A pride of emerging LionHearted youth leaders have commenced an intrepid expedition along the legendary Nilotic Meridian, starting at the iconic Sphynx in Giza, and ending in the mystical coastal forests of the Garden Route, South Africa.
Robbie and Michie Rorich, Jess McCormack and Angus Teeton have been cycling through Africa from North to South following the route of the Nile Meridian, which links the leonine Sphinx of Giza to the White Lions of Timbavati. They’ve titled their adventure “Our Africa Polépolé” – slowly in Swahili. It’s been a 14000km, year-long trek which commenced at the Sphinx in the first month of 2019 and is scheduled to arrive at the White Lion Heartlands on 10 November – in perfect timing for igniting the flame of leadership in advance of the year-end Academy for LionHearted Leadership™.
In addition to their mission of engaging deeply with the peoples of the African continent, these inspiring youth leaders are committed to raising awareness and funds to protect the critically endangered White Lions in their endemic habitat – a sacred natural site, recognised for centuries by indigenous leaders, but unprotected by South African or International law.
The routing which they have specifically chosen has monumental significance for the conservation and cultural importance of the White Lions, as was uncovered in Linda Tucker’s ground-breaking book, Mystery of the White Lions, first published in 2001.
Linda Tucker revealed that this meridian is, in fact, the centre of the earth’s land masses, and it appears to be linked with speciation, along a tectonic plate that is associated with the East African Rift valley. Furthermore, it has been recognised and honoured by ancient civilisations through the construction of Africa’s primary sacred sites. It is highly significant that the birthplace of the White Lions in the Timbavati region at the epi-centre of Kruger-to-Canyons Biosphere – a biodiversity hotspot and UNESCO-declared biosphere – directly corresponds longitudinally with the resting place of humankind’s greatest lion monument, the Sphinx.
The focus on the importance of the White Lions and their place of origin as a natural sacred site, will help raise awareness about vanishing species, and the critical need to protect the world’s last natural havens as a sacred living heritage.
Having embarked on their expedition from the world’s most famous Sacred Architectural Site, the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza, the cyclists have traversed the territories of Sudan, crossing the border into Ethiopia, where they scaled the lower slopes of the Simian Mountain range, home to Africa’s most endangered canid, the Ethiopian wolf. You can read more about the amazing people that they have met and places they have seen during their journey on their blog: //www.ourafricapolepole.org/
Many generations of African peoples have travelled North (and South) along this sacred Nilotic meridian, which it turns out has its source on the equator in the Central African Republic. The cyclists endeavoured to learn from this history of travel and of life on this meridian on their journey, however without critically urgent attention to ecologically sustainable principles, we face the risk that there will be no further history to tell after this generation.
The critically vulnerable White Lions bring into focus the urgent need to protect animals and their associated sacred natural sites, as a conservation imperative, as well as a living cultural heritage on the verge of extinction.
Over 3 decades, the Global White Lion Protection Trust has been combining leading-edge science with ancient Indigenous Knowledge to protect the White Lions as the capstone animal that plays a crucial role the biodiversity of its natural ecosystem. The “Capstone Animal”, or apex predator, restores health and balance through all trophic levels in an ecological process known as “trophic cascading.” However, they have been forcibly removed from their natural ecosystem for a documented period of 6 decades into zoos and circuses around the globe, and even today, commercial trophy hunting of lions still takes place in this region.
In Parliament earlier this year, the Global White Lion Protection Trust highlighted the urgent imperative to protect the White Lions as a critical part of their ecosystems’ biodiversity. Their urgent plea was joined by the voice of First Nations in South Africa, and worldwide.
According to African wisdom keeper, Credo Vusamuzulu Mutwa, the Kruger-to-Canyons region itself was protected as a Sacred Site by African kings many hundreds of years before the Kruger Park was declared a National Park in 1926. It was protected as a Sacred Site because of the natural occurrence of the White Lions in this specific region, yet these animals are still not protected by South African law, and in fact form the epicentre of South Africa’s captive killing industry.
These youth leaders will soon be crossing the border from Zimbabwe to South Africa, and making their way down to the White Lion Heartlands. The distance of this leg of the journey is approximately 200km, and you can track their route on their website!
We invite you to donate $1 for each kilometre they travel on South African soil to reach the Sacred Site of the White Lions’ birthplace. This will not only give Robbie, Michie, Jess and Angus encouragement to complete the final leg of their adventure, but of course every cent raised will go to protecting the White Lions in their ancestral homelands.
Click here to donate: //whitelions.org/donate/