In August 2023 we launched the "Ilchokuti Challenge" as part of our month long celebrations for World Lion Day. Inspired by our visit in February to see the KopeLion team at their headquarters we met several of their team of "lion custodians" known by the local word "Ilchokuti". 12.5km is the average distance that they walk on a daily basis, sometimes much more in their work to livestock, lions and communities safe. In association with the Cotswold Wildlife Park we organised a group walk with all funds going towards our new boma strengthening scheme in conjunction with KopeLion. For more information please look here.
In February 2023 trustees James and Pete were fortunate to meet four of the Ilchokuti team at KopeLion, based in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. The Ilchokuti are members of the community and are the 'go to people' in their areas for any issues relating to lions, this could mean anything from treating injured livestock to monitoring the GPS collared lions within their areas. The photos above show James with Ilchokuti, Masanja as he uses the telemetry equipment. This allows him to monitor lions that may be nearby and to alert his community of their presence. Pete watches Ilchokuti Lazaro and Roimen, Lion Monitoring and Conflict Officer treat a cow wounded by a predator attack, rumoured to be by a lion and Pete and James with Ilchokuti Rumas on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater. We felt so privileged to meet these hard working and dedicated people we thought that a sponsored walk challenge based around their average daily distance would be a great way to promote their hard work and our support for them.
Thanks to two sponsored walks in summer 2023 over £1130 was raised for our boma strengthening scheme. We plan to develop this sponsored walk challenge over the coming years and use it as our main fundraiser for our conservation projects and specifically our community based projects. We would like to thank staff at Cotswold Wildlife Park who organised a sponsored Ilchokuti Challenge which saw a team of 17 staff members across all departments walk after work to raise funds for our new boma strengthening scheme. Thanks so much to everyone who took part and donated it was a great walk had by all.
If you want to organise your own Ilchokuti Challenge in summer 2024 to help us raise funds for our next conservation project please get in touch and email email@example.com for promotional material that you can use to organise the event.