions come to us at an age of around 3-4 months.

5. Generally the lions are returned to the Lion Park at an age of around 18 months.

6. Since starting in September 2005 the Victoria Falls operation has used a total of 16 lions of which 8 are currently based at Victoria Falls.

7. Once the lions have outgrown the operation in Victoria Falls they are returned to the Lion Park in Harare where they are either used for advertising and film making purposes, captive breeding, or released into the Lion Park.

8. We have a clear understanding with the Lion Park owners that none of the lions used at Victoria Falls will ever be used for hunting of any kind. We have made it quite clear to the Lion Park that we will dissolve our Joint Venture with them should we have reason to believe that they are in breech of this understanding.

9. In addition, we have insisted that if any of the lions which have been used at Victoria Falls are sold onto other operators, that those operators must not be in any way associated with canned hunting. Accordingly the Lion Park are to advise us should they at anytime sell a lion that has been used at Victoria Falls and to advise Shearwater of whom it is being sold to.

10. All of the lions ever used by Shearwater at Victoria Falls are still at the Lion Park in Harare with the exception of one lion which died of natural causes. None of them have ever been sold onto other operators and none of them have ever been used for hunting.

11. In an attempt to further assist the Lion Park in the future, Shearwater are currently developing plans to establish a Lion Sanctuary at the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve which will accommodate a significant number of older lions. This will reduce the burden on the Lion Park in terms of caring for these lions and will also give the lions a comfortable and fitting environment in which to spend the remainder of their days.

12. We are aware that a number of other organisations are investigating the feasibility of releasing captive bred lions back into the wild. We support these efforts and if such a scheme can be a success we would not hesitate to seek the same for the lions used at Victoria Falls.

The lion walks which are operated by Shearwater are safe, exciting, informative, and enjoyable experiences. They provide the perfect platform for educating tourists about the conservation challenges facing what remains of Africa’s wild lions.

The activity is enjoyed by a large number of visitors each year the vast majority of whom thoroughly enjoy the experience. As a result, the funds raised for the Lion Park help to provide for the lions in their care, all of which are descendants of orphaned lions.


Shearwater would be happy to answer any further questions and the operation at Victoria Falls is open daily for morning and afternoon lion walks for those wanting to experience the lion walk at first hand.




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