Lion Kids Camp

Lion Kids Camps
Despite living in close proximity to world famous National Parks and Reserves, many Kenyan children have never had the chance to observe wildlife at close range and to experience what attracts thousands of tourists to their country each year. Instead, children’s perceptions of wildlife are often shaped by negative interactions – they see elephants chasing someone, the remains of a camel after a lion attack, or a leopard running off with their goat.

Recognising that children are the future custodians of Kenya’s wildlife, Ewaso Lions launched its Lion Kids Camp (LKC)  programme in 2013. Our vision: to educate and inspire a new generation of wildlife conservationists through a combination of wildlife education, safaris and conservation-themed games and activities.

To date, we have run eight Lion Kids Camps, providing over 200 children from across four Counties with a fully immersive wildlife experience.

The LKC experience

Each five-day camp follows a carefully designed curriculum that teaches children about the value and importance of lions, large carnivores and other wildlife species, the threats to their survival and techniques local communities can adopt to promote peaceful coexistence.

By taking the children on safaris, our camps also enable kids to develop a more positive connection with wildlife. For most, this is the first time in their lives that they enjoyed close-up experiences with charismatic species, such as lions, leopards and elephants. These first-hand experiences have the power to change a child’s perceptions of wildlife and transform feelings of fear to those of excitement.

Lion Kids on a Wildlife Safari

Watch this clip to learn more about the LKC experience:

How LKCs help

As attitudes formed at an early age tend to last a lifetime, engaging young people in environmental education is critical to fostering long-term conservation values and cultivating a new generation of wildlife ambassadors.

We focus on two key demographics:

  • Livestock herders

Teaching herders the importance of protected areas

In pastoralist communities, young children are often charged with tending livestock whilst out grazing. Each day their actions impact wildlife – from where they take their goats or cows to graze, to their tolerance and interaction with wild animals. Yet, these children have limited, if any, exposure to conservation education and training. By engaging this group through our Lion Kids Camps, we hope to have an immediate, positive impact on wildlife. The early indications are compelling; 99% of herders agreeing or strongly agreeing that their knowledge of conservation had increased as a result of the Camp and 76% disagreeing or strongly disagreeing that their attitudes towards wildlife had not changed as a result of the Camp.

  • Students:

Reunion Camp in 2015

By engaging students in our LKCs, hope to inspire the next generation of conservationists, park wardens, safari guides, and wildlife biologists. Following a Reunion Camp held in August 2015, and attended by 122 children, 66% of attendees hoped to pursue a wildlife-related career, with a further 5% stating their desire to support conservation whilst in pursuit of an alternate career.

In addition, the children who attend our camps are encouraged to act as ‘message multipliers’ within their communities, spreading the conservation message to their families, friends and neighbours back home.

When I returned to my home [from the Lion Kids Camp] the first thing I told my parents was to make the environment clean. I taught them how to conserve and protect our wildlife – not to poach or kill. I told them that our wildlife is in our hands

Rose Lokale, age 16, Ngare Mara Primary School

Saiwana and Ltonos see their first ever lion- Lguret sitting under the tree behind them

More stories from our LKCs

Read the story of Junior, the Lion Kid

Read about a recent Lion Kids Camp

For more information or to sponsor a LKC

Please contact info@ewasolions.org