Travel Advice - Visit or Volunteer

Travel Advice – Visit or Volunteer

For the Love of Wildlife does not support wild animal interactions or animals in captivity. If wild animals, in their natural habitat, wish to interact it must solely be initiated by the animal without coercion, on the animal’s terms, sensitively explored by both.

South Africa is the home of predator breeding and canned hunting, two inter-related practices that use and abuse lions as well as other predators in the most horrific forms of commercial exploitation. Today, anywhere between 8000 with some estimates guessing as many as 12000 predators, most of them lions, are being kept in cages or confined areas on approximately 200 private farms across the country.

Used for a host of revenue streams, many ultimately will end up being shot in canned hunts. Annually, close to 800 lions are killed by trophy hunters in enclosed or confined areas with little or no chance of escape, while hundreds more get killed and shipped to the East for the burgeoning lion bone trade.

Despite the claims of the operators, all leading conservationists and lion ecologists agree there is absolutely no conservation merit whatsoever in these practices.

For volunteering at reputable conservation agencies please make sure the public do not handle animals and there are no interactions. A true sanctuary will never allow this nor will they breed.

We ask that anyone visiting South Africa and its regional neighbours such as Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to please seriously consider the following:

  1. There is no need to be breeding lions in cages or enclosed areas as hand-reared, human-imprinted and genetically contaminated animals have no conservation value.
  2. While wild lions remain seriously threatened, this status has more to do with habitat loss and a loss of their prey base than it does with population numbers.
  3. If South Africa does need lions to start new populations in protected areas, these will come from existing wild stocks and not from captive-bred lions.
  4. Taking lion and other cubs away from their mothers is not a natural process and is done only to exploit the animals and you as the visitor or volunteer.
  5. Using lion breeding farms as an educational facility is like using fast-food outlets as a venue to teach about nutrition and good eating habits – it should not be done.
  6. No self-respecting researcher or scientific institution should condone these practices.
  7. Almost all trophy hunting in South Africa is canned hunting, which means the animal has been specifically bred for the bullet with little to no chance of escape.
  8. Authentic wildlife sanctuaries do not breed, trade or interact with the animals in any way.
  9. If you do find yourself on any lion farm, ask the serious questions: Why are they doing what they do? Where did these animals come from? And where are they going when they get older?

By supporting these facilities, either as a day visitor, volunteer or hunter you are directly contributing to the misinformation that confuses conservation messages and priorities.

It also results in a misdirection of valuable conservation funding away from the real threats facing wild lions.

If you wish to have high resolution or print quality of the following brochure just email us at

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Interspecies Communication

Interspecies Communication

Experiencing Interspecies Communication (Africa)

In setting up For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW) and representing animals in our human world one of the things that struck me was “who consults the animals? Whether that be a political platform, animal law, advocacy, forum or blog…who actually consults with the animal kingdom directly?

I’ve had experience with animal communicators through the White Lion Protection Trust and we’ve all seen Anna Breytenbach with her very powerful documentary on the black leopard “Spirit” but interspecies communication is a relatively new concept for most and certainly there are a lot of skeptics.

Animal Spirit Website (Anna Breytenbach)

Moving forward with FLOW, I thought it imperative that this become part of the ethos of what we do and that consultation with other species is necessary to define the work. It’s time to drop human arrogance as it’s evident we’ve made many, many mistakes and it’s time to allow nature and the animal kingdom to guide our way.

Stella Horgan and myself embarked on a remarkable journey in November 2014 with multi award winning documentary film-maker and avid researcher Craig Foster, commencing in his home territory, between Simons Town and Cape Point Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa. Craig introduced us to cold adaptation which he believes is the true design of the original human, that we contemporary humans over-compensate with heating and over dressing, creating too much comfort, which takes us out of our relationship with nature and the natural stimulation of the elements. If we return to our cold adaptation capacity, our health and lives would improve and wed certainly have more energy.

