Wednesday, January 3, 2018


All activities since 2016 noted in this Kenyan Kids on Safari Blog were organized and led by Stephen Kibuna, KKOS All-Africa Manager & Wildlife Photographer and James Ntopai, KKOS Samburu Manager & All-Africa Naturalist. Native Kenyans of many generations, they are naturally adept at interfacing with other local leaders in education, community relations. conservation, conservancies, national parks, safari camps, wildlife photography and government wildlife management. 

STEPHEN KIBUNA (FB - Steve Choxx) Joined KKOS while still working as the Human Resources (HR) Assistant for Sarova Hotels and was previously with C&C Investment, Ltd.- both headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. Studied HR Management at Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya's leading higher education facility after graduating from Njabini Boys High School in South Kinangop not far from Naivasha where he was raised.

He came naturally to an interest in wildlife and nature photography from growing up and going to high school in Kenya's leading birding and hiking center on the 8,300 ft Kinangop Plateau between the Kenyan Rift Valley to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east. It takes its name from Kinangop Mountain, which rises 12,816 ft in the Aberdares to the east. Check out FOKP, Friends of Kinangop Plateau for birding and the Ikereita Forest Hiking & Zip lining for one of the most spectacular wild sites and longest zip lines in Africa. 

JAMES NTOPAI (FB - NTOPZ) Has been part of KKOS since being a student in the program with Samburu Intrepids in 2009 when he was 12 years old. He stands for all the program is trying to accomplish, as Chief Naturalist for Samburu Intrepids, he is a great career example for all of our participants. He has recently won world-wide fame as the commentator for KKOS first film "What's In Your Backyard?" partnered with Save The Elephants. In 2017 he took his own vacation time to help Stephen in the Masai Mara, followed by another two weeks back on home ground with local Samburu kids.

He studied at the renowned Jomo Kenyatta University and is continuing studies to further advance his certification as a naturalist. Growing up in Samburu Isiolo and graduating from Isiolo Boys School, he can testify what a marvel it is swim and play water polo in the "Blue Water" as he calls the Samburu Intrepids pool, quite a change from the muddy water of the sometime violent flow of the powerful Isiolo Nyiro with all its crocodiles. 

(Our prayers for the families of the two young girls from Bulesa who were drowned in the river on November 16. 2017. They were only 8 and 10 years old, and we can only wish they had been playing safely in the "Blue Water" at the camp with KKOS kids.)

Thursday, December 21, 2017


PUT ME IN MY PICTURE KKOS PROGRAM - goes on for another two weeks in November 2017 at Samburu Intrepids & Save the Elephants

Have fun getting to know the real kids of the African wildlife frontier who are learning to be the future leaders protecting the wildlife for you to see on a safari. With the help of the KKOS photographer Stephen Kibuna, KKOS Manager and Samburu Intrepids Chief Naturalist,James Ntopai,  they are interviewing tourists on film and helping you to maximize your safari experience. Who knows? You might be featured on this website!

It's so easy to get more out of your safari experience with Kenyan kids along for the ride to take some videos and stills of you viewing the wildlife. And you can give them a world-view of conservation in one game drive simply by letting them see why you came all this far to see their wildlife.

While it takes a little more effort to see lions in the wild in Samburu and Westgate in the north of Kenya, Saba Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants and the lead commentator for the world-renowned BBC "Big Cat Diary" claims that it shouldn't be so easy that you might as well be at a zoo. That you appreciate seeing these magnificient lions all the more when they are hard to find, not just available "on-demand!" Visitors at Samburu Intrepids are just a short drive from the fascinating bush headquarters of Save The Elephants and Elephant Watch Camp. Another partner of KKOS, Ewaso Lions has its HQ just north near the Westgate Conservancy and Sasaab Camp. Shivani Bhalla, founder of Ewaso is recognized as the world's leading wildlife conservation hero for lions.

Children of the tourists are surprised to find how informative and friendly are the local pastoralist kids in the KKOS program. Their minds are uncluttered by all the gadgets, toys and computer tablets of  city kids.
So they learn very quickly how to take telephoto pictures for the first time.
They don't feel entitled and struggle hard to learn the three languages they speak and write by age 8-10. 

One 13 year old Masai girl from Loita who helped found KKOS 10 years ago even spoke perfect French which she somehow picked up in the bush and wanted to become Kenya's Ambassador to France.

This keen, young Samburu pastoralist knows all about livestock - cows, goats and sheep. He's more into herding than farming, so he fears lion attacks more than elephants who only compete for pasture and tree leaves. He's never been to the city at four-days walk, nor handled a telephoto HD camcorder like this one that he's learned to use with a little training. Before the day is done, he will have passed within touching distance of these massive animals which he now appreciates in a whole new way.

The Rosy-Patched Bush-Shrike, below left, that he's captured on film is no stranger to him while herding, since this male inhabits dry ground and low bushes he passes through. He knows that the female would have a black bordered white throat. 

Below, tourists and kids get to photograph the unusual Gerenuk that can rise up on its hind legs to get the more tender tops of the bush or low tree. Everyone's having a great time getting to know each other and the wildlife the kids are growing up with. So much better than only meeting local villagers at tourist-oriented sites where the focus is on beads and trinkets. In contrast, these kids don't even think of begging that is alien to their pride and barter society.


