Lion Kids Camp is a unique opportunity for community children in Kenya to experience camping in the wilderness and being taken on “safari” in their own backyard. Through game drives, bird walks, mammal and bird presentations, quizzes, fun games and the chance to meet and interact with some of the most respected conservationists in Kenya – the children are given a glimpse into the importance of conservation and the role that they have to play in safeguarding the future of such a precious resource.

Diary Day 3

We had another early start this morning heading out to the Naibelibeli Plains at the far end of the WESTGATE community Conservancy, one of the main breeding grounds for Grevys’s zebra in Kenya.

We were joined by Julius, Morgan, Tyrel and David from The Grevy’s Zebra Trust to learn more about another of the Samburu special five and endangered species. During the talk, the children learned about the threats to Grevy’s zebras and the things that GZT do to help conserve them. They asked the children to encourage their families to coexist with Grevy’s, if they are watering their livestock to give Grevy’s access to those wells, and to try and graze their livestock to avoid over grazing and rangelands degeneration and to educate against the illegal poaching of Grevy’s for bush meat.

The children learned that, like the human thumb print, Grevy’s have individual stripe patterns from which they can be identified, and unlike giraffes, you only need to see the right side. Each student was given a conservation citizen card and they drew a Grevy’s zebra using their thumb print. Morgan did the first thumb print drawing of a Grevy’s and one of the girls said ” is that a duck” -so back to art school for Morgan.

We headed back for breakfast and a short break before listening to two lectures on conservation by Jeneria and Kalastar, and Daniel Letoiye the manager of the Westgate Holistic Land Management hub. During this hour the kids learned about the environment, the difference between good and bad habitats, and what the causes are. They learned more about declining wildlife numbers and poaching with some hard hitting images. To end the session they learned all the things they can do when they go home to help:-

  • Keep environment clean not litter
  • Talk to friends and family about wildlife and the environment
  • Not to cut trees
  • Look after domestic animals
  • Plant trees in your school and your home
  • Start a wildlife club or environmental club in your school
  • Be a wildlife conservation ambassador
  • Main take home message – KENYAS WILDLIFE IS IN OUR HANDS

Lunch was followed by the introduction into the infamous drama competition… This year each team has a them to follow relevant to their team name: for the Sasaab team led by Daniel and Samuel it is “Living as a wild dog”


To conclude today’s activities Ewaso Lions set up their conservation obstacle game, which they have clearly spent a great deal of time planning and organizing. Not only were the props very clever but the whole theme of the game was really educational too. Each team had to elect a team leader to lead them verbally through a series of obstacles all related to what they have been learning this week. It was a very fun way of emphasizing those points but also included valuable leadership and communication skills.

Final day tomorrow…

Day 4

We were glad to see that the fourth very early morning on the run has not subdued the kids excitement, they were all ready to go at 6 am for a game drive into the Westgate Community Conservancy. We drove straight to the sundowner rock which provides not only a spectacular vantage point for The Sasaab guests for sundowners, but it is also a great place from which to explain the concept of the core conservation area and its purpose and how the community involvement is crucial to its success.


From the rock we saw a three reticulated giraffe, a good sign that the wildlife feel safe within the Westgate Core Conservation area. We also saw a large herd of elephant heading down towards the river, and a few waterbuck.

The Westgate Core Conservation area is currently home to one young male lion who has currently been resident for 3 days but moves in and out using the core area as a safe refuge.

In order to achieve this kind of success the whole community, their conservation partners (Ewaso Lions and Grevy’s Zebra Trust) and Sassaab have all been very involved.

We headed back to camp for breakfast and to find out who had won the Conservation Obstacle Game. The Ewaso Lions team kept us all in suspense while they went through each element, explaining its significance – before announcing the Grevys’s Zebras as the winners. They were allowed to choose three of the props from the game to use in the drama competition as their prize, quite an advantage.

The rest of the morning was set aside for group photos and drama practice and final costume/ set preparations.

VIPs and guests arose for lunch and we made an early start as grey clouds hung ominously over us. The drama competition was judged by John and Jacob from the Reticulated Giraffe Project The standard was excellent, probably the best we have seen yet. Every team had a standout contribution – the Elephant team had the best costume, the Lion team had the best actors, the Wild dog team was the funniest BUT the Grevy’s Zebras scooped the prize again as they totally followed the brief and did an excellent performance which really did illustrate ” Living as a Grevy’s Zebra” !

The day drew to a close with speeches and prize giving just as it started to rain – perfect timing.

One final night under canvas before heading home….Rose says she wants to stay here forever …

By Ali Allport, Community and Conservation Manager, The Safari Collection