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Lion Kids Camp at Samburu – Concern for Mother Nature

June 9, 2014 East Africa Bush Tails

Samburu children in northern Kenya know a lot about wildlife because they live in a wild country amongst wild animals while herding livestock like goats, sheep and cows. They have to learn as much as possible about the reptiles, birds and mammals in order to survive – or keep safe.

As they grow older, these children avoid big game and grow up hating – or being wary of lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and cheetah.

Some children are so afraid of wild animals that they have never seen predators up –close and alive. The only ones they have seen are those killed for killing livestock.

Now, Lion Kids Camp and Kenyan Kids on Safari are working together to change these children’s perception of wild animals.

Lion Kids Camp is another project by Dr Shivani Bhalla, founder and director of Ewaso Lions to engage local communities in conservation. Kenya’s lion population has crashed from 20,000 two decades ago to 2,000 today – mostly due to increasing human populations and a growing demand for space – which brings lions in direct conflict with pastoral communities when their livestock is killed. 

Kenyan Kids on Safari was founded by Todd Cromwell from the UK when he realized that not many local children have the opportunity to visit wildlife parks despite living close to them.

Ewaso Lions strongly believes that these children are future wildlife custodians and teaching them the problems of the dwindling wildlife may help change their perception and come up with solutions to save Kenya’s wild heritage.

Ewaso Lions Projects
a) Ewaso lion guides
b) Lion Kids Camp
c) Mama Simba
d) Warrior watch

Lion Kids Camp

In April, Ewaso Lions organized the second Lion Kids Camp at Westgate Conservancy bordering Samburu National Reserve. 35 local children from the area spent four days camping in the conservancy, learning about wildlife conservation and enjoying exciting game drives.

This was a life changing experience for the children. ‘Our evaluation shows that the children’s views on wildlife improve significantly after the Camp. At the end of the four-day program, all the children responded that they would be very sad if there were no lions in Samburu.”

Shivani Bhalla is inspiration to all Kenyan kids to conserve wildlife.

Heritage Hotels Supports Kids Safaris
Lion Kids Camp and Kenya Kids on Safari collaborate with Heritage Hotels, supported by our guests. Ewaso Lions and Samburu Intrepids Camp (Heritage Hotels) have to date taken more than 220 children on game drives in Samburu National Reserve. For many children, it is their first time in Samburu National Reserve.

Shivani has announced a marathon for the lions on 3rd May 2014 in Samburu to create awareness on the importance of lions to nomadic people.

– by: Steve Tilas Lekango 
Naturalist at Samburu Intrepids Camp