Thursday, August 25, 2016

Report from EWASO LIONS partners:

Aug 23, 2016

This month, EWASO LIONS with support from Kenyan Kids on Safari held a Lion Kids Camp for 24 Kenyan children to learn about conservation and be inspired by experiencing wildlife from a new perspective. This Camp marked only the second time an LKC has been held outside Samburu. We teamed up with Loisaba Conservancy to hold the five-day camp in the beautiful landscape of Loisaba, located 200km away in Laikipia county.

Children loved watching others play the Conservation Game we designed, where players pretend to be lions navigating a human-occupied landscape.

Similar to the two Lion Kids Camps EWASO LIONS have held so far this year, this camp focused on young livestock herders from local communities, rather than school children. The 24 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 16, spent five days with our team learning all about wildlife, conservation and ways to coexist with lions and other large carnivores – and, of course, to have lots of fun in the process!

This was our 8th camp held to date, bringing the total number of Kenyan children participating in a Lion Kids Camp to 214.

The kids visited Loisaba’s camels and sampled their fresh milk.

Excitingly, this Camp coincided with WORLD LION DAY on the 10th of August. In the hope of showing the children lions on this special day, we set off early for a game drive on Loisaba. It wasn’t long before we received a call from Thomas, who works for our research partner Lion Landscapes, to say he had located a collared female, Victoria, and her pride. Despite the pride having – somewhat unhelpfully – chosen to rest at the top of a rocky hill, the kids were all super excited to watch the lions through their binoculars and asked lots of questions. They spent the rest of the drive excitedly ticking off other species on their checklists and one car was even lucky even to spot a cheetah.

This Lion Kids Camp marked EWASO LIONS 8th camp to date and now 214 kids have been engaged in conservation through our camps.

With the Camp taking place on Loisaba Conservancy, there were also some special additions to our regular programme in Samburu. Firstly, the children visited Loisaba’s livestock bomas, where they met the Conservancy’s huge herd of camels and sampled some fresh camel milk, before watching the frenzy as hundreds of cattle were ‘dipped’ to prevent disease.

Loisaba staff then talked to the children about livestock and grazing management. The children also met Loisaba’s bloodhounds, Warrior and Machine, and learnt how these incredible sniffer dogs help local communities and wildlife. The kids even joined in a training exercise that took the form of sniffer dog style hide-and-seek.

Loisaba staff demonstrated their sniffer dogs which are used to locate poachers.

In typical LKC fashion, the week closed with the wildlife drama competition, which was performed in front of the children’s parents and Loisaba staff. It was great to see the community support for this initiative – the first time Loisaba has run a kids programme. We were delighted that in recognition of their support, the community even donated a goat for the children.

It was a brilliant week and we hope to work with Loisaba Conservancy again in the near future 

With special thanks to:

Loisaba Conservancy – for sponsoring and hosting this camp. In particular to Tom, Fiona and Mingistu for their support
• Guides – Sam, Bonnie and Robin, for their support and enthusiasm as team leaders
• Matron – Mama Kelly, for taking good care of the children
• Cooks – Joseph and his team, for ensuring we were all well fed
• Lion Landscapes – our partner in Laikipia for their assistance
• The kids and their families – for embracing the experience and making it such a great week
• Ewaso Lions staff – Letupukwa, Thomas and Jeneria for all their hard work to ensure the camp was a great success
• Todd Cromwell and the Kenyan Kids on Safari programme – for supporting the Camp

24 Kenyan kids participated in the Camp.

Lion Kids Camps are designed to teach and inspire the next generation of Kenyan conservationists.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kenyan Kids on Safari is very proud of our association with Ewaso Lions, and especially the tremendous boost to kids self esteem in growing up with wildlife and broadening their personal horizons through this new program.

Expanding conservation programs for kids in 2016, Ewaso Lions in Samburu recently concluded the first ever Lion Kids Camp for livestock herding children. The previous five Lion Kids Camps were all with local primary school students. This Camp focused on a new demographic of young Kenyans who play an important role for wildlife: young livestock herders, or lchokutis in the local Samburu language. 28 Kenyan children came from villages across Westgate Conservancy for a week of conservation education, activities, and games.
For the Samburu people in northern Kenya, livestock represents wealth and status. Often, young children are charged with tending livestock while out grazing, so these young herders play a vital role in protecting their families’ livelihoods and maintaining cultural traditions. They spend a significant amount of time in wildlife areas, yet they have limited, if any, exposure to conservation education and training.
Because of their herding responsibilities, most have never even stepped foot in a classroom before!

