I can watch lions all day, with or without a camera. I’m never happier than when heading out into the African dawn to discover what the pride have been up to in the night and what drama has unfolded.
I can clearly remember where I was and how I felt with every image in this book. Photographing lions is a visceral experience. And documenting lions is not easy. For one, they can sleep for up to 20 hours a day and can be incredibly elusive. But it’s what they do in their waking hours that make them the most fascinating and charismatic of creatures.
The lion is Africa’s signature wild animal, yet it has vanished from 90% of its historic range. In my lifetime, their numbers have dropped from approx. 100,000 to less than 20,000. At the current decline, they will be gone from the wild by the middle of this century. This seems ironically perverse, when everywhere you look you see lions. Except where it matters most. In the wild.
In the UK, it seems we love lions, arguably more than in any other country. Even my Maine Coon kitten Biff feels an affinity with his wild cousins (see image below)! We have them emblazoned on our flags, coins, sporting shirts, statues. We see them as iconic, symbolising bravery, pride and courage. And yet we are allowing them to slip away.
Yet we know how to prevent further declines and restore healthy lion populations. I’m constantly in awe of lions' resilience and powers of recovery. They can quickly bounce back in areas where they have declined or been lost, given the right conditions and circumstances.
A recent census in Kenya has suggested that lion numbers are slowly starting to recover, that the effort being put into lion conservation is starting to pay off. We don’t know how accurate this is, but we can only be cautiously optimistic.
With this book, we hope to raise awareness and vital funds to help protect the remaining wild lions in Africa.
A captivating collection of spectacular lion photography, created in collaboration with Born Free. This remarkable large format hardback book celebrates the dramatic lifecycle of the lion and includes a unique, thought-provoking conceptual section.
George Logan is a long-time supporter of the Born Free Foundation. He has been following and photographing lion prides for the last ten years across Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Visit George's website.