The Vanishing Kings Foundation came to its existence in 2016.
After the incredible success of the behavioural wildlife film “Vanishing Kings – Lions of the Namib” in 2015, wildlife filmmakers Will & Lianne Steenkamp continued to follow a rare coalition of desert-adapted male lions, known as the ‘Five Musketeers’.
During the filming of the sequel the ‘Five Musketeers’, having become independent, found a new kingdom on the edge of the desert, where they came into regular conflict with the rural farmers in the Namib. The filmmakers then decided to set up a Foundation, with the aim to raise awareness and generate funds, in an effort to help mitigate conflict between the Musketeers and the rural villages, as well as other Desert lions.
Despite their efforts, four of the five Musketeers were killed due to human-lion conflict, and not long after the sequel “Vanishing Kings – Desert Lion Legacy” was completed, the last remaining Musketeer was, tragically, also killed. But the loss of the famous ‘Five Musketeers’ was not in vain. Since then, conservation organisations have joined forces to improve mitigation strategies, and the government has implemented a new Human-Lion Conflict Management Plan.
The two “Vanishing Kings” films combined, tell the complete life story of a remarkable coalition of Desert male lions. Having won numerous awards, the films have reached audiences all over the world, and the ‘Five Musketeers’ have touched the hearts of many. The filmmakers hope their compelling story will make a difference, and help to ensure the conservation of these unique predators.