Adamson anniversary again draws crowds to Meru and Kora


(Posted 21st August 2013)

Yesterday marked the 24th anniversary of the death of George Adamson, whose work with lions – alongside his wife Joy Adamson – made the couple ‘immortal’ in the world of conservation.

For several years now have friends of George, and friends of the Meru Conservation Area, a wilderness area par excellence, celebrated his life and accomplishments by doing pilgrimage to Kora, where George and Joy’s camp was located back then.

Doris Schaule, a well known Kenyan conservationist and tourism stakeholder, has posted the following piece on the Friends of Meru site on Facebook, worth republishing here:

Doris Schaule

"Hundreds of conservationists from across the world are set to mark the 24th anniversary of George Adamson’s death.
They are scheduled to meet at Kora National Park in Tana River County next week .
Mr Adamson, a renowned British wildlife conservationist, put Kenya on the global wildlife conservation map through his pioneering work of rehabilitating orphaned lions in the 1970s.
He was shot dead by Shifta bandits on August 20, 1989, at the age of 83.
He is buried at a site known as Kambi ya Simba (lions’ camp) in the Kora National Park near Masyungwa area in Tseikuru District.
He and his wife, Joy Adamson are best known through their captivating movie Born Free and best-selling book under the same title.
It is based on the true story of Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned cub they had raised in Kitui and later released it into the wild.
The late conservationist, then popularly known as the father of lions in Africa is best remembered for keeping and nurturing a pack of domesticated lions in the wilderness of the expansive park.
Records at Kenya Wildlife Service show that Mr Adamson was murdered by people who were unhappy with the success of his conservation efforts and his strange antics of domesticating and living with the dreaded big cats.
KWS has organized a three day event dubbed the George Adamson commemoration weekend in the Kora wild which will run from August 31, 2013 to Sunday September 1, 2013.
The event comes as the country grapples with a poaching menace that has seen elephants and rhinos killed by a network of suspected international crooks.
According to KWS communications manager Paul Udoto, the event to be held at Adamson’s grave aims at celebrating his conservation efforts and devise ways of getting the new generation of Kenyans to carry on with his legacy.
“Though he was deeply loved and respected by so many people all over the world, not many have visited where he used to work, to see how he used to live, where he was buried and consider ways of continuing with the work he started,” Mr Udoto said.
Mr Udoto said visitors will camp at his grave for the three days and they will watch his films and a gallery exhibition.
They will also visit Kora Rapids and Kora Rock before participating in a cultural festival on Saturday August 31 night.
“He is the founding father of wildlife conservation in Africa. His heroic actions, sacrifice and legacy remain an unfailing inspiration to many across the world” Mr Udoto said of the late Adamson.
He added that the event will also capture and market unique features and activities in Kora National Park.
In a quick recognition of Mr Adamson’s conservation efforts, hardly two months into his death, the government gazetted the game reserve within which he died into a National Park in October 1989.
Other movies in remembrance of the late Adamson also include Living free, To Walk with the Lions and the Land of the Lions."

For additional information write to rmm or visit the Friends of Meru Conservation Area Facebook page via where additional details about the event, how to get there and even where to stay will be posted. Rest in Peace George, Rest in Peace Joy – you will always be remembered by those you taught to care about wildlife and conservation.

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