The young herders went on their first-ever game drive where they were lucky enough to see three of Samburu’s famous lionesses hunting warthog. For 22 of the 28 herders this was the first time in their lives they had seen lions!
Despite living adjacent to world famous reserves and spending each day in the bush herding livestock, it is rare for young herders to see wildlife close up, especially carnivores. Instead, they might see the tracks of a hyena outside their home or the remains of a goat killed by a leopard. Perhaps even more exciting, the herders saw Naramat and her three cubs in Westgate’s own Conservation Area. At the end of the camp, it was great to hear them still reciting the names of their community lions!

The lchokutis really soaked in everything they learned: local conservation issues, ways to coexist with wildlife, and more. They were so honest about everything – admitting to having encroached into protected areas, killing Dikdiks in the past, and more. But after the Kids Camp, we could see a change. On the way home, a black-bellied bustard crossed the road in the distance and Fredi, one of the boys yelled out, “Don’t hit him!”

The camp concluded with a special closing ceremony in which the herders created and performed their first wildlife dramas. With the help of their team leaders, they also made some great wildlife costumes out of old food sacks, ash and scraps of material!

During the wind-up, after some impromptu Samburu dancing, the children returned to their villages singing songs about wild dogs and lions. Incredibly, the shy and nervous children who had arrived barely five days earlier had transformed into confident children eager to share their experiences with family and friends. They were even demanding to be dropped right outside each village so that everyone could hear them singing!

Thanks to the children for opening their minds and hearts to learn about conservation, Ewaso Lions are already excited by plans to host another Lion Kids Camp with herders very soon.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Special Lion Kids Camp Reunion

admin at -
2015 - Ewaso Lions recently held a very special edition of their Lion Kids Camp – a Reunion Camp. They brought together 122 Kenyan children who had all previously participated in a Lion Kids Camp since the first one in 2013, held jointly with Kenyan Kids on Safari. The children  came from 11 schools, spread across three counties (Samburu, Isiolo and Nyeri).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lament of the Lioness

After returning from Kenya last April 2013, I forgot to post this poem I wrote about the sometimes irony of Lion Conservation & Conflict. While tourist sometimes feel all cuddly and fuzzy about lions in the abstract, the stark realities need to be understood not to shock them on first sight:

The Irony of Survival

Ho, Kenyan Kids On Safari,
You are my lion cubs’ future,
Growing up alongside each other.

Sometimes we kill your cattle.
Don’t take it personally –
We were here long before you.

‘Til your warriors speared for manhood,
‘Til the white hunters killed for sport,
Birthing conflicts of co-existence.

Now conservationists beg you
To become wildlife protectors,
Before there are no cubs to see.

Think, Kenyan Kids on Safari –
What makes Kenya such a WONDER
That the whole world desires to see?

Not a stuffed lion to cuddle,
But a lion who can kill my cubs
After he takes over the pride.

I ROAR that it’s not just humans
Who threaten my cubs’ existence,
But a “king’s” own line of descent.

 By Todd Cromwell, Founding Director of KKOS
Returning from Kenya, April 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