Our first experience with Craig was on a very windy day (those notorious Cape winds!); the water on the Cape can be around low teens – not for the faint hearted. We immersed as a group and surprisingly lasted about 15 minutes – not bad for first timers. Over the week some did immerse for up to an hour and that was snorkelling so head in as well. Invigorating and healing and with the wonderful kelp forests (they are amazing to float on) oxygen/nutrient rich oceans really did have a striking impact. It was vividly evident in everyone that something had kicked in; clear and smiling faces radiating freshness.


Craig Foster sharing the rich and pristine wildlife in fish traps along the Western Cape coastline.


Craig is definitely dolphin and his love and passion for the ocean is a joy to witness. He generously shared the landscape he navigates and knows so intimately and one morning surprised us by bringing a cat shark out of it’s cave to connect with us. Through his capacity to fully love and be available to this beautiful creature, the catshark trusted enough to come forward and allowed him to cradle her with the same grace and beauty you would show a beloved. To witness this, an animal that had willingly entered his arms,  and to watch her trust in return was beyond anything I’d witnessed before and was especially moving. When he released her, she seemed intoxicated and gently swam off between our legs, no darting or racing you’d expect from an animal that’s been held.

A few days later we shifted focus to a day of “original man” where Craig had designed clothing and jewellery for a documentary he’d created from his findings and research along the coast of the origin of our species. We partnered and then went to covering each other in ochre and clay, just like original humans would have – what a transformation! All of us were so surprised by the results and again were deeply touched at our connection to the earth and what significance deep immersion can bring. A very powerful exercise in returning to our deep ancestral roots.

Anna Breytenbach joined us to add the interspecies communication component. Her capacity to communicate with such brilliant clarity had everyone focused and absolutely present. She offered exercises and practices and we ventured out to share with the local wildlife. When the baboons came too close to the road Anna simply escorted them back up the mountain to safety, a baby grabbing her legs until it realised she wasnt a baboon! The Western Cape baboons are misunderstood and constantly under attack from local authorities who use paint ball guns to scare them away from carparks and residences. Anna knows some of the horrors these animals endure and shared one story of an adult that had died and due to an accompanying film crew the authorities carried out an autopsy. What was discovered is that this baboon carried something like 76 wounds of gunshot and pellets in its back, a terrible discovery and one that describes a painful existence in a very painful body. These baboons are persecuted and desperately need protecting, with the Cape Nature authorities on a mission to exterminate them, refusing to acknowledge their value, contribution to the ecosystem or right to life.


To complete our time with Anna she took us to the rocky coastline at Cape Point and instructed us to spend time communicating with either animal or nature, the ocean, the sky, the land. As a finishing round she had us gather in circle to tone (using sound as an intention of thanks and respect in return for what is offered by the natural world). During the process Craig was very surprised to notice a sea otter that had emerged from the waves close to us on the shoreline. These shy creatures usually like to be active between the transitional time of day and night and here with us was a very curious animal. Coming in close and weaving through the water, standing on back legs to get a better look, it was obvious we had this beautiful otters full attention, and he was intrigued by our sounding and the intention of gratitude we were sending to nature. The experience lasted around 10 minutes and we were all stunned, so full of excitement at this incredible encounter.


Anna Breytenbach with sea otter.


The next chapter of our journey took us to Khwai River, Chobe, Botswana to be with Alwyn Myberg, a highly sensitive and in tune guide, who shared his understanding of bird language with us. Camping on the Khwai River was truly breathtaking (yes, complete with drop toilets and outside showers!). Botswana has banned trophy hunting and as Stella beautifully surmised, theres a sweetness and depth that is held by the land and the animals here in the absence of guns and people who track to annihilate life.