The kids visited Save the Elephants where they met Gilbert Sabinga who showed them all information about elephants and how they monitor them it was very educational trip,
the general program was amazing for these pastoral kids living around conservation areas, teaching them to be ambassadors of conservation as they will be leaders of tomorrow and decision makers, therefore conservation will be given priority in future.

STE - Kenyan kids on safari had memorable moments with jungle giants today during morning game in Samburu National Reserve being their first time to go on safari in comfortable jeeps of Samburu Intrepids with good view of wildlife. Taking photos was the best experience, but also watching and learning the behavior of each animal they came across. Experienced guides Chris Letur and James Ntopai waiting to see what nature offer in the evening game drive

Friday, December 15, 2017


PUT ME IN MY PICTURE! commenced at the Sarova Mara Game Camp inside the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve in early November 2017.

Mara primary school kids on safari setting up their tents during the 1st day of the first two weeks of the month-long KKOS program. 

The kids first set up the tents in the Utalii Camping Grounds where they formed teams Leopards and  Cheetahs for boys and girls, respectively. They competed in setting up their tents and spreading their bedding for comfort. The girls' team Cheetahs won the day, proving once again that girls can "build a house as well as run it." 

The service for tourists at Sarova is great, but the staff go all out to spoil their local kids with mattresses and round-the-clock security. 

No wonder the Cheetahs won the day since the Leopard's are mostly "up-a-tree" as usual, just lounging around in wonder at all their luxury while a few stalwarts make up their beds.

Even though the guys lost to the girls, they are really proud of their new "home" that they have taken part in setting up.

And the winning Cheetahs are simply purring with their spacious comfort. 

THE SPACE PODS have landed and are all zipped up for the night. You don't have to worry about them having security, since the staff enjoys hearing the kids singing in call-response from tent-to-tent for half the night. When all are quiet, you can hear the all-pervading tinkling bell sounds of millions or insects in the Mara Reserve. Fortunately, they do not invade the tents.

The kids came from primary schools near the park, including Sekanani, Emart and the Olmalaika Home which provides a safe-home and education for young Maasai girls who are at risk.

Read more of the great work by Kenyan Kids on Safari on Facebook and by clicking and


IN THE MASAI MARA - The Tourist Poster







1.You might think it's great  enough just to have pictures of the "Big Five" wildlife.
But who took the picture?  
2. Put yourself in the picture for family and friends to see you filming the lion fight.
But how do you get the most from what you're seeing  now and showing later?
    3. Go "Eyes-Free" - let Kenyan Kids On Safari film you watching the lion.

But how do you get to know local people growing up with lions in their backyard?

       4. Share your backyard experiences with those of the Kenyan Kids.

Have fun getting to know the real kids of the African wildlife frontier who are learning to be the future leaders protecting the wildlife for you to see on a safari. With the help of the Kenyan professional KKOS photographer Stephen Kibuna they are  interviewing safari tourists on film and helping you add the BIG FOUR to your safari experience. Who knows? You might be featured on their website!


 A fantastic success!

Some of the best new ideas are just a simple twist on the old. The tourists had game drives that were even better than expected. They could focus their entire excitement on the sighting and not be separated from it by a camera, unless they just wanted the satisfaction of taking the picture themselves. AND THE TOURISTS COULD RELY ON THE KKOS PHOTO TEAM to get fantastic pictures of themselves in the picture with the wildlife they were viewing, even including the kids who were so friendly and helpful. KKOS also provided insights into growing up with wildlife, a rewarding interaction with Kenyan Kids, not a staged tourist attraction.


They got to get up close to their wildlife and the tourists who they found to be REAL people and not just the primary economic resource of Kenya. The kids also appreciated why the tourists felt this was one of the ultimate trips of their lifetime. Imagine someone wanting to come to Kenya so strongly that they would save up for years to afford to see what the kids are surrounded by since birth. Many KKOS kids say it's the experience of a lifetime for them also. Suddenly they see in one day why their wildlife is worth conserving for Kenya and the World, and they actually FEEL it! Elephants and lions that were always such a threat to their home and cattle, are now worth a compromise to their own pastoral traditions.



Kids on safari November program participants excited as they start learning how to use snapshot telephoto cameras and camcorders. For most of the kids it's their first time to use a camera.
Their trainers are Stephen Kibuna (left) and James Ntopai, KKOS leader, with assistance from The Olmalaika Home. The training is taking place inside Sarova Mara Game Camp located in the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Kenyans Kids On Safari practicing camera shots before going on a game drive with tourists. Samuel of the Sarova staff took the kids around the camp to show them facilities. 

They enjoyed the show round and got a chance to photograph the Sarova Chef's prized organic garden. Like the tourists who tour the vegetable garden, these pastoral kids were surprised to find such a huge garden out in their bush country. 

Producing enough vegetables to supply hundreds of tourists who appreciate dining on organically grown vegetables, only found in the finest city restaurants.


"We might even have a future career in Wildlife Photography so we can stay in this pristine wilderness rather than the endless building blocks of man-made environment,"