You don’t have to travel to the moon to enter a “new dimension”. Twenty-four Kiltimany Village, Samburu  region kids found it right in their own backyard this April 2013. One day totally changed their perception of the wildlife next to their community. Traveling like tourists in two Samburu Intrepids’ rugged 4-wheel drive open safari vehicles, it came as a big surprise that this wildlife  was more worth conserving than simply a hazard of growing up with wildlife. They came away feeling they could now do anything, as their self-esteem soared into this new dimension. “I gained nearly my entire understanding of wildlife conservation from that moment on a KKOS game drive at Samburu Intrepids!” notes Lavias Lekuuk in his written summary of the importance of his experience.
This was their first time into the Reserve, except for two kids, who had been on a previous Kenyan Kids On Safari (KKOS) into the Samburu National Reserve. It was also their first time to take pictures of animals and friends with a quality 16mp telephoto camera. In short order they were taking pictures like pros, such as the fantastic, one-of-a-kind, rare photo of gamboling Kudus below, taken by Lavias Lekuuk, who is a 15-year old eight grader at the Waso Muslim Primary School.
It was their first time to eat breakfast with tourists, picking whatever they wanted from the lavish Intrepids’ buffet. It was the first time to set up their own camping tents by the Intepids’ pool, in which they played water polo for the first time.
They asked if I would be back to give their friends and classmates a chance to learn from a similar experience.My answer - Tutaonana tena! (See you again later on.) – Todd Cromwell, Founding Director

For two consecutive nights each group of 12 of 24 kids sang songs and recited conservation poetry  for the enthralled Intrepids' tourists. A recording studio is looking into the feasibility of making  a DVD of the kids’ performance to promote  Kenyan conservation.

Intrepids’ Samburu Manager Richard Yoga made sure that everything was done to make the kids’ visit spectacular, including assigning Naturalist, Francis Lenyakopiro (below) to work with KKOS around the clock the four days we were there. Thanks to the entire Intrepids’ staff and the Young Adventurers Club, headed by Betty Wanjau.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

KKOS Camp Changed the Lives of 24 Kenyan Kids

Report by Shivani Bhalla, April 17-19 2013 EWASOLIONS.ORG
We have just concluded the Kenyan Kids On Safari Camp and it was a great success. This blog recounts some of the stories and adventures the kids enjoyed along the way.
After weeks of planning, we picked up kids who were selected to join the camp through a creative art competition. 

For many children, this was their first time in a car and they kept asking why the trees and rocks were moving! The children arrived at Westgate Conservancy Headquarters – which was to serve as their home for the next few days – quiet, and wondering where they were, and even a bit scared.

Jeneria and Ngila show the kids how to use binoculars on their bird walk. (Photo by Tony Allport)

We split the kids into teams which were each joined with one of the Camp’s sponsors. We had Team Gerenuk led by Sasaab Lodge, Team Grevy’s zebra led by Westgate Conservancy, Team Cheetah led by Samburu, and of course Team Lion led by Ewaso Lions.
Kids picture of the local White Crowned  Shrike

The kids then set up tents under the guidance of Jeneria and his team. Following this, the kids were given cameras and binoculars and Tony gave a presentation on how to use the cameras and take good photos. Each team went out to identify as many birds as possible – Team Grevy’s zebra won this competition after having identifying 20 species of birds in only 45 minutes! One of the kids remarked that he did not know birds had different names and was amazed at the Birds book.

The first lion that the kids have ever seen in their lives! Lguret on an ostrich kill. 
After the bird walk, Shivani gave a slide show on the different mammals in the area and especially ones that we hoped to see the following day in Samburu. When she asked the kids what they wanted to see, all of them said “Lions!”. Twenty-one kids had never seen a lion before and this was their wish. We were determined to grant them their wish and tried our hardest to show them lions. We ended the day with a showing of the film Disney’s African Cats. The kids were enthralled by the fantastic footage in this film.
The next day we set off for Samburu National Reserve. The Operations Warden, Gabriel Lepariyo, welcomed the kids and emphasized how they are the future of conservation in Samburu. During the talk, we got phone calls from local guides saying that lions had been seen! And, ironically, the lions had been spotted at Lion Rock.
A’Caravan’ of 5 Safari vehicles took the kids, naturalist and their teachers on game drives in Samburu National Reserve. (Photo by Kelvin Lemantaan)
We drove off straight to Lion Rock and wow, what a sighting. We found Lguret and Loirish – our two male lions – on an ostrich kill. As we drove up, Loirish was being chased by elephants, and Lguret was avoiding them trying to keep feeding on the ostrich. The kids were so excited – there was so much excited chatter in the car. I kept hearing “There’s Lguret – he’s coming close!” At that point, Loirish walked right next to the Sasaab car – it was almost impossible to take a photo because he was so close. It was a spectacular viewing for these kids’ first-ever lion sighting.