Alwyns childhood in the Kalahari allowed him to rove freely in nature and to spend time with the Bushmen of his area . This activated a level of sensitivity in perception and witnessing his skill with bird calls and animal behaviour was extraordinary. Incredible accuracy was displayed when he found a python, which was ingesting a newborn impala by listening to bird calls. This python was in a pit and had fallen logs and other bush around it, not easily spotted yet Alwyn discovered it. Within half an hour more alarm calls alerted him to another python on a kill; this one was in the process of crushing a stork in waterand if that wasnt enough, another half hour and another pythonjust passing through.  The calls could tell him what kind of animal activity was going on in the bush, whether it was a cat, a snake, a mongoose.


Python crushing a stalk.

One other story (there are so many) is when on an evening drive with the other guide Matusi, a man with a smile that lights up the world and a dear friend of Alwyns, we came across a herd of bull elephants on the river bank finishing the day with a long drink. Instead of looking, taking pictures and moving on we asked if we could sit and stay with them. And we did, we sat, we toned (very softly) and then the magic unfolded. One male took an interest in us and slowly and gently moved toward the vehicle. Theres a section of rippled skin at the top of the trunk and between the eyes that seems to move independently and more sensitively than the rest of the trunk. My guess is its where they transmit and receive telepathic/intuitive information. The other members of the herd had finished drinking and were loving each other with touches, trunks delicately caressing each other, finding each others mouths, lips, faces and we sat and were enveloped by a transmission of exquisite resonance of heart. We were so touched that the emotions rose and even the men were crying. This was truly a blessing. One of our friends began to wonder where the younger elephants were and put the question out to the adults, and then, out of the bush, came the young ones who curiously engaged us and then went on to drink. We were left speechless and stunned, unable to integrate the enormity of connecting like this with this awe-inspiring creatures.

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We made our way to meet the rest of the group and arrived in a truly altered state which Alwyn noticed immediately. None of us could socialise and it took us some time to come down from what wed experienced.

Experiencing deep ecology, allowing the time and space to drop into the magical web of life in such rich and beautiful landscapes is what the human soul seems to be homesick for. These exceptional humans, Craig, Anna, Alwyn and Matusi have developed their interspecies relationships because of their love of life, their love of the earth. We all have these gifts available to us, as our early human ancestors did, and if only we can trust enough, detach from the threads we deem safe and fall into the void without any attachment to an outcome, we too can commune what our home, this earth.

The question for us all is: Are you ready to dive into the mystery where the only thing thats certain is there is no safety net? Are you willing to be surprised and not know what the outcome will be? Are you willing to discover aspects of yourself  you never dreamed existed?

If youd like more information, please dont hesitate to contact us.


Ian Michler in Australia

Ian Channel 7

Ian Michler briefed Minister Hunt on October 1 to discuss the cruel and barbaric industry of captive bred and canned hunting and how Australia is directly involved. Ian had recently returned from Switzerland and Finland where he had briefed lawmakers, NGO’s, media, politicians and the public about the same issues.

Also attending the meeting Jason Wood MP, Stephen Hartney, Roderick Campbell (Economist, Australia Institute), our Founder, Donalea Patman and Minister Hunt’s staff. The meeting was very intense and fast with Ian sharing the statistics of captive breeding and the “spin” hunters are using to con in the name of conservation. Roderick Campbell then briefed everyone with the economics around hunting and the true revenue, stating the Govt’s position is focussed and effective and a positive decision moving forward.

The Govt was also advised of how Australian volunteers and gap year students are being lured into these unscrupulous businesses believing they are participating in conservation work, learning little from the experience other than baby lions are cute to handle! Once lions have been habituated there is never an opportunity for them to be released into the wild, and if they’ve been bred in these death camps, they are usually genetically impaired which again proves there is absolutely no conservation value. Breeding wild at heart animals to live a life in captivity is cruel, often the environments so appalling and overcrowded. Ian also used the analogy that if there was true conservation work being done then why aren’t they breeding the rare Wild Dog or Ethiopian Wolf who’s numbers are critical? These reserves are breeding purely for the bullet.

