Good Morning Angels: Show Ubuntu for our five lions saved from Ukraine

Good Morning Angels: Show Ubuntu for our five lions saved from Ukraine

Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary exclusively launched a special app that allows listeners to go on a wildlife tour with the five lions that were saved from Ukraine in 2019. Click below to view and to subscribe. 

Ubuntu Lions Good Morning Angels
Jacaranda FM

BACKGROUND: Good Morning Angels got involved with the Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time in November 2019, with the relocation of five lion cubs, rescued from captivity in appalling conditions in Ukraine. The four lionesses and one male lion, all between the ages of 15 and 16 months, were rescued in Ukraine from private breeders and roadside zoos and needed to be repatriated to their new home in South Africa before the winter. Our friends at Mazda SA assisted with the funding to fly the lions to South Africa and then transport them from OR Tambo International by road to Ubuntu in the North West province. 

A year ago, Ubuntu reached out to Good Morning Angels for assistance with the relocation of the Ubuntu Sanctuary from North West to their new permanent home in the Western Cape.

With the help of many angels who came forward, including De Goede Finance Universe, Uniwisp Fibre, the Lions Foundation, Forum Sekuriteit, Old Chapel Veterinary Clinic, MVW, and Vet Script, the epic relocation of Ubuntu’s 16 lions and two tigers was possible. On 23 and 24 May 2021, the big cats went on their final 1,500km journey by road, to finally reach their forever home. The Ukraine 5 pride - Sahara, Maya, Mia, Macy, and Mufasa, were officially renamed the Jacaranda Angels when they moved into their new enclosure. 

NOW: The Ubuntu family has grown to 18 predators: 16 lions and two tigers. COVID-19 brought a rapid end to Ubuntu’s main income stream: international volunteers who traveled to South Africa to work at Ubuntu. As a non-profit, non-commercial sanctuary, Ubuntu had to adapt fast - feeding and caring for the needs of so many predators is extremely costly.

"The majority of our animals were rescued from people and places where they were treated badly and hence the reason we don’t want to open ourselves for day visitors that would make the animals feel they are back in the zoo or circus where they came from," says Ubuntu’s Lukas Swart. 

To overcome the lack of income, Ubuntu was presented with a new plan by a regular donor and supporter: an app to view the lions in real-time.

Ubuntu App

The Ubuntu app goes live today and is only available on our website! The app gives subscribers real-time, live viewing of the Jacaranda Angels pride, as well as other Ubuntu predators via cameras placed strategically around the enclosures. 


Subscription is at a cost of R100 per month, with all fees going to the care of the animals. The first 1,000 Jacaranda FM listeners to subscribe will be able to do so for only R50 - that’s half the usual price. Ubuntu hopes to get at least 5,000 subscribers, as this will fully fund the needs of their big cats. All funds raised over and above what Ubuntu needs for their animals will be redistributed to other conservation and upliftment causes in their community.

The 50% discount code for Jacaranda FM audience during checkout is: jacaranda5

REQUEST FOR: Lukas Swart on behalf of Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary.

ANGEL: Instead of handing out corporate gifts, Jacaranda FM will this year donate towards different causes on behalf of our valued clients. One of these clients is We Buy Bakkies, who requested that the donation made on their behalf goes to a conservation effort. 

SPONSORING: On behalf of We Buy Bakkies, Jacaranda FM will donate R20,000 towards Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary.

ANGEL 2: Riaan van Wyk, on behalf of We Buy Bakkies.

SPONSORING: We Buy Bakkies will donate another R10,000 to Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary to care for their predators.


Ubuntu Wildlife Sanctuary is happy to join hands with Jacaranda FM again. Covid wasn’t kind to people or animals and we learned a lot, especially how to survive, lessons that will serve us well in the future.

Jacaranda listeners will remember that one year ago, this month, we moved our animals from Groot Marico to the Western Cape, thanks again for all that support. As I said, Covid taught us many things and survival was key. We are very thankful to our loyal supporters that carried us through these challenging times. Feeding and caring for 18 predators come at a fairly high cost.  Towards the end of 2021, when we were still not sure when covid would end, we were approached by one of our regular donors who suggested a funding model through an online phone app that could be transmitted worldwide so that followers can view the big cats. They offered to create the app and supply all the camera equipment and software …. we reviewed and accepted the proposal. Once technical issues were sorted out, the installation started in December and we are now ready to launch it. We will launch it exclusively through Jacaranda to our local supporters followed by a launch to our international support base. The phone app will be available to all Android and I-phone users.

UWS is a Non Profit company and we solely rely on donations as part of our income. The majority of our animals were rescued from people and places where they were treated badly and hence the reason we don’t want to open ourselves for day visitors that would make the animals feel they are back in the zoo or circus where they came from. Pre-Covid, 90% of our income came from overseas volunteers staying as volunteers on the farm and making donations accordingly, this came to a very sudden stop in March 2020 and although most of the restrictions are lifted, we estimate we will only be able to operate at the same level as before Covid, by 2023. The whole model of the phone app embraces the technology available and it would allow people the luxury of logging in anywhere in the world to see in real-time what the animals at Ubuntu are doing. If people subscribe to the app, it would give UWS a guaranteed revenue stream ensuring that we could maintain our high level of care to our predators. The static cameras are only the start of this as we would soon also link the system to moveable cameras that could also share with subscribers what is happening elsewhere on the farm and our co-operations with other organisations.

We are still striving to live out the true spirit of Ubuntu – “I am because we are”. Ubuntu does not retain any funding received. Everything goes toward the care of our predators, as they are our only priority. There are so many people who do a lot of good in their communities in relation to people & animals, but these people can do much better if they could have access to a bigger platform. The plight of people and animals is getting worse and thankfully there are a lot of people coming forward to assist despite limited time and funding. We find that these people with the limited resources are always the people that will not give up easily. At Ubuntu we are joining hands with these smaller community projects by firstly allowing them onto our platform to get a wider audience and secondly we try to assist financially where we can. Just recently we’ve joined forces with a small penguin and sea bird sanctuary and another where individuals go out on a weekly basis to the township/ less privileged areas to take care of the cats and dogs. By supporting us in this initiative people are also supporting these other smaller community projects. Our main focus across all our projects is to focus on our youth with a strong emphasis on conservation and education. UWS has adopted a small farm school in our area which is under threat of being closed, our first aim is to keep the school open but also to start up facilities for a pre-school and increase the number of learners, an amazing project to be part of.

Our aim is to get to 5,000 subscribers as soon as possible, this is the target set by our app developers to be able to move to the next level and also add more cameras with more features for subscribers to enjoy. We are in a position to allow the first 1,000 Jacaranda listeners to join for a 1 month subscription of R50.

Everyone’s situation is different and there are many people who want to assist but for various reasons could not and herewith you have the opportunity to become part of UWS in a very special way.

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