The kids were so excited – “There’s Lguret – he’s coming close!”

And it kept getting better: we saw Nanai, Sipen and Nabulu as well, resting in a sand river not far from the two males. We also met up with the giraffe researchers from the Reticulated Giraffe Project who took a few kids into their car and gave the kids an up close and personal experience with giraffes.
We saw all the game in Samburu, including a baby gerenuk that was only a few hours old, and much more. There were also over 300 elephants in Samburu that day and we got very close to some! The two boys in my car did not stop giggling with excitement for hours after a female walked literally a few inches away from the car.
A close encounter with elephants. (Photo by Michael Hamlin)

We stopped for a brief visit at the Save the Elephants research camp and Samburu Lodge on our way back to Westgate. The kids had never seen a tourist lodge before or a swimming pool – they were fascinated!
We returned to camp for a late lunch and a brief rest before the kids embarked on an obstacle course during their games session. We also managed to squeeze in a few more minutes of African Cats before the exhausted kids went to bed.

The next day, we headed out to the Grevy’s Zebra plains in Westgate Conservancy where we were joined by Peter Lalampaa and his team from the Grevy’s Zebra Trust. We had the most incredible sighting – 200 Grevy’s zebras on the green grassy plains. It was beautiful and we were so lucky to have seen so many in one area.
We headed back to camp for Wildlife Competition time. The four groups each prepared a wildlife drama story with the theme “Creating positive attitudes towards conservation”. They all hid in the bushes preparing for this – all the team leaders were very competitive and determined to win the competition. The invited guests arrived and afternoon entertainment began with stories and poems on wildlife read out by the children, followed by four very animated and entertaining dramas by each team.
Wildlife drama from Team Gerenuk. Young Rantini acts as a goat. (Photo by Tony Allport)
In the end, Team Lion won the drama competition! Prizes were awarded to the kids and they ended the afternoon with some sporting events. At night, just as we thought the kids were really tired, they all starting asking pertinent questions about Ewaso Lions and the work we do. Jeneria and Mike from Samburu gave them a talk on lions and the kids were busy writing down pride names and learning the individuals. It was so great to see their interest and enthusiasm about lions – especially so late in the day.
Todd Cromwell, the camp sponsor, had stayed awake late into the night, printing a batch of photos for each child. They were thrilled to receive photo albums of their photos.

The children were taken home on the final day. All the kids were singing in the cars and chatting excitedly amongst each other. They were all given trees to plant in their respective schools.
This inaugural KKOS Camp was a real joy for us to organize and be part of. We watched the children thrive over the three days with us and soak in everything that was taught to them. We strongly believe that this three-day adventure changed the lives of 24 children. They are the future of wildlife in the region. Following this event, we have no doubt that we would like this to be an annual event in Westgate and bring more kids from areas far and wide to come and be part of this exciting wildlife experience. We already cannot wait for 2014!

This camp would not have been possible without our sponsor Todd Cromwell and his assistant Michael Hamlin. Tony and Ali Allport gave 100% in supporting this camp and providing the children with this amazing experience. We are also extremely grateful for the dedicated efforts of Kelvin Lemantaan and Mike Lesiil, and also to Sasaab Lodge staff, Westgate Conservancy management and Samburu National Reserve. Thanks also to Grevy’s Zebra TrustSave the Elephants, and the Reticulated Giraffe Project for their time in providing the kids with such a varied wildlife experience.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Kids On Safari is mentioned in a feature article, “Shivani the Lionheart”, in Africa Geographic (Aug 2011) about the tremendous lion conservation efforts of Shivani Bhalla’s Ewaso Lions project in Northern Kenya where she also furthers the cause of Kenyan Kids on Safari.

“Ewaso Lions has led groups of school children on Safari in Samburu Reserve. For transport Bhalla uses a game vehicle supplied by nearby Sasaab lodge. It’s a successful venture as many youngsters have never seen lions before. Armed with cameras, binoculars and a printer for their pictures (supplied by Kids on Safari) ,the children have a great time.”

