Lions Return to Westgate’s Conservation Area

Jan 5, 2015 | Categories: Lions, Westgate Conservancy | 6 Comments

After an almost 2-year absence, lions have returned to the Conservation Area in Westgate. This area, also called the Core Area, is a 9km2 piece of habitat that was set aside by local people for wildlife and conservation.

Some of you might recall stories of a lioness named Magilani who made the Core Area her home between 2009 and 2011. Since Magilani disappeared, no lions have become residents in the Core Area.

But will this change?

Over the past few weeks we tracked several lions as they passed near our Camp here in Westgate Conservancy, using nearby luggas (dry riverbeds), then they entered the Core Area. We identified the lions as Naramat and Lentim, who were later joined by Napirai and Loiwotwa – Nashipai’s young cubs.

Naramat has moved into the Westgate Conservancy with her son Lentim.

On Christmas Day, we knew that Naramat and Lentim were in the area and we went out to try and get a visual sighting. Around 6pm we found Naramat – and she was exactly in the area Magilani used to emerge every day at 6:30 pm every day.

Ever since then, we would drive past “Magilani’s Bush” hoping that we would see lions again soon. And now we have!

Naramat sitting at the same place Magilani used to appear at dusk within Westgate’s Conservation Area.

The lions have successfully hunted warthog and baboon, and no livestock have been killed. This highlights the importance of the Core Area as a safe refuge for lions and other wildlife. Despite being fairly small sized – only 9km2 – carnivores recognize this as a safe area and if sufficient prey is available, lions and other carnivores will inhabit this area. Because people and livestock are not supposed to enter the area, this can reduce conflict with the local. This is exactly what Ewaso Lions is promoting.

It’s exciting to have lions reside here within Westgate, which is a community land outside Samburu National Reserve. In order for Kenya’s lions to endure, creating space for them outside protected areas like national parks and reserves is key.

We hope Naramat and the other lions make the Core Area their home…

Lentim, son of Naramat, peeks out of some bush.


Naramat along the Ewaso Nyiro River in the Conservation Area.

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6 People have left comments on this post

» SAUWAH said: { Jan 6, 2015 - 08:01:24 }


» Diane said: { Jan 31, 2015 - 05:01:21 }

I love seeing the wonderful photos of these amazing creatures.

» Rosario Rossi said: { Feb 5, 2015 - 09:02:56 }

It is interesting to know that Samburu lions are trying to enlarge their range. In the 90s it was difficult for me to find lions around Buffalo Springs -Samburu reserves, so this is good news.

» kalyan mukherjee said: { Mar 1, 2015 - 06:03:00 }

i have been to kenya and love what the conservancies are doing.impressive.the africa ildlife foundation and their elephant corridor scheme.india should learn from is their lands that we took and now ewaso is giving it back to them.frankly noone from india goes to kenya to see a shopping mall. we go for wildlife.congrats ewaso lions.