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One of the surprising results from the Govt’s investigations is that approximately 144 lion trophies and body parts have been brought into Australia since 2010.

Minister Hunt has pledged to have a result on the banning of lion by the end of the year, delighted at the response from stakeholders around the world in the recent call for submissions.


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We need your help

We need your help

Dear friends…we need your help.

We are bringing Ian Michler (conservationist and renowned wildlife journalist and author) to Australia to consult the Govt about the plight of wildlife in Africa and whilst he’s here, we’re hosting a fundraiser to assist with funding an upcoming investigative documentary. Friends in Africa are producing this with Ian, which follows his 15-year long journey to uncover the truth behind the breeding farms and the canned lion hunting industry in South Africa.

Ian Michler speaking

In South Africa, there are approximately 8,000 predators in captivity with lions making up the vast majority. Most live in appalling conditions, with inadequate protocols in place to protect them or regulate their welfare, or the genetic integrity of their blood lines. The breeders of these animals state that they’re breeding lions to preserve the species, to protect them for conservation purposes. However, the bloody truth is that almost all the male lions become victims of the “canned” (captive) hunting industry, a sport where hand reared, tame lions become targets in the sites of lazy hunters, who pay thousands of dollars for the dubious privilege of shooting the king of beasts, in circumstances which are anything but sporting. Cubs are ripped away from their mothers just days after birth to force the lionesses into rapidly repetitive reproductive cycle…. they are simply used as breeding machines, after which their bones are shipped to the Far East to supplement the “tiger wine” industry. This investigative documentary follows the story of Ian Michler, a renowned wildlife journalist, and his 15-year long journey to uncover the truth behindthe breeding farms and the canned lion hunting in South Africa. In his brave and tenacious attempts to show the exploitation and the horrors of these industries he will be confronted with aggressive operators, indifferent government officials and complicit hunters. It’s an emotional ride, but ultimately one that will make a difference. This film will be pivotal in spreading the awareness about the deceit by exposing what really goes on in the cages and behind the fences of over 150 breeding farms in South Africa. In this way, it hopes to bring about change to ensure that canned hunting is CANNED forever. 

If anyone feels inspired to assist with the event, or more importantly, organise donations or feels inspired to donate items that can be raffled or auctioned on the night, it would be so gratefully received.

Event details to be released soon!

Please email or call Donalea Patman 0417 939 042


Ian Michler SAD lion

A lion called Christian

A lion called Christian

Today is Christian the lion’s birthday. We don’t know a single person who hasn’t heard the story of how two outrageous guys in the 60’s bought a lion from Harrods. In the day when buying an exotic pet was like buying a handbag…thank god you can no longer buy animals from Harrods.

This is a story of love…it’s the love of Christian that took Ace and John through an incredible journey with this beautiful soul.



Ace Bourke and his very dear friend John Rendall arrived in London, fresh from Australia and on the spur of the moment, impulsively bought Christian. It was soon apparent that Christian was growing into a very large sub adult male. quickly outgrowing their Chelsea apartment.

Christian and TV

They spent many years and a lot of money getting Christian back to his ancestral homeland in Kenya. Two documentaries were made about his life in London and his return to the wild and with the help of George Adamson, who created a pride of lions to assist in Christian’s rehabilitation.

Recently the youtube clip of this adventure has gone viral and reignited the popularity of interspecies relationship.

A lion called Christian – full documentary

We’re in contact with Ace Bourke who currently resides in Sydney. He’s raising awareness about the plight of lions throughout the world and how important it is to do what we can to ensure their existence. Ace spends his time writing, speaking and blogging on the importance of this apex predator and how the world will suffer in their demise. He’s as outraged as most about the cruel and horrific industry of canned hunting and how this iconic and unbelievably beautiful beast has been reduced to a mere commodity and factory farmed to be exploited by tourists and end it’s life being hunted.