Here’s a further note from Shivani:

Dear friends of Ewaso Lions,

I want to share with you the latest issue of Africa Geographic magazine (Aug. 2011) which has a feature article on Ewaso Lions. Science Editor Tim Jackson really captures the threats facing lions in northern Kenya and how our project is working with the community to conserve the big cats. The article describes the challenges of working in this region and why lion conservation is a priority.

You can view the article online on page 54 by clicking on the link below with the password AG (in uppercase).

You can also download a PDF file of the article. Click on the PDF icon at the bottom right-hand corner of your page once you have opened the link.

Africa Geographic is the premiere magazine covering wildlife and environmental issues focused on Africa. Here are some excerpts from our article:

“There are currently about 2,000 lions in Kenya, and about 100 individuals are being lost annually. Few are protected within national reserves (numbers have dropped 30-40 percent in the past 20 years). In the semi-arid north, where Bhalla works in the Westgate Community Conservancy, lions are in even deeper trouble.”

“Managing the Ewaso Lions project in northern Kenya, Shivani Bhalla is indomitable in her quest to involve the community and rally the local Samburu warriors to help save the big cats in their homeland.”

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two Local Children join tourist fanily safari

Thanks to Sasaab and their guests, we were able to take 2 Samburu children into the park recently – 25th May 2011. It was a great day, lots of elephants and 3 cheetah too. They had a great time – guests and kids!

Local Samburu Children On Kenyan Kids on Safari with Ewaso Lions

Category: Community, Education, Date: June 24th 2011

By: ewasolions

Shivani Bhalla of coordinates KKOS activities there, reporting: "I always love going on game drives. But taking 31 laughing, bouncing, squirming little kids on a game drive is the best. Today we took kids from the local primary school into the park to get up close to wildlife. We piled the kids into two Land Cruisers along with two teachers and Ngila, our Community Officer. Sasaab Lodge graciously lent one of their vehicles.

Samburu kids on their first trip into the park.

The children belong to the Wildlife Club and Scout Club at the local school we support, Lpus Leluai. This school sits on the border of the park, and most of the children live nearby.

Despite living next to the park, 28 of the kids today had never been inside Samburu National Reserve! This might sound impossible to some readers, but it’s true. That’s why we think this program – called Kenyan Kids on Safari – is a good one. It gives kids the opportunity to see wildlife safely and enjoyably. It allows them the excitement of a game drive, which most local people don’t get to experience.
I met the kids at Lpus school at 8am and they could hardly control themselves they were so excited. After a short talk on proper game drive etiquette such as staying inside the vehicle and talking quietly, we were off. The kids from the Wildlife/Scout Club at Lpus Leluai primary school. They are wearing their cool Club outfits!

We had great wildlife sightings. At one spot along the river, we found a fantastic scene of gerenuk, impala, reticulated giraffe, baboons, Beisa oryx, and Grevy’s zebra all browsing together. We also spent time only a few meters away from a family of elephants. Many of the children looked rather worried to be so close to the large animals, but eventually their concern turned to wonder.

All morning long I had been keeping my eye out for one animal in particular: a lion. The sight of a lion would have made the day. And fortunately, sitting in the shade of the river bank, there was Pixie. Later, many of the kids said that seeing the simba was their favorite part.

Watching the lioness Pixie through binoculars.

The sun was harsh and the road was bumpy, and kids are kids. So by 1pm we began to head home and as we approached the school, the kids started singing. A great end to a perfect game drive.

Another great day of ‘Kenyan Kids on Safari’. KKOS supplied telephoto digital cameras, binoculars and printer and supples so the kids could take home samples of their experience.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kenyan Kids on Safari? - Now It's Kenyan Teachers on Safari, Thanks to Ewaso Lions & Sasaab Lodge & KKOS

Reported by Shivani Bhalla of Ewaso Lions, Northern Kenya coordinator for KKOS

January 7th 2011: "Ewaso Lions works closely with Lpus Leluai Primary School in Westgate Community Conservancy. We have a number of projects with the school including Simba Stories, Trees Project and more recently the new Simba Library and Wildlife Club. Thanks to donors we have made numerous donations of books, stationary, posters and much more to the school. We have also taken the school children out on many game drives as part of our Kenya Kids on Safari programme."
"Towards the end of term, the teachers and Headmaster of the school, Johnson Lenasalia, asked Ewaso Lions if we could arrange an educational tour for all teachers as an incentive trip. Many of the new teachers had not seen much wildlife before and were keen to learn more. We are also in the process of setting up a Wildlife Club at the school from sale profits of the Simba Stories book. This would be an ideal opportunity to encourage the teachers and get them excited about wildlife which they would share with their students. I also personally wanted to thank them for their fantastic efforts in working together to create a suitable learning environment for the children over the past few years."
"Sasaab Lodge in Westgate Conservancy generously agreed for us to use their vehicle and guide Daniel for the teacher’s safari.
  Sasaab has been fantastic in promoting Kenya Kids on Safari and we would not be able to do any of this without their support. Thank you Sasaab Lodge and Ali and Tony Allport (the lodge managers) for your continued and much appreciated assistance."
"We set off on the safari at 7:30 am. The teachers were all super excited and enthusiastic about their trip. Daniel and I spoke about everything to do with wildlife in the area and the importance of wildlife in general. It was initially quite strange to be teaching teachers but we all got into it and had a fantastic day. We had some superb elephant sightings and were extremely lucky to spot a lion in the distance as well. The teachers learned about birds too."

Emanuel, excited and a little nervous about being so close to elephants!

William and Karimi see elephants so close up they don't need KKOS binoculars.

KKOS binoculars help to bring the lions closer in view.

Teachers, Daniel and Shivani during the safari in the Sasaab vehicle.

Here are some of the comments from the teachers:

“Personally I feel there is a need to appreciate this great game drive that Ewaso Lions and Sasaab have arranged for us. We learned a lot and will share our knowledge with the children. Paul, Supervisor of Wildlife Club”.

“Thank you very much for the game drive. I enjoyed it very much. Seeing a lion in the wild for the first time was great. Karimi, teacher sponsored by Sasaab“.

"Special thanks to Sasaab Lodge and their guide Daniel, and Todd Cromwell from the Kenya Kids on Safari Programme for donation of cameras and binoculars for the safari."

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ewaso Lions & Sasaab LodgeTake Warriors on Safari, adding another dimension to KKOS

November 25th 2010: Shivani Bhalla of Ewaso Lions, our Northern Kenya coordinator for KKOS, writes another page in helping local young men as well as kids to participate in wildlife education and conservation

Report by Shivani Bhalla of Ewaso Lions -

"Our warriors from the Warrior Watch programme have now been actively engaged in wildlife conservation since January. They are all doing really well and excited by their roles in conservation. As an incentive and also an evaluation of their wildlife knowledge to date, I arranged a day in Samburu National Reserve for the warriors. This would not have been possible without the generous support of Sasaab Lodge in Westgate Conservancy who lent us their vehicle and guide David for the day."
"The warriors all showed up in camp by 6 am and we all set off into the park. The warriors were equipped with binoculars and digital cameras thanks to our Kenyan Kids on Safari programme."

"We had a great day. Moses, the tourism warden for Samburu, gave them all a talk on the reserve, its importance and the wildlife in the area. We then set off on our game drive and saw tons of game; giraffe, kudu, Grevy’s zebra and much more. The warriors were so excited by everything and practiced the names of the animals in English and Swahili."
"We had an incredible elephant sighting with 2 resident families crossing the river right in front of us. The warriors said this was the first time they had been so close to elephants without the elephants charging at them or them running away. Most of them were desperate to see lions too. How could we not? With 7 Samburu warriors in the car, it would be hard not to find them. We found some tracks and sure enough about 10 minutes later, came across 6 lions."
                                                     Getting ready for the safari.


Lpuresi excited to see a greater kudu.

Lemeen was thrilled with the KKOS camera and took many photos of friends and wildlife.


Yesalai and Reria photograph and watch giraffe with KKOS cameras and binoculars.

Lentiyo watching elephants cross the Ewaso Nyiro.