Happy birthday Christian…you’ve captured the hearts of so many, we’ve all fallen in love with you and your beloved pride. We vow that your life meant so much to us and we’ll continue the campaign to stop the horrific industry that reduces your kind to a mere commodity. That we’ll keep waking and shaking the world into action in doing what we can to stop the trade in trophies and lion bones. That we’ll never stop asking governments around the world to stop the trafficking, the exploitation, the harm.


Thank you Ace and John, and thank you Christian. Sharing your story has opened our hearts and makes us think about how precious you are and how you’re existence meant so much to so many.

Christian and George


Stay up to date on Ace Bourke’s website.

Ace Bourke Website

Canned Hunting

Canned Hunting

The act of hunting a confined animal that has been raised in captivity and humanised.

The horrid industry of canned hunting is where an animal has been bred specifically for hunting and is unfairly prevented from escaping the hunter, either by physical constraints (fencing) or mental (tame, habituated to humans).

Canned Hunt 1

There are fewer than 4,000 lions left in the wild in South Africa, but more than 8,000 in captivity, being bred for the bullet or the arrow. These animals are destined to be trophies, therefore it is imperative that the head to kept in perfect condition. A quick kill by a head shot now becomes a body shot, taking up to a dozen bullets to kill a lion or a slow death by arrow, either way piercing a major organ can never be guaranteed.

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Lion farming and poaching are serious threats to wild lion prides for a number of reasons:

  • The ongoing capture of wild lions for the purpose of introducing fresh blood into captive breeding negatively affects the wild population.
  • The canned hunting industry attracts high fee paying clients for the opportunity to kill captured, drugged, confined and humanized animals.
  • The explosive growth of the Asian lion bone trade through poaching.
  • Volunteers inadvertently support the industry by being deceptively conned in the name of conservation. They are led to believe that they are helping orphaned cubs that are being raised to return to the wild… animals that have been humanized can never return to the wild.
  • Volunteers do not work at these reserves for free – the fee is high and it makes this industry very lucrative.
  • Poverty – the local Africans are too easily persuaded by money to poach animals for the lion farming or international trade in parts.

Canned Hunt Baby 1

In Australia, Jason Wood MP has tabled the issue of canned hunting and wildlife trafficking in Parliament. No matter your political persuasion, it’s imperative that this is strongly supported so our wildlife has a chance. Please take the time to sign this petition.

Jason Wood Speech

For more detailed information about canned hunting please visit Campaign Against Canned Hunting, South Africa.

Interspecies Communication

Interspecies Communication

Anna Breytenbach is interviewed on O World Project where she talks about how humans are suffering from a separation sickness from Nature and all life on earth. Her amazing clarity of communication and how she expresses the quantum capacity we all have to reconnect if only we would take the time to sit and truly listen. Insightful and simple in connecting with animals and nature as we all have the capacity it’s just that we’ve become too busy of mind.


This pic below was taken whilst a group was finishing a meditation and in circle had been toning. In the middle of the afternoon a shy sea otter came out of the waves to see what was going on believing that it was something behind, as this was not normal human behaviour.




There are so many ways you can have a relationship with animals. In this video Anna shows us, that with quiet connection to the animals, we all have the ability to communicate. If we are to live harmoniously on the earth together, we need to access other ways of being. In our hurried, technological world we don’t take time to be and feel our feet on the earth.

Anna talks to Spirit, the black leopard.

The home of Campaign Against Canned Hunting

The home of Campaign Against Canned Hunting

Chris Mercer

Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan have spent many years campaigning against this cruel and barbaric industry. They are the stakeholders and creators of Global March for Lions that initiated a global movement to save Africa’s wildlife. So many people have been inspired by their work and groups have formed around the world, due to their ability to connect and collaborate with so many others.

Visit their website for the full story on canned hunting.

Campaign Against Canned Hunting, Headquarters, South Africa

Chris Mercer on canned hunting.