 "This was the first time most of the warriors had been into Samburu National Reserve on a game drive, taking photos  with KKOS cameras and enjoying their experience as many tourists from around the world come to do.  We also dropped in at Save the Elephants where David, the head researcher, gave them a talk on elephants and the importance of their conservation."
"It was a super day. After a goat feast back at the Ewaso Lions Camp in Westgate, the warriors thrilled with their experience, wandered back slowly to their villages, excited by the day’s adventures and wildlife sightings. We hope to have many more warrior safaris in the reserves in the future."

"A special thanks to Paul Funston for accompanying us on this trip and taking some great photos, Sasaab Lodge, and Todd Cromwell from the Kenyan Kids on Safari programme for the donation of camera and binoculars."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Governors' Camp Host KKOS Mara Rianda School Children - May 29, 2010

Colin Smit was away on leave for a while, but on his return he was able to organise another expedition from the local Mara Rianda Primary School on 29th May. As usual they arrived at the camp for sandwiches and a cold drink, a practice session on using the cameras and spent about two and a half hours on the wildlife drive. Instead of a teacher, one of the parents accompanied the children this time. Colin was sure the driver-guides much appreciated a chaperone being sent along to help keep the kids focused and organized in getting the most out of the experience!

Many thanks to Colin and all of the wonderful Governors' Camp staff who have become the most consistent Safari Group to give regular support to the Kenyan Kids on Safari program! The local Kenyan kids , their parents, teachers and the entire communmity greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn more about the wildlife in their own backyard's world famous Maasai Mara Reserve, to drive right out amongst the animals with driver-guides who are also skilled naturalists. Bravo to Governor's Camp!

Sylvester Naimodu, above right, is very happy to have seen many elephants and buffalo, and was amazed to get so close to them while learning their habits. All of the kids get instruction in using individual telephoto cameras while on the drive - often their first time to ever take a photo! When they get back some of their best pictures are printed and given to them to take back to show their friends. The cameras and printers are supplied by KKOS.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dedicated to all the people who suffered from the March 2010 flooding of the Uaso Nyiro River


Just a few months before the terrible floods in Samburu early March 2010, Kenyan Kids on Safari from Kiltimany were racing along the river banks and joining in sing-song at the first overnite tenting campsite set up by local kids from the area.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 2010 KKOS Game Drive at Governors' Camp

GOVERNORS’ CAMP KKOS Game Drive for Mara Rianda School Kids– March 6, 2010

Colin Smit of Governors’ reports:

"The second group of children were taken out on Sat. 6th March. Again, much fun was had by all and the young people were very appreciative.

As yet they have not written the short letters on how they saw their experience, but the headmaster has assured me he shall get the kids on to this. A short note on Mara Rianda Primary School:

The school is situated 100 miles west of Nairobi and 50 miles south of Narok and was started in May 1988. Initially built of mud, the classes are now more permanent thanks to efforts on the part of Governors Camp and The Big Cat Diary.

A borehole was installed in 2005, but lighting equipment is still one of the school’s many needs. There are over 600 hundred pupils at the school, so money is tight! As with many African schools, some children walk up to two hours each way to get to and from school and so funds are being requested for a boarding house (dormitory). An English man, Richard Long, has a taken great interest in the school and has set up a trust for them (The Mara Rianda Charitable Trust). His email address is Obviously any small thing people do for them is appreciated."

Governors' Camp Host KKOS Mara Rianda School Children - Jan 20, 2010

GOVERNORS’ CAMP KKOS Game Drive for Mara Rianda School Kids– Jan 30, 2010

Colin Smit of Governors’ reports:

Kids view lion left foreground.

“Today shall be the first official time we are taking a group of children out on a safari! I am to fetch four of them from the local school (Mara Rianda) at 14:00pm together with the head master of the school. We’ll meet a driver at the camp where we’ll have a soda and some sandwiches before setting out. I’m looking forward to this!

The afternoon 1400 hrs went really well, with the kids having a whole lot of fun and taking something like 450 photos with KKOS cameras! I have sorted through these and made each member of the group a collage using the KKOS printer - with the best ones from their own camera. I have made arrangements to meet the children on Monday again and to organise the next excursion. Attached are some of the best photos. The adult with the children is the school headmaster who accompanied the kids.”

Kids take pictures of other kids viewing wildlife.

They even tracked a cheetah